Seconds bow out of Towns Cup in Navan
Wicklow 2nds 7, Navan 2nds 17: Wicklow’s battling seconds travelled to Navan to take on one of Leinster best J2 sides in the second round of the Towns Cup.
Navan had beaten Wicklow by over 50 points in the league fixture earlier in the season. Wicklow travelled with a squad with plenty of experience and youth and were determined to come away from Meath with a victory and place in the quarter-finals of the cup.
Wicklow were slow out of the blocks and an impressive Navan were quick to register the first score of the game when a charged down kick put Wicklow under pressure. The Navan winger crossed unopposed to score. The conversion was added and Wicklow trailed by 7-0.
This early score woke Wicklow up and they came more into the game but they couldn’t break down a well organised Navan defence. Navan’s second score came against the run of play as Wicklow looked to break up field another charged down kick saw the Navan backs cross to score their second try. The conversion was added and Wicklow trailed 14-0.
A penalty was added before the break and Wicklow turned around facing a 17-0 deficit. Wicklow dominated the second-half from start to finish. The pack took control up front with excellent work from Paul Hodgkinson, David Quinn, Liam Hughes and John McSherry.
The backs led by Brian Clarke, Mark Donohue and Paddy Downey had the Meath men in all sorts of trouble but they were hampered by the sticky conditons and the narrow pitch.
Following a superb period of play, prop Anthony Clarke returning from injury drove over to score a fantastic team try. Wicklow stayed patient and went through the phases, recycling ball after ball before they crashed over to score a well deserved try.
Paddy Downey added the difficult conversion and Wicklow were back in the game at 17-7 with 25 minutes on the clock.
Navan hardly got out of their half for the remainder of the game. The Wicklow defence was superb and there was hardly a missed tackle all game. Wicklow pressed and pressed for a second score but although they got over the line on a couple of occasions the ref deemed that the ball had been held up. To their credint Navan’s defence was outstanding and their line held firm. The game finished with Wicklow hammering the Navan line.
Wicklow were disappointed not to have won and yet they can be justifiably proud for putting in an excellent performance particularly in the second-half. Wicklow’s firsts and seconds travel to Tullow next Sunday for the penultimate game in the Leinster League.