University of Galway RFC had their skills on full display as they romped home to a 57-10 win away against Claremorris Colts.
It was a cagey beginning to the match in Mayo, as the wet and windy conditions hindered any chance of exciting plays. Kicking became a challenging task for UG fly-half Sean O’Grady, as the wind was against him early on. However, himself and the team dealt with the conditions very well.
The rain would eventually blow over and UG RFC started getting some phases together and gaining territory. This would lead to Charlie Clarke scoring the opening try after an effective carry very close to the line.
The Students deployed an industrious game plan, looking for offloads and playing at a frantic pace. When it worked, it was a work of art, and the college’s second try from centre Brian Murphy was exactly that. He was at the end of a ‘Barbarian’ like try after several offloads were thrown.
But after half an hour, it was only 14-3 to the college despite all their dominance. Their risky style of play led to a lot of knock-ons and turnovers that kept Claremorris in the game. An Oisin Halpin try before halftime would increase the college’s lead, but the game wasn’t out of sight yet.
Claremorris stormed out of the blocks early in the second half and had their best spell of the match. A quick break from scrum-half Shane Kelly gave the Colts the momentum they needed, and they scored their first try of the game when fullback Thomas Kean dotted down to make it 21-10.
But that was as good as it got for the Colts as the University of Galway’s fitness kicked in and key substitutes swung the momentum back into their favour.
Another try from number eight Clarke was followed up by two tries from sub scrum-half Cian Cleary. Lock Ciaran Shannon then marauded his way through the Colts defence to score, quickly followed by winger Eoin Daly’s try, as he gathered up O’Grady’s cross-field kick to score.
And a last play try from Patrick Daly wrapped up proceedings as the game finished 57-10. UG RFC now go onto to the semi-finals where they will host Loughrea in Dangan.
Claremorris; (15-9) T Kean, J Kelly, B Hughes, S Meehan, T Burke, K Leonard, S Kelly; (1-8) J Colleran, A Conway, D Brennan, L Murphy, O O’Connor, D Cawley, J Costello, L Colleran
Substitutes; A Maye, J Connaughton, C McHugh, C Heaney, D Campbell, J Kean, D Griffith, K Sheridan
UG RFC; (15-9) F Ó Gríofa, A O’Halloran, M Brady, B Murphy, C MacCuartha, S O’Grady, O Duff; (1-8) M Ó Gríofa, O Soden, C Tuite, C Shannon, O Halpin, P Magliocco, M McMahon, C Clarke
Substitutes; J Browne, J Colleran, P Daly, E Cullen, S Sheahan, C Cleary, M Prendergast, D Burke
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