Wick­low U-16s beat Port­laoise in thriller

Bray People - - Sport -

Wick­low 25, Port­laoise 17: Wick­low and Port­laoise served up a fes­tive feast of rugby at Ash­town Lane on Satur­day.

Wick­low knew this was a must win game and im­me­di­ately set about their task. From the kick­off Wick­low were awarded a scrum on the half­way line and de­spite fac­ing a much big­ger eight the Wick­low scrum laid down a marker and drove the op­po­si­tion back re­leas­ing num­ber eight Daniel Man­nian into the space and fol­low­ing great sup­port play were stopped short of the line il­le­gally.

Ja­son Byrne took the tap penalty and smashed over for the open­ing try. Wick­low claimed the kick off and went straight back into the Port­laoise 22 but were kept out by some ex­cel­lent de­fence.

Port­laoise were re­warded for their hard work when on 12 min­utes they were awarded a penalty on the Wick- low five me­tre line which they passed to their big prop who drove over from close to the line. Their out-half con­verted.

Six min­utes later Wick­low were awarded a penalty in the Port­laoise 22. The penalty move worked to per­fec­tion and Daniel Man­nian scored. Ben Porter con­verted.

With three min­utes left in the half the Port­laoise backs put to­gether a fine move to score wide on the left. Twelve all at half-time and all to play for. Port­laoise started the sec­ond-half at­tack­ing the Wick­low line and five min­utes into the half were ahead again, scor­ing a try fol­low­ing a sus­tained pe­riod of pres­sure.

In the 18th minute fol­low­ing a break by Daniel Man­nian and some ex­cel­lent sup­port play and in­ter­change by and be­tween Shane Car­roll, Judd Byrne, Kil­lian Her­aughty, and Seán Dempsey, Mark Hig­gins was given per­fect ball which the Wick­low backs flashed wide for Ben Porter to score wide on the right.

Wick­low then took con­trol of the game and pinned Port­laoise into their half. Kevin Wylie ran ev­ery Port­laoise kick back with in­ter­est.

Neill O’Brien was un­lucky not to score. An­drew Con­way and Ryan Don­nelly stopped the op­po­si­tion in their tracks ev­ery time. Wick­low de­served and got an­other try on the stroke of full-time when af­ter the for­wards set up fast ball An­drew Con­way scored wide on the left.

Wick­low squad: An­drew Boyce, William O’Reilly, Ja­son Byrne, Shane Car­roll, Kil­lian Her­aughty, Judd Byrne, Seán Dempsey, Daniel Man­nian, Mark Hig­gins, Ben Porter, An­drew Con­way, Ryan Don­nelly, David Arm­strong, Neill O’Brien, Kevin Wylie, Frankie Mar­ron, Shane Byrne, Daniel O’Brien, Kevin Dunne, Ciarán Mo­ran, Shane Con­roy.

Kil­lian He­garty of Wick­low Un­der-16s drives for­ward against Port­laoise on Satur­day (Photo: Or­laith Maguire).

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