The second of Sunday afternoon’s fixtures involved Monivea’s and Galwegians’ Under16s in their Plate final. While much of the squally overhead nonsense fell throughout the early afternoon, both teams began in chilly conditions. By day’s end, the sun shone through scattered cloud and Galwegians emerged victorious, three tries to two, seven points clear at 19-12 on full-time. Galwegians opened the scoring with a try wide left, but failed to convert for a five-nil lead which spurred the red-and-blacks into attack. They struck back almost immediately drawing level with an unconverted try 15m in from the right-hand touch. Monivea took the game by the scruff of the neck thereafter and made good use of the blindside off both set and general play. Staunch blue cover defence snuffed out most forays, but Monivea broke the deadlock with seven minutes remaining to skip in six metres right of the right upright to go seven ahead over half-time, 12-5. Prolonged passages of mistake-free football set the second half apart from the first and tackled ball turnovers swung play from end to end, Aaron Byrne for Galwegians the standout come breakdown time. While hardly devastating in the tackle, Byrne made good use of his bulk forcing turnover after turnover as Monivea ball-runners found themselves isolated from those in support. It took 15minutes for Galwegians to break through, sneaking over wide out right but running the ball in behind the posts to make the extra two a formality. Even at 12-all, Galwegians engineered a relentless campaign within the Monivea 40m before some individual brilliance dazzled desperate Monivea defenders and enabled the Glenina gang to grab the afternoon’s fifth try, three metres in from the right-hand touch. Cian Shaughnessy, daunted by neither the angle nor distance, struck the conversion well and sent it sailing through the uprights with three or four yards up his sleeve. Unforgivably, Galwegians let the kick-off bounce and allowed Monivea to snaffle the ball right on the blue 22m. Monivea got to within six metres of the Galwegians line before blinkered vision denied two outside backs an opportunity to take on a solitary blue defender. The ever-present Byrne made his most telling steal and Galwegians ran it wide right for 14m before hoofing it downfield. Galwegians secured scrum ball within the minute and sent it sailing over the grandstand touchline for fulltime and a hard-earned 19-12 Plate final Under16 victory in front of 180.

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