Ark­low con­tinue good form with win against Eden­derry

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

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.

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