Galwegians 19 Clogher Valley 22

Clogher Valley coach, Stephen Bothwell felt his side’s performance against Galwegians was the best of the season as they picked up a seventh AIL win and remain the only undefeated side in 2C.

“It was fantastic to go up there and play because they had a really strong side out,” said Bothwell.

“They have some Connacht academy players that were in the team so we were up against it.

“We had to play very, very well. As good as we have played performance wise all season to get the result.

“It made a great weekend and the crowd that went up to watch it - over 100 spectators went up from Clogher Valley - it was great.

With no other games on Saturdaythe 100 plus Valley supporters that travelled on Friday night or Saturday morning to the Galway venue witnessed a brilliant game.

A badly dealt with kick off resulted in early pressure from Galwegians and after two minutes they crossed for the opening score which was duly converted.

The early reverse stung the visitors into action and they proceeded to dominate for the next twenty minutes.

Skipper Paul Armstrong reduced the deficit with a penalty before sailing through a gap minutes later for a well taken try which went unconverted.

20 minutes in and after a series of pick and goes Aaron Dunwoody crossed the try line, ably assisted by David Stinson for the Valley’s second try. Armstrong added the extras to stretch the lead to eight points.

It was now the home side’s time to dominate.

Time and time again the ball carriers were downed by an aggressive defensive action.

Callum Smyton was again immense as was Aaron Dunwoody and Michael Bothwell.

It had to happen though and on the half-hour mark Galwegians scored a well worked converted try to cut the deficit back to one point.

The final 10 minutes of the half saw both sides play some enterprising rugby but the score remained 14-15 in the Valley’s favour at the break.

The second half opened up in explosive fashion. Jamie Allen caught the restart and took off in a direct route scattering defenders before him to score a superb try which was then duly converted by Paul Armstrong.

In the third quarter both sides played some excellent rugby which was a pleasure to watch.Both defences were well organised and solid and both attacks showed some class going forward.

On the hour mark Galwegians created a chance on the blind side and eventually scored close to the corner flag but the conversion attempt from the touchline came back of the upright.

In the last quarter Galwegians pressed hard for the winning score even ignoring a kickable game levelling penalty to go for an attacking lineout.

But this lineout was stolen as David Stinson turned over the ball.

The coach kept the team refreshed by his use of the bench with David Sharkey making his usual huge impact on proceedings. As the game edged towards the 80th minute the home side looked destined to score but for an incredible turn over by Callum Smyton.

Skipper Paul Armstrong was awarded man of the match for his vision on the day, his distribution and his defensive efforts.

Next Saturday the Valley are on their travels again to third placed Enniscorthy.

Looking ahead to that game Bothwell knows it will not be easy: “They are going really well too it will take something similar to beat them.

“They seem to be improving during the year and will definitiely be tough opposition.”