Sec­onds bow out of Towns Cup in Na­van

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

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.

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