Rath­drum best in hard-fought derby

RUGBY LE­IN­STER LEAGUE

Bray People - - Sport -

ARK­LOW RFC played host to lo­cal ri­vals Rath­drum on Sun­day in both teams fourth game of their re­spec­tive Le­in­ster League cam­paigns and true to tra­di­tion this was a nail-bit­ing af­fair with a fi­nal score of 9-6 to Rath­drum.

The Rath­drum boys will be de­lighted to come away with the points as Ark­low had a num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties to win the game in the fi­nal stages.

It was clear be­fore kick­off as the rain poured down and the wind blew heav­ily that this cer­tainly wouldn’t be a game for the purists and as with most fix­tures be­tween th­ese sides would be a bat­tle of the loose for­wards.

It was maybe here that Rath­drum found the edge with flanker and man of the match, Sam Buck dom­i­nant at the break­down and beginning to show signs of his form of three sea­sons ago. This con­tin­u­ally put Ark­low on the back foot and pre­vented them ever prop­erly get­ting into a rhythm.

Rath­drum kicked off in the play­ing with the wind and where al­most im­me­di­ately awarded a penalty, which out­half Par­sons ably con­verted to leave the score 3-0. Ark­low ral­lied straight away af­ter some good run­ning by their for­wards and lev­elled mat­ters with a well-taken penalty by out­half Ka­vanagh. Score 3-3.

Rath­drum dom­i­nated the re­main­der of the half with Ark­low strug­gling to clear their lines due to the strong wind. Two penal­ties fol­lowed leav­ing the score at 9 – 3 head­ing into the break. Ark­low will have been happy enough at this stage given the strong wind.

The sec­ond-half was a fairly stop start af­fair with con­di­tions mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for ei­ther team to put to­gether any mean­ing­ful phases. Both sides spent time camped on each other’s lines but both de­fences held strong and ex­cept for an Ark­low penalty.

Both teams will be happy with the hon­esty and hard work shown by their play­ers and based on this ev­i­dence are ca­pa­ble of ce­ment­ing their spots in Divi­sion 2 this year in both teams first year in the higher league.

Rath­drum: 1. Gary John­son 2. Neil Short 3. Brian Done­gan 4. Danny Clear 5. Ker­rin Buck 6. Michael Dowl­ing 7. Sam Buck 8. Barry Shee­han 9. David Woolm­ing­ton 10. Conor Par­sons 11. Shane Burch 12. Ryan Con­ratty 13. Mor­gan Sheri­dan 14. Ian Snell 15. Steven Dowl­ing.

Rath­drum’s Sam Buck and Mor­gan Sheri­dan close the gate on an Ark­low at­tack.

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