Arklow continue good form with win against Edenderry
Edenderry 11, Arklow 23: Arklow continued after their good performance of last week with a good away win in Edenderry.
The weather conditions were very cold and icy frost in Edenderry. The first choice pitch was frozen and the match had to transfer to a pitch not so badly affected by ice.
The match started with Arklow putting Edenderry under great pressure in both the pack and the backs. Arklow had converted two penalties within ten minutes of the start of this match, good kicking by Mark Van Esbeck continued throughout the match.
Arklow had the advantage of a slight hill in the first-half, and while the forwards were sometimes slow in getting the ball away to the backs from ruck and maul the forwards won their own entire ball and again won plenty of opposition ball particularly in the good scrummaging through the match.
One quick released ball allowed the Arklow backline to attack the Edenderry try line and scored a very good try by Shane Nalty.
The conversion was well struck by Mark Van Esbeck. Arklow continued to apply the pressure on Edenderry backline and should have had another score but were stopped on the line.
Due to the continuing pressure applied by Arklow they had another penalty converted by Mark approaching half-time. Arklow were in the lead 16 points to six and were playing well.
The second-half started with an Arklow mixup and allowed Edenderry to apply pressure on the Arklow line. Arklow withstood this pressure manfully and slowly worked their way up the pitch with some great distance kicking again by Arklow’s number 10. Arklow were now in the Edenderry 22 for periods of sustained pressure and kept prodding and probing their opponents try line.
Great attacking rucks and mauls by all the Arklow forwards finally saw Kurt Steinbach force his way over for a great try with the conversion added by Mark Van Esbeck. The scoreline now looked a fair reflection of the actual match.
But every team has its period in every match and so Edenderry did not lie down and surrender to Arklow but instead with a change in players, started to hit Arklow in the rucks and in all phases of possession Arklow lost their way a little and were struggling to keep Edenderry at bay.
The pressure finally told on Arklow when Edenderry after a series of good passing scored in the corner but failed with the conversion.
Arklow now made a few changes and the fresh legs were soon put to good use, Arklow again started to apply the final coup de grace and were awarded a penalty which this time went unconverted.
So the game final score was an Arklow win. This win was a great team effort as some of the team were not available due to injuries and illness.
There is the kernel of a good young side in these players who took the field and all deserve the highest praise for the way the set about winning this match. From Shane Nalty at 15 to the captain John Louth at 1 and all who came on from the sideline made a great contribution to the winning of this game.
There were a few young players who will be good players soon, and they deserve to be on the team. When a win is achieved it takes all players who take part in the game, to play above the norm and this all the Arklow players did.
It is no reflection on others when all agreed that the man of the match was Chris Hughes at scrum-half. Others who shone were Brian Byrne, Rob McCormac, Peter Doyle, and Trevor Prestage who was brilliant for the last three minutes.
Behind the scenes the others who assist with training should also be recognised for the work they have put in from August until now. First coach Kurt Steinbach who is now starting to shine as a coach and player. The team of Trevor Prestage, Liam Plunkett, Taigh O Scannaill (Snr) and Barry McGuire who all have contributed of their time and effort all through the season, which at times was tested their faith in Arklow RFC. We can now, with greater effort from all, look forward to a difficult but confident New Year.
A happy Christmas and a great New Year to all players, staff, and supporters.