Wicklow U-19s into third round
WICKLOW UNDER-19'S took on a much fancied Naas team at Ashtown Lane in the second round of the cup on Saturday and showed just what a strong team they are with a 19 points to 10 victory.
Wicklow opened the scoring with a penalty by Ben Porter when Naas were guilty of hands in the ruck. Wicklow were playing far the better rugby but three minutes later they were severely punished for their one and only lapse in concentration when the Naas winger evaded some tackles and touched down in the left corner which their full back converted.
Wicklow settled again and put immense pressure on Naas but great defending kept them out. Wicklow too had to absorb great pressure. Killian Heraughty somehow took down the Naas winger when he was about to score a second try. Wicklow showed fantastic patience and discipline and with three minutes left in the half Ben Porter scored another penalty to leave the bare minimum between the teams at half-time.
Naas exerted massive pressure for the first ten minutes of the second half and were rewarded with a penalty to put them four points ahead. Wicklow dug deep and time after time pushed Naas back which unsettled them as they began to give up penalties. Mark Higgins and Ben Porter gladly moved Wicklow down the lines and in the 18th minute of the half Ben Porter slotted over another penalty.
The Naas indiscipline was killing them and Ben Porter gained the lead for Wicklow with another fine kick. Naas were rattled and when Kyle Warren smashed his opposite number causing him to drop the ball, Alvaro Callejas picked up, out sprinted everyone and literally flew in under the posts. Ben Porter converted. Then came the big test. Naas threw everything at Wicklow but their defence was fantastic coming up with big tackle after big tackle, turn over after turn over. There was no way they were going to let Naas in. Wicklow finished the game on the attack but did not complain when the referee blew the final whistle.
Wicklow: Alvaro Callejas, Jason Byrne, Simon Dunne, Jamie O Boyle, Killian O Mahony, Killian Heraughty, Neill Dickenson, Judd Byrne, Tom Downes, Mark Higgins, Karl Townsend Smith, Michael Doyle, Wayne Browne, Kevin Wylie, Ben Porter, Ben Mangan, Andrew Boyce, Kyle Warren, Gerry Mora Kelly, Barry Orr, Eoin O Sullivan, Shane Byrne. Elsewhere, the Under-13s fine run in the Leinster League came to an end Saturday with a 10-5 defeat to Navan in Portlaoise, despite a fine performance.