Wick­low Un­der-18s see off En­nis­cor­thy chal­lenge

RUGBY SOUTH EAST LEAGUE

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

Wick­low 29, En­nis­cor­thy 10: Wick­low en­ter­tained En­nis­cor­thy U-18s on Satur­day last and had to work hard to over­come the de­ter­mined Wex­ford side in this South East League match.

Wick­low started well enough and af­ter a good scrum John Camp­bell scored from the en­su­ing ruck. How­ever, this seemed to spur the vis­i­tors on and when Wick­low failed to clear the ball af­ter a penalty at­tempt by En­nis­cor­thy the vis­i­tors moved the ball wide for their winger to score.

Wick­low showed all the signs of not hav­ing played a match for four weeks with slow enough re­ac­tions, poor tackling and the ruck­ing was not up to their usual stan­dard. En­nis­cor­thy took the lead when Wick­low again failed to clear the ball prop­erly, which even­tu­ally led to their sec­ond try.

Wick­low’s scrum was solid enough with the front three of Johnny Flood, Shaun O’Brien and Stephen Roberts and it was in the for­wards that Wick­low even­tu­ally re­gained con­trol of this game.

Al­though not back to his best yet, Char­lie But­ter­worth put in an enor­mous amount of work around the field and with good sup­port from Liam Gaffney, Kyle War­ren and John Camp­bell Wick­low worked their way up field.

Some good work by the Wick­low backs in­volv­ing James Kil­gan­non and Gar­rett Kin­nane en­abled Ray Hur­ley to make a break deep into the En­nis­cor­thy 22 and from the fol­low­ing ruck Den­nis Hig­gins sent the ever present John Jenk­in­son un­der the posts for the first of his two tries. Den­nis con­verted to leave the half-time score 12-10 in Wick­low’s favour.

In the sec­ond-half Wick­low raised their game and with Si­mon Breen en­sur­ing Wick­low stayed on the of­fen­sive with some neat kick­ing Wick­low pres­surised their op­po­nents.

A good line-out ball taken on by the pack led to Shaun O’Brien go­ing over for a try out wide.

Wick­low con­tin­ued to press and Ben Arm­strong who had been play­ing well was un­lucky not to score when a long pass to him by Char­lie But­ter­worth was judged to have been for­ward. Some good work by Kil­lian O’Ma­hony and Timmy O’Dono­van put Wick­low on the at­tack again and af­ter a nice break by Den­nis Hig­gins was well sup­ported by the en­er­getic Ed­die Downes who in turn sent Char­lie But­ter­worth un­der the posts to score.

Jamie Clarke came on and put in a great tackle to stop a danger­ous looking at­tack by the En­nis­cor­thy winger. David Acres was very solid at full-back and cleared his lines at ev­ery call. Aaron Keogh got in some good tack­les when he came on which kept Wick­low on the of­fen­sive.

To their credit En­nis­cor­thy never gave up and were un­lucky not to score when their out­stand­ing num­ber eight knocked the ball on close to the Wick­low line. Wick­low’s last score was started when Roland Vil­cuks cleaned up a scrappy ball which was kicked down field by Si­mon Breen and when Seán Doyle chased up putting the En­nis­cor­thy winger un­der pres­sure Wick­low were awarded a penalty and the quick think­ing John Jenk­in­son took a quick tap and crashed over for his sec­ond try.

Wick­low’s Le­in­ster League semi-fi­nal will be played on Satur­day the 28th as the other quar­ter-fi­nal takes place on Satur­day next.

Wick­low are likely to play the win­ners of Naas and Tul­lam­ore. If Wick­low are to progress to the fi­nal a huge im­prove­ment all round is re­quired by ev­ery mem­ber of this squad.

Char­lie But­ter­worth in action for Wick­low Un­der-18s against En­nis­cor­thy

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