Galwegians come out top in Connacht derby

Galwegians 21 Buccaneers 15

Galwegians 21 Buccaneers 15

Galwegians made it back-to-back wins for the first time in this season’s Ulster Bank League with a determined display against their Connacht rivals Buccaneers.

‘Wegians consigned Buccaneers to their third successive Ulster Bank League defeat, with a late try from hooker Conor Muldoon settling the issue at Crowley Park.

It was the Galway side’s mauling ability and strength in the lineouts, particularly in the first half, which helped them take the derby verdict.

The sides were level at 5-5 after an evenly-contested first half. ‘Wegians captain John Cleary set up Connacht’s Darragh Fanning for the opening try, which went unconverted.

Big Buccs number 8 Kolo Kiripati hit back when he intercepted a pass near halfway and raced over for a five-pointer. ‘Wegians ended the half down to 14 men, following the sin-binning of Connacht lock Dave Nolan.

The Pirates made early strides in the second half with Kiripati bursting through for his second try in the right corner.

But Nolan redeemed himself by notching a try in the 46th minute, although many observers felt there had been a double movement.

The score was allowed to stand and centre Dave Clarke landed a 52nd minute to edge ‘Wegians in front at 13-10.

It was end-to-end stuff as just four minutes later, the in-form John O’Brien left a number of ‘Wegians defenders in his wake for a magnificent individual try.

Again, the conversion was missed. This time, replacement David Connellan watched his effort smack down off the post.

But crucially, ‘Wegians had enough in the tank to produce two vital late scores. Clarke kicked his second penalty to put the hosts in front again, before Muldoon crashed over following a well-executed maul.

Scorers:

Galwegians: Tries: Darragh Fanning, Conor Muldoon, Dave Nolan; Pens: Dave Clarke 2

Buccaneers: Tries: Kolo Kiripati 2, John O’Brien

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