Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

Tuam win Cawley Plate Final 22/23







Tuam were crowned the Bank of Ireland Cawley Plate Champions after an entertaining final against Bucaneers in Creggs. The two sides were meeting each other for the second successive weekend and like their J1A league encounter, Tuam came out on top on a narrow scoreline.


It was Bucaneers who struck first with a converted Frankie Hopkins try after just 4 minutes. However Tuam responded through Eoin Sweeney before a Darren Browne try ensured Bucaneers led at the break. Sweeney struck for his and Tuam's second try after the restart but the Athlone sides response was instant as an intercept try and a Sean Flynn conversion restored Buc's 5 point advantage. It was a lead they would hold until five minutes from time, Brian Ruane touched down to level matters and Carl Ward, with a pressure kick, struck the decisive conversion as Tuam held on for victory.


It was a bitterly cold and wet evening at Creggs which greeted the two teams as they took to the pitch on a weekend when the first silverware of the season was being handed out. Despite the winter chill which resonated around the green at Creggs immaculate facilities, both teams were very well supported.


The Bucaneers' contingent had something to shout about as early as the 4th minute when an alert Frankie Hopkins took a quick penalty inside the Tuam 22, catching the Galway side napping, to run in for the game's first score. Seàn Flynn made no mistake with the conversion. A dream start for Bucaneers but Tuam immediately went in search of a score of their own.


Tuam looked like to have lost their own lineout when it by passed everyone but Rory Cosgrove scooped the ball up and used his pace to bear down on the Bucaneers try line only to be held up. From the resulting clearance Tuam went on the attack once more but yet again they were held up near the line. However it proved third time lucky as a quickly taken Tuam penalty allowed Eoin Sweeney to power over and restore parity. 


Quick thinking seemed to be the main dish of the day and Bucaneers were nearly feasting on it's benefits again in the 25th minute when a quickly taken lineout saw a one two move by Darren Browne and Ryan O'Meara almost pay dividends but Tuam got back to avert the danger.


There was no stopping Browne ten minutes later when he got over the try line after a sustained Bucaneers period of pressure. They nearly added to that two minutes later when Flynn broke from his own half and would have made it to the line only for a Carl Ward tackle. Ward saw yellow,referee deeming the challenge to be high, which meant Tuam would start the second half 5 points down and a man down. 


Bucaneers had an early chance of a score but their penalty went wide. Instead it was Tuam who got on the scoreboard when after a number of phases Eoin Sweeney got his and Tuam's second try of the game. With Ward still sin binned, Tuam needed a kicker and up stepped their hooker Seán Maughan who, with his left boot, struck it beautifully over the bar sparking the biggest cheer of the day.


Yet Tuam's lead lasted merely a minute as an intercept try and a Flynn conversion restored Bucaneers' five point lead. 


As the clock ticked down Tuam's fans were getting anxious but the team remained patient and on the 74th minute mark, Brian Ruane touched down to make it 19-19. Carl Ward showed nerves of steal to convert and minutes later referee Gerry Geraghty blew the full time whistle as Tuam celebrated a great win.  


The final act of the day was IRFU branch delegate Adrian Leddy presenting Tuam's Alan Finnerty the plate, a nice birthday present for the Tuam captain.



TUAM; S. O'Sullivan, R. Cosgrove, R. Fahy, I. Murphy, A. Tierney, C. Ward, S. Browne, N. Carney, S. Maughan, D. Noone, D. Gleeson, J. Fahy, A. Finnerty, B.Ruane, E. Sweeney. REPLACEMENTS S. Leo, O. Swan, D. Boyd, O. Morrin, D. McWalters, C. Dempsey, L. Cronin. A. Antonio


BUCCANEERS; R. Sweeney, C. Dignan, R. O'Connor, H. Balsiger, T. McCann, S. Flynn, F. Hopkins, J. Kelly, E. Gallagher, C. Fokam, F. Galvin, C. Walshe, D. Browne, C. Morrisey, R. O'Meara, REPLACEMENTS; C. Daly, A. Obono, K. Connolly, J. Why, J. Downes.


REFEREE; Gerry Geraghty

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