No joy for Ark­low

RUGBY LE­IN­STER LEAGUE DIVI­SION 2

Bray People - - Sport -

Ark­low R.F.C. 3, Por­tar­ling­ton R.F.C. 30: Hav­ing beaten Wick­low R.F.C. only one week ear­lier by 21 points to 20, this would have given Ark­low’s con­fi­dence a boost and ex­pec­ta­tions were height­ened, but alas it was not to be, de­spite any short­age of com­mit­ment of the Ark­low side.

The match started off at a great pace with both sides at­tack­ing, with Por­tar­ling­ton just ap­ply­ing the more ef­fec­tive pres­sure, in the Ark­low half of the pitch. Too of­ten wild kick­ing by Ark­low al­lowed Por­tar­ling­ton to counter at­tack from deep. Por­tar­ling­ton were first to score with a du­bi­ous penalty from close in. Ark­low now went on the of­fen­sive and were re­warded with a close in penalty, which was sent over by Shane Nalty.

From the restart Por­tar­ling­ton put Ark­low un­der con­tin­u­ous pres­sure with some strong ruck­ing and maul­ing which re­sulted in an­other penalty, which was con­verted.

This en­cour­aged Por­tar­ling­ton to raise the pace and be more ad­ven­tur­ous and from an­other du­bi­ous call by the ref­eree gave them an easy penalty at the posts, which was struck well.

Ark­low still were fight­ing hard and were un­lucky not to have a try af­ter a great break by Jonny But­ter­worth was stopped one me­tre short of the try line.

Ark­low’s not find­ing touch al­lowed Por­tar­ling­ton to counter from deep and with Ark­low backs dis­or­gan­ised they crossed the try line near the Ark­low posts the con­ver­sion was a for­mal­ity.

Half-time beck­oned with still great hope that Ark­low could sal­vage some­thing from the match as they were giv­ing as good as they got. The half-time score was Ark­low 3, Por­tar­ling­ton 13.

What­ever team started best in the sec­ond-half would stand the best chance of winning this game and so it turned out, but cru­elly for Ark­low an­other wrong call al­lowed Por­tar­ling­ton a penalty from which they re­acted very quickly un­der the guid­ance of a good play maker in their back­line, who spot­ted Ark­low mo­men­tary lapse of con­cen­tra­tion and scored a try in the cor­ner which was con­verted by a good kick.

Now Ark­low picked up their game and kept their op­po­nents back in their own half but could not make a telling break be­hind the well-mar­shalled Por­tar­ling­ton back­line.

Por­tar­ling­ton went up the field and scored an­other penalty. Por­tar­ling­ton started to move the ball quickly from for­wards to backs that were now full of con­fi­dence and straight run­ning and were no dif­fer­ent from their for­wards in size and weight. Ark­low strug­gled to keep them out. Con­stant de­fence is very tir­ing and any team that has to de­fend con­tin­u­ously will crack un­der the on­slaught.

So it was with Ark­low they tried, and strug­gled vainly to keep their op­po­nents from the try line. The Ark­low tackling was of the high­est qual­ity and they did not fal­ter at any time, even though some of the Ark­low backs are in their first sea­son of rugby in Ark­low.

Brav­ery is some­times not enough and the big­ger backs and the adrenalin of con­fi­dence saw Por­tar­ling­ton home with an­other fine try and con­ver­sion. Ark­low can take some pride from their ef­forts as they kept fight­ing un­til the fi­nal whis­tle.

Next week is the last league match of this sea­son though not the last match and is away to Ashbourne who are vy­ing for pro­mo­tion and will be a dif­fi­cult fix­ture. It would be nice to end this league with a win.

Ark­low held a 200-ticket draw for two Cor­po­rate Box tick­ets to the Ire­land v. Eng­land match, with an overnight stay in the Green Isle Ho­tel, for two, was won by Michael Fitz­patrick of Ark­low Ship­ping. Ark­low Rugby Club is grate­ful to our spon­sor Mr. Brian Bren­nan of the Ark­low Bay Ho­tel for his gen­eros­ity to Ark­low Rugby Club in do­nat­ing this very at­trac­tive prize.

Team from E. Clancy. J. Louth, (C) A. Plun­kett, K. Kier­nan, I. Hart, M. O’Neill, A. Louth, T. O Scanaill, C. White, S. Nalty, J. But­ter­worth, S. Vig­ors, R. McCarty, J. Fur­long, D. McCarty, R. Vig­ors, B. Byrne, P. Doyle, E. O Scanaill.

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