NUI Galway travelled to IT Carlow. Conditions were perfect for a game, although cold for the supporters who made the trip.
The game started and it looked like NUI Galway had caught IT Carlow sleeping as some great rucking and fast hands lead to a break along the sideline and a try in the corner by Shauna O’Brien. A tricky angle for the conversion saw the kick come up short. Perfect start for NUIG 5-0 up.
This woke Carlow up and some strong play by both sides saw some great attack and defense. The ball was to change hands several times until a cheeky kick and chase in the corner saw Carlow come ahead 5-7. 2 more tries for Carlow in quick succession had the home team ahead 17-5 at half time.
Though NUI Galway never lay down and came out in the second half ready to do the business. The game began with some smart play for Galway and when a gap appeared Heather Carey made the break and brought Galway back to 10-17. This lifted the college team and saw several more breaks however Carlow’s defense held strong.
After 5 minutes of attack Carlow turned the ball and their 7 made the yards. Galway’s defence stood up to this and 3 Galway bodies found themselves under the Carlow player to hold up the try. This amounted to a 5 metre scrum to Carlow which they scored off of. A chase down by Galway saw the conversion blocked. 15 minutes into the second half the score now stands at 22-10.
Galway upped the pressure and Galway gained a penalty off the Carlow 5. A few phases elapsed and it looked like Carlow’s defense was going to stand strong, when a gap appeared and several Galway bodies found themselves over the line, the ball deemed to be in Elizabeth’s Hand.
Conversion missed. Another 10 Minutes elapsed with breaks from both sides, however some great defense and brilliant chases saw now score. Suddenly Galway found themselves on the Carlow 22 and made a break through the middle. Missed tackles and match experience saw Heather make it over the line. Tension on as the score stood at 20-22 before the conversion. Shauna stood up to the task slotting the ball over. 22-22 with 7 minutes on the clock.
Both sides upped their game further and fast hands, switches and cheeky kicks were seen from both sides. Rucks were formed and sealed off tightly withholding strong attacks. This continued until the whistle blew and the ref indicated a penalty to Carlow. They pointed to the post and made it 25-22 with not much time left.
From the kick off Carlow received the ball and started their attack from their 10 metre. Galway threw everything at them and had them held on the Galway 22. Coming up on the last-minute it still stood 25-22 until Carlow played fast ball across to their winger who made the yards to touch down in the corner. Conversion missed.
The final whistle sounded and exhausted bodies were seen on both sides. Both teams had giving their all to the final score stood at Galway 22 Carlow 30.
By Fiona Cantwell.