Double Cup success from Tuam RFC’s seconds
Tuam 26 Monivea 10
J2_1For the second Sunday in succession, Tuam’s second team were celebrating another fantastic cup victory following a brilliant 26-10 victory over great rivals Monivea in the Connacht Division 2 Junior League Final at the Sportsgrounds in Galway.
It was a great day for the club as the team retained the J2 league title, one week after claiming the Ard na Cregg Cup which they won for the first time since 1976 with a 34-3 victory against Ballina.
However  last Sunday was the day Tuam RFC completed the double and the team started well with a seventh minute Alan Tierney penalty. Yet Monivea’s response was swift as they levelled with a penalty of their own two minutes later.
It was Tuam who got the vital first try of the game in the 12th minute. A Coilin Hegarty run and kick had Monivea’s defence stretched and ended with Ja Fallon kicking to the corner. From the resulting lineout, the Tuam pack drove to the Monivea line and Ciaran Durand touched down for a deserved Tuam try.
Tuam then enjoyed a sustained period of dominance which saw Alan Tierney add another penalty and a Monivea prop sin binned after tackling Brian Ruane in the air after the Tuam winger had fielded brilliantly.
Tuam probably should have added to their lead before the break but given that they were playing against a strong breeze in the opening period were content going in at half time with an 11-3 lead.
The Ard na Cregg holders made a blistering start to the second half when Ja Fallon touched down with the half underway for only a matter of seconds. He brilliantly converted from a difficult angle to give Tuam an 18-3.
Another Alan Tierney penalty followed as Tuam had one hand on the league cup. That became two when Coilin Hegarty put the result beyond doubt with the try of the game in the 72nd minute. A sweeping move which saw the ball move from one side of the field to the other with ‘pop’ passing ending when Hegarty used his pace evading two would be Monivea tackles to score Tuam’s third try.
That signalled celebrations on the sideline and up in the stands as the team, management and supporters got ready to celebrate another fantastic Cup victory. Not even an injury time converted Monivea try could dampen Tuam spirits as they deservedly retained their Junior League title.J2_2
The victory was just reward for a fantastic two years for this talented team. They have only suffered one defeat during that period and have now won three trophies in the space of 12 months. Another notable feature of this team is that many of the players who have given the club twenty years service were worthy recipients of two winners medals in the last two Sundays.
Great credit must go to all the players and also to the management staff made up of Rory Murphy, Sean Higgins, John Higgins and John Hegarty.
For Monivea it just wasn’t their day but they gave it everything right up to the last minute. Monivea had topped the South J2 League but it was Tuam who finished on top of the two decisive encounters. Tuam defeated Monivea in the Semi Final of the Ard na Cregg and repeated the performance to complete a fantastic season for the north Galway Club.
Tuam team v Monivea: Austen Connolly, Niall Higgins, Barry Ruane, Johnny Tierney, John Duggan, Ciaran Durand, Norman Tierney, Mickey O’Connor, Alan Tierney, Eugene Sharkey (Captain), Coilin Hegarty, Owen Lydon, Jimmy Maughan, Brian Ruane, Ja Fallon. Subs: Dave Cunningham, Jimmy Wynne, Dave Noone, Aidan Mannion, Joe Mooney, Shane McGough, Sean Lelevre, Alan Keane, Damian Kelly.



Mini rugby in focus: Buccaneers RFC