Rathdrum best in hard-fought derby
RUGBY LEINSTER LEAGUE
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.