Arklow pay a heavy penalty
Arklow 8, Longford 13: Neither side was superior to the other in any way, with both sides having similar strengths and weaknesses.
Arklow attacked and defended well when they needed to. So why did Roscrea go home with the major share of the points? The main reason was when they came into the Arklow 22. Roscrea knew how to pressurise their opponents until they got a score of some kind.
Arklow started the game with a good three points which they kept until 45 minutes into the first half. Arklow attacked well from their forwards and the backs tried to be inventive.
Arklow conceded needless penalties and Roscrea’s long kicks pushed Arklow back too many times. Roscrea’s accuracy was missing as they missed a few easy penalties. The half ended with Arklow conceding a try out wide after some grinding work by the Roscrea pack and backs. Half time score was Arklow 3, Roscrea 8.
The second half started with Arklow having the wind in their backs but had to defend strongly.
Finally Arklow lifted the siege with a good scrum and a good kick.
Arklow gave Roscrea further penalties which were missed. Both sides had players sin binned in this match which did not help the balance of the game.
Arklow now started to press the Roscrea line from a series of penalties Roscrea gave due to good pressure by all the Arklow team. Arklow’s penalty taker was unlucky, missing two penalties by short margins.
Arklow were now applying pressure from all directions and were rewarded with a fine try by Liam Plunkett, ably assisted by the forwards.
The conversion hit the posts but the score was now a better looking at 8 points apiece.
Arklow kept up the pressure on Roscrea, in particular the forwards, who may have over mauled a little as it becomes easier to defend against particularly by a team like Roscrea.
In the final minutes Roscrea were awarded a penalty which they set about running the length of the field.
This paid off handsomely when they scored a try in the corner after mauling from a line out.
The match finished with Arklow applying pressure in the Roscrea but time ran out.