Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway


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Tuam ended their J1C campaign on a winning note yesterday with a home victory over Ballina in an entertaining encounter at Garraun Park.

An early kick off on a cold February morning saw Tuam strike first with a sixth minute Oisín McWalter penalty.

However a bit of individual ingenuity saw a Ballina crossfield kick gleefully gathered near the posts by their inside centre who touched down for the days first try. The successful conversion was followed by a 24th minute penalty as Ballina stretched their lead to 10-3.

Tuam began to exert sustained pressure on the Mayomen's defence and they buckled with two quickfire sinbinnings in the 34th and 35th minute. The homeside capitalised on their numerical advantage with a fine try in the 39th minute. After a number of phases inside the Ballina '22, the ball was fed out to Eoin Fowley who offloaded to Allen Lagaiaa who had Damien Kelly on his shoulder and the latter found joint captain Paul Higgins on the wing who ran in unopposed for a try in the corner. His co-captain, Oisín McWalter, added the extras to level up matters.

It looked like the teams would go in all square at the break but Tuam endured a mad minute which saw them have a man sent to the bin, now 13 v 14, and then their lineout malfunctioned which allowed Ballina to pounce for a fortuitous try in the corner. Ballina went into the break a man down but 5 points up, 15-10.

The visitors stretched their lead to 8 with a 42nd minute penalty. However Tuam upped the tempo and were rewarded with a 50th minute try. A great carry by Mika brought Tuam inside the Ballina '22. His offload to Mitchell saw Tuam inches from the try line. After a couple of phases the ball was switched out to the left where Higgins got his and Tuam's second try. McWalter added a brilliant conversion to put the minimum between them.

Eight minutes later, Tuam were presented with the opportunity to retake the lead with a penalty from distance and once more McWalter made no mistakes.

Tuam withstood a 65th minute sinbinning and finished the day's scoring with an Eoin Fowley try five minutes from time to seal a great win for Tuam.

There was a great blend of youth and experience on show with Dave Cunningham, Mika, Barry Ruane and the evergreen, Dygo, all putting in assured performances. At the other end of the scale Luke Maloney, Sean Brandon, Luke McManus, and Eoin Fowley among others showed the future in Tuam looks bright. Well done all in what was a brilliant team performance. Well done to John, Barry and all the management team on a well deserved win.

Thanks to Owen Nally Photography for the brilliant pictures which you can check out on his Facebook page.

The lads next outing is early April in the J1C Cup against OLBC.


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