Good Ark­low start de­railed by Union

Bray People - - SPORT -


ARK­LOW’S first game of the new year was a must-win and de­feat­ing league lead­ers Rail­way Union on a cold but clear af­ter­noon away in Don­ny­brook was never go­ing to be an easy feat. Ark­low needed the win to keep their chances of a sec­ond place pro­mo­tion play-off place afloat but to­day was not to be the day.

Ark­low came out with all guns blaz­ing and ham­mered at the Rail­way de­fence and were im­me­di­ately awarded a penalty which was kicked deep into the Rail­way 22.

Ark­low won the line-out, broke quickly and with some nifty off­loads sent Shane Byrne un­der­neath the posts within the open­ing min­utes. A start Ark­low could only have dreamed of mak­ing.

The vis­i­tors were still livid and Rail­way had re­sorted to kick­ing any ball they had re­ceived as a re­sult of be­ing un­der such fe­ro­cious pres­sure from the Ark­low de­fence. The Wicklow side’s pres­sure paid off once again and af­ter 10 min­utes Shane Macal­lis­ter made an in­ter­cep­tion at the half way line and broke to score an­other de­served try. Leav­ing it 12-0 af­ter 10 min­utes and leav­ing the Rail­way team and sup­port­ers in ut­ter dis­be­lief.

Ark­low's kick­ing out of hand in the first half was su­perb and a cheeky grub­ber kick from scrum half Gavin Byrne nearly sent Ark­low in for a third try af­ter 30 min­utes but it was knocked-on on the try line. Ark­low con­tin­ued to pile on the pres­sure but to of lit­tle avail, a con­verted penalty by Clive Ho­ran their fi­nal score.

Af­ter the penalty, and lead­ing 15-0 Ark­low took the foot off the pedal and Rail­ways seized the op­por­tu­nity to at­tack. Play­ing a team of Rail­ways cal­i­bre any op­por­tu­ni­ties given would be cap­i­talised on, and af­ter 33 min­utes the Rail­way cen­ter made a great break to fin­ish off a nice try un­der­neath the posts. The con­ver­sion was missed and this still left Ark­low in the driv­ing seat go­ing into half-time lead­ing 15-5.

To par­don the cliché, this cer­tainly was a game of two halves. Ark­low came out a shadow of the team they were in the first half and Rail­way came out re­ju­ve­nated.

But af­ter a se­ries of penal­ties Rail­way re­ceived a penalty in the Ark­low 22 which was duly con­verted, this was to be one of many. Rail­way had came back fight­ing and af­ter 60 min­utes gone Rail­way were lead­ing 17-15 af­ter an­other three gifted penal­ties.

With 15 min­utes left to play Rail­way ran over their sec­ond try of the game with an­other break from the backs, the Ark­low heads had dropped and Rail­way ran in their third with rel­a­tive ease two min­utes later leav­ing the score 27-15 both flat­ter­ing Rail­way and deny­ing Ark­low a los­ing bonus point.

It would be very easy to be pes­simistic about this re­sult and while it doesnt do much for the teams con­fi­dence to lose, there is a lot to be learned from a re­sult like this and it is great to see the team work­ing as a unit with such heart and show such pride in don­ning the Ark­low jersey.

The pro­mo­tion bat­tle con­tin­ues next week with Ark­low at home to Athy.

Team: Pat Bren­nan, Stephen Snell, Shane Byrne, Ian Hart, Tom McDon­ald, Luke Bul­mer, Ai­den Louth, Jonny But­ter­worth, Richard Murphy, Hugh Byrne, Mark Van Es­beck (C), Shane Nalty, Clive Ho­ran, Dean McCor­mack, David Mul­rooney, Rob McCor­mack, Shane McAl­lis­ter, De­nis McCarthy, Kieran McCarthy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.