ONE FROM THE ROAD
Galwegians 10 Seapoint 33
The score line says this was an easy encounter, Seapoint obviously the better side and winning comfortably with a bonus point. The reality is that this was a hard-fought contest, Seapoint had to dig deep, and the game was in the balance right up to the last ten minutes of the game. Seapoint preparation was good, arriving early by bus and taking the time to go through the usual pre match routine. Galwegians started the game with purpose and Seapoint spent the first 10 minutes defending in their own 22. ‘Wegians were rewarded for the early pressure with a penalty kick which they converted and a second penalty which they thankfully missed, otherwise Seapoint would have faced a six-point deficit and the potential prospect of a long afternoon. The situation got worse when James Newman went over on his ankle, however Seapoint had the luxury of bringing Louis Whelan on with his proven defensive and attacking capabilities. Hempenstall had also turned his ankle in the warm up and only lasted 15 minutes, the upside being a very welcome return for Seamus Flannery after a long injury which had kept him sidelined since the start of the league campaign.
After surviving sustained pressure for the first 20 minutes, powerful scrummaging by the Seapoint front row was a key factor in gaining some momentum. Seapoint managed to gain a foothold in the opposition half and started to exert some pressure of their own. Galwegians defended their goal line resolutely and refused to buckle. Seapoint did drive their way over the goal line after a magnificent lineout maul, but the ball was held up. Eventually from a scrum on the 5-meter line, good quick ball gave Sean Cronin the opportunity to crash over close to the posts and Brindley converted. Seapoint 7 Galwegians 3 after 32 minutes. Just before half time there were two pivotal moments which had a big bearing on the rest of the game. Foul play by Jack Reynolds in a ruck left the referee in no doubt and he was quick to show Reynolds a red card. Tails in the air Galwegians went to turn this into immediate advantage running hard at Seapoint. With exquisite timing Sam Cassidy bravely pounced on an intercept on the halfway line and gleefully ran uncontested to score under the posts with the last play of the first half. Brindley converted to create a 14 to 3 lead for the visitors to defend in the second half.
Another pivotal moment arrived only 4 minutes into the second half. From a seven-man scrum on the opposition 22, quick ball allowed Brindley to attack the gain line. The legendary Mark Ella used to claim that if he touched the ball twice in any move his team scored and if he touched it three times he scored. Taking the ball on the loop Brindley only needed the second touch as he weaved his way Ollie Campbell-esque over the try line. He missed the difficult conversion to leave the score at 19 points to 3. The next 10 minutes was all heart. Wegians threw everything they had at Seapoint and Seapoint stood up resolutely, defending like demons. Some big turnovers in their own 22 was key to not conceding a score. Eventually 20 minutes into the second half some good pressure and a barraging run from Campbell (Jack not Ollie) created an opportunity for Barra Whelan to dive over from short range. Brindley converted to leave the score at 26 3 and game over (one would have thought). Galwegians came back and scored almost immediately, a converted try to leave the score at 26 10 and work still to do. 17 minutes left.
This Seapoint team play attacking football with a lot of flair and have created some wonderful scores. But grit and their ability to roll up their sleeves and do the hard graft is a core trait that delivered most of their results. For the next 15 minutes Seapoint defended like demons and refused to concede another score. The coaches employed clever substitutions and rotation of the forwards enabling them to stand firm. Ultimately, they broke loose and finished with a flourish, a line break by Forster created space for Campbell who offloaded to Hammond who finished under the posts. Fitting that the last act of the game was a Seapoint forwards score for the magnificent seven man pack.
Man of the match awarded to James Brindley who was exceptional again, this week choosing to finish off his own line-break with a score to the corner. A huge performance from the pack, all the forwards (10 total in the second half) who stood firm and worked so hard to negate the numerical advantage.
Wanderers away next week, we won at home against them with the last score of the game. A tough encounter expected – all support welcome.
Team: Eivers, Hempenstall, Hammond, Reynolds, Campbell, Ross, Finn, Forster, Whelan(B),Brindley, Horan, Cronin, Cassidy, Newman, Lee
Subs: First half Whelan(L) Hempenstall, Second half: Downing, O’Donavon, Drohan, Manning,