Arklow put up brave showing in defeat to Newbridge
ARKLOW WERE never outclassed by their Division 2 opponents in this second round Provincial Towns Cup match played in Dublin in order to facilitate people going to the evening international.
Newbridge were the better side over the full 80 minutes of this energetic tie. Newbridge must have expected an easy win as they won a lot of ball in the first 20 minutes but managed to spill it or were tackled well by the Arklow backline and backrow.
We had to wait almost 22 minutes for the first score by Newbridge, a penalty from inside the Arklow 22-metre area. Having given away the penalty Arklow began to claw their way into the Newbridge half and occasionally into the Newbridge danger area and Mark Van Esbeck put over a cool penalty to even the score.
A missed penalty kick to touch allowed Newbridge to counter-attack the Arklow try line, the Newbridge winger produced a good grubber kick to score a nice try following up his own kick. The conversion was missed.
Eight points to three but Arklow were not giving an inch and made life uncomfortable for Newbridge until near the end of the first half when Newbridge were awarded another penalty which was kicked to lead eleven points to three at half-time.
The second half started well for Newbridge, running in a try, which they failed to convert but were moving the scoreboard along efficiently. Arklow were not lacking in commitment, but kept plugging away at Newbridge time after time.
Arklow were inside the Newbridge 22 but could not manage to cross the white line had they been able to score this end result may have been a little different. Late in the half Newbridge broke from their own 22 and ran the all the way to score another fine try by a very speedy winger making the score 21-3.
Newbridge ran in a further try before Arklow scored a very good try to end this match on a high. Arklow played extremely well throughout this game and need not be too despondent with the final result.
Heart and courage is not always enough to win a match, but over the course of this season it has shown how this team has progressed by finishing strongly.
Next week Arklow return to the league with the third match in the series against Rathdrum.
By now we know each other too well so it has the potential to be a hazard for Arklow, so because we won the previous engagements the scores were narrowing and previous results mean absolutely nothing.
Arklow beware of overconfidence and complacency.
Arklow panel: John Louth, Charlie Louth, Tommy Godkin, Stephen Snell, Garret Dunne, Ian Hart, Ross Vigors, Tom McDonald, Aidan Louth, Mark O’Neill, Mark Van Esbeck, Dean McCormack, Rob McCormack, Shane Nalty (Capt.), John Furlong, Stephen Considine, Dan Squibb, Lee Horan, Phillip O’Leary, Michael Furlong.