Wicklow U-18s top the South Leinster League
RUGBY IMPRESSIVE WIN IN NEW ROSS
Wicklow 27, New Ross 3: Wicklow travelled to New Ross on Sunday last and defeated the home side in a hard-fought encounter.
New Ross had to win this game in order to qualify for the quarter-finals of this Leinster League competition and as is their custom they threw it up to the Wicklow side.
The first-half was a dour affair, with the home side adopting a ten-man game attitude, relying on their forwards and the strong boot of their out-half to push Wicklow back on the defence.
Indeed it was Wicklow’s ill discipline that gave New Ross the opportunity to go ahead on two occasions but both attempts were off target.
Wicklow gradually got to grips with the New Ross forwards.
Wicklow’s scrum was solid with the front row of Stephen Roberts, Shaun O’Brien and Eddie Downes setting the standard and being well backed up by John Jenkinson and Niall Hardy.
Wicklow got control of the scrums and after a shaky start got their line-out working and it was from a line out after a good kick by Simon Breen that Wicklow scored their first try when Shaun O’Brien came off the end of a maul to score.
Great work by Ben Armstrong and Charlie Butterworth had led to Wicklow getting a foothold in the New Ross 22.
Wicklow failed to clear their lines after the restart and let New Ross back into the game with a soft penalty.
With the half-time score 5-3 Wicklow knew they had to pick the pace of the game up. New Ross adopted the same tactics with big kicks down field but Wicklow’s back line of David Acres, James Kilgannon and Seán Doyle all did their job well catching and clearing at any signs of danger.
Wicklow moved the ball at every chance and it was from a good move by the Wicklow backs involving Ben Doyle, Ray Hurley and Garrett Kinane which saw Garrett cross the line for Wicklow’s second try.
Wicklow kept the pace on and when they were awarded a penalty a quick tap by Dennis Higgins fed John Jenkinson who sent John Campbell in for the first of his three tries.
New Ross kept coming back at Wicklow. Wicklow half backs of Dennis Higgins and Simon Breen continued to develop and both put in nice kicks to relieve the pressure and it was from one of these kicks, well chased up by David Acres which saw Wicklow win a lineout.
Great work by Wicklow forwards Niall Hardy, Liam Gaffney and company saw John Campbell get the touch down for Wicklow’s fourth try. Shaun O’Brien converted. Timmy O’Donovan, Kyle Warren and Jamie Clarke all came on and indeed all contributed to Wicklow’s best try.
A good tackle by Timmy O’Donovan led to a line out which Niall Hardy won. Wick- low moved the ball across the line.
Good work by Charlie Butterworth and Liam Gaffney saw Ben Doyle send John Campbell in for his third try and Wicklow’s fifth.
Wicklow’s performance in the second-half was much improved and now move into the knockout stage of the Leinster League where they have a home draw and the likely opponents are Tullamore.
This fixture will not be till the new year and it is hoped to have the South East final before Christmas.
Panel: D. Acres, S. Doyle, R. Hurley, L. Gaffney, J. Jenkinson, G. Kinnane, N. Hardy, L. Cullen, J. Kilgannon, K. Warren, D. Heraughty, S. Breen, S. Roberts, K. O’Mahony, J. Clarke, J. Campbell, D. Higgins B. Armstrong, P. Naughton, C. Butterworth, E. Downes, S. O’Brien, T. O’Donovan, S. DuMoulin, J. Flood, R. Hurley, B. Doyle, A. Keogh, R. Vilcuks.
Shane Gill on the break for Wicklow U-11s, supported by Stephen Acres.