Galwegians 15 Dungannon 13
Replacement prop Jarleth Naughton piled over on the end of a 79th minute maul drive to shunt Galwegians back in front and deny Dungannon the league points at Crowley Park.
Dungannon were hoping to hold out under fierce late pressure, but they could not prevent a second ‘Wegians drive from crossing their line.
The Galway men took their chances in the end and deserved this opening win in AIB League Division 1B, albeit with Dungannon having led on three separate occasions.
Home out-half Mark Butler missed a couple of penalty attempts in a difficult crosswind and a well-struck drop goal from Dungannon’s James Shiells opened the scoring.
But Butler redeemed himself by dummying the ‘Gannon defence and breaking through for a 33rd minute try which went unconverted.
A Shiells penalty saw the visitors nose ahead just before half-time but, in injury-time, a brilliant burst forward by returning prop Peter Bracken teed up Galwegians’ second try.
Bracken also showed great hands to offload in time for Connacht starlet Tiernan O’Halloran to scorch over.
Slightly against the run of play, Dungannon retook the lead on 55 minutes when centre Ethan Allen darted in under the posts for a seven-pointer.
However, Naughton dashed the Tyrone side’s hopes with his late touchdown.
Galwegians: Tries: Mark Butler, Tiernan O’Halloran, Jarleth Naughton
Dungannon: Try: Ethan Allen; Con: James Shiells; Pen: James Shiells; Drop: James Shiells