Good away vic­tory for fast im­prov­ing Ark­low team

Bray People - - SPORT -

ARK­LOW AGAIN scored a very good away win and are im­prov­ing week on week. The qual­ity of the rugby, par­tic­u­larly in the first half, was of a very high stan­dard. Ark­low played against the wind and North Meath kick­ers seem to have per­fected their kick­ing into their op­po­nents 22 and ruck and maul from there in.

Ark­low up­set this strat­egy from the off and coun­tered from in­side their own 22 very quickly, and had a penalty kick in­side the first three min­utes from a great steal by Ross Vig­ors which has well kicked by Mark Van Es­beck. Ark­low 3-0.

The match was overly ag­gres­sive at times and in the first ten min­utes North Meath had a man sin-binned, and Ark­low made his bin­ning count with an­other well struck penalty by Mark Van Es­beck. Ark­low now had six points and they were get­ting points with each visit to North Meath 22. North Meath scored a try af­ter a penalty kick to the Ark­low cor­ner and a se­ries of quick pass­ing across their back line they scored at the cor­ner flag.

This try was not con­verted and the score now was North Meath 5, Ark­low 6, but Ark­low were play­ing con­fi­dently and with pur­pose. Ark­low were in their op­po­nents 22 and launch­ing at­tack af­ter at­tack and with a great pack ef­fort, they pushed North Meath fur­ther North and scored an ex­cel­lent push over try led by Shane Byrne whose ex­pe­ri­ence in these sit­u­a­tions is a plea­sure to watch. His cool head is a great help to all in the pack. The con­ver­sion was straight for­ward, North Meath 5, Ark­low 13 points. Now the game for some strange rea­son went to un­con­tested scrums and the Ark­low ad­van­tage in this area was nul­li­fied and this match was made far­ci­cal as North Meath had no re­serve prop and Ark­low were the losers. Half­time saw Ark­low lead­ing 13 points to North Meath 5 points.

The sec­ond half started well for Ark­low again with a great at­tack by Dean McCor­mack but missed a try by not pass­ing on the ball to an un­marked Ark­low winger in a two on one sit­u­a­tion but he had made great ground and was al­ways a dan­ger to North Meath.

Fur­ther pres­sure by Ark­low’s backs saw Dean McCor­mack ob­structed when he tried to run on to the ball af­ter his own kick ahead the ref­eree man­aged to miss this. Ten min­utes in Ark­low now scored an­other good try by the for­wards who fin­ished off a se­ries of at­tacks with this try. Now Ark­low were com­fort­able with the score­line of 18 points to 5. A great break by Rob McCor­mack to bring play into the North's 22 and a fur­ther five points were added to Ark­low’s tally and this game was run­ning Ark­low’s way. The con­ver­sion was missed so the score­line was now 23 points to Ark­low North Meath five points. At this point the ref­eree de­cided to equalise this game with un­con­tested scrums from the first half and Ark­low con­ced­ing ques­tion­able penal­ties North Meath ran in two tries.

North Meath were al­lowed to stage a come­back from a game in which Ark­low, who were the vis­i­tors, were the bet­ter side all through this en­counter. The whole Ark­low team and re­place­ments were ex­cep­tional on the day and de­serve great praise for their dis­play.

The Ark­low backs are start­ing to show some nice touches and are pass­ing more con­fi­dently than hereto­fore. Ark­low had good sup­port­ers who trav­elled to this match and their morale boost was ap­pre­ci­ated by the team. Next week it’s Guin­ness RFC in Ark­low and this is a must win match for Ark­low as Ark­low should have beaten Guin­ness RFC in Dublin when they met there last time.

Ark­low: John Louth, Tommy God­kin, Char­lie Louth, Stephen Snell, Ian Hart, Luke Bul­mer, Ross Vig­ors, Tom McDon­ald, Ai­dan Louth, Shane Byrne, Mark Hynes, Mark Van Es­beck, Dean McCor­mack, Rob McCor­mack, Shane Nalty (Capt.), John Fur­long, Stephen Con­si­dine, Dan Squibb, Lee Ho­ran, Phillip O’Leary, Peter Doyle, Billy Guil­foyle.

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