The Galway Tribesmen hosted the Dublin City Exiles last Saturday in a rematch of the Republic of Ireland semi-final from last year and were the eventual victors in a high scoring contest on the
This was the first outing for the team in their new kit sponsored by Hyundai Galway and in partnership with Act for Meningitis and the Tribesmen were keen to impress.
The match was barely two minutes old when James ‘Junior’ Kennedy skipped across the line to open the Tribesmen account and with the conversion secured by the ever reliable Conor Loughrey, the Tribesmen were six points to the good. The lead however didn’t last long as the experienced Adam Cox found his way over the line for the Exiles and with the two points added by Collie Ryan the scores were all even.
After the initial exchanges, both teams had their fair share of possession and several handling errors and mistakes. Myles Upton and Gavin Dolan were particularly impressive for the tribesmen in the battle upfront, setting the platform for the backline and it eventually paid off in the 17th minute when Seosamh McDonagh crossed for four points.
Again, Loughrey added the two points. The Exiles though, were determined to push the Galway men all the way and powerful centre John Rhattigan found his way over the line to register another four points.
The Dublin men continued to apply the pressure with more expansive play and crossed the line again with Collie Ryan after 25 minutes.
This was the first time that the Tribesmen were behind so far this season and they were keen to make amends. A succession of converted tries from Ed O’Keeffe, McDonagh and Loughrey put the scores at 30-16 and this was how the scores remained until half time.
The second half began exactly as the first half had with Kennedy scoring his second try, this try however was cancelled out when Rhattigan crossed again moments later.
The Tribesmen began to look a little more composed and during a period of sustained pressure, Loughrey scored his second, Kennedy attained his hat-trick and Ed O’Keeffe added his name to the scoresheet.
With only a quarter of the game remaining the scores were now at 52-22 in favour of the Galway men in what would seem an unassailable lead, however the Exiles were not finished. Further tries from Ryan and Cox added to the Exiles score line and in what becoming an increasingly sea saw affair the Tribesmen hit back with a first ever try for Nathan Cooley.
Shane Faulkner finished off the scoring for the Tribesmen but not before Rhattigan had secured his hat-trick for the opposition.
The match finished at 62-42 to the Tribesmen in what was a high scoring, entertaining game to watch from a casual bystander’s viewpoint, but it was a deeply frustrating performance from the Galway perspective.
Much improvement will be needed if they are to present a challenge to Waterford Vikings in their next outing in couple of weeks’ time as they continue their pursuit to reclaim the All Ireland title.
words by Thomas Hynes