It is several years since Dungannon met Galwegians in the All Ireland League but old rivalries were renewed at a dry but very cold Stevenson Park on Saturday. The Connacht men who were relegated from 2A last season soon showed that they meant business with an early try before two per the right winger gave them a fortuitous 17-0 lead at the break. The second half proved to be scoreless although Dungannon did appear to get a consolation try before the officials thought otherwise. Galwegians did not manage a 4th try but they were more than happy to take points on the road. Dungannon were missing a few regulars for this clash and it was the Galway men who started at pace. Their bigger pack combined well and half-backs, Rory Gaffney and Ewan Strang kept the visiting backs on the move. That said, Dungannon defended well and when the opportunity came to move forward it looked promising. However, the hosts were pinged at the first lineout and the first scrum leading to a little friction up front. Dungannon won the penalty for that but subsequent penalties to Galwegians put the visitors back on the front foot. An attempted clearance was charged down and hooker, Christy Reilly put ‘wegians into a 5 point lead on 25 minutes. Five minutes later a harsh yellow card for Malcolm Allister saw the visitors take advantage with South African winger, Sandile Sibande scoring a brace of tries. Strang converted one to make it 17-0. Having said that, home supporters were convinced forward passes were part of the build up. Coach Andy Hughes had a few choice words for his team at the break and Dungannon were a big improvement in the second half. Galwegians attacked first before Andrew McGregor cleared the danger. With the fresh legs of Connor McGeough on the park attacking moves were stepped up. All credit to Galwegians their defence held firm except for Dungannon’s touch down per Cameron Steenson but that was ruled out. Dungannon upped their game in the final quarter with Glenn Sinnamon and Calvin Nelson to the fore up front. However, the ‘wegian’s defence remained water tight and the Connacht men deservedly took the spoils. With Harlequins winning elsewhere Dungannon now slip down to 9th place just above pointless Ballina.
Dungannon :- Andrew McGregor, Harrison Dudley-Rode, Matthew Montgomery, Chris Cousens, Jordan McIlwaine, Adam Evans, John Russell, Sean O’Hagan, Malcolm Allister, James Gamble, Alex Gormley, Cameron Steenson, David Leyburn, Adam Milligan, Mark Riddell, Daniel Maxwell, Glenn Sinnamon, Calvin Nelson, Connor McGeough, Jack Ravey.
Galwegians:- Conor O’Shaughnessy, Sandile Sibande, Diarmuid Kilgallon, Daniel Faulkner, James Kennedy, Ewan Strang, Rory Gaffney, Conor Kyne, Christy Reilly, Ryan Lomas, Eoin Tarmey, Martin Cummins, Joshua Dunne, Michael O’Donnell, Kieran Downey, Andrew Paton, Shane Ryan, Matthew Towey, Sean O’Sullivan, Eammon Dowling.