Tul­low power past help­less Rath­drum

Bray People - - SPORT -

RATH­DRUM'S Pro­vin­cial Towns Cup cam­paign came to an abrupt end when last year's run­ners up, Tul­low, came to town.

Tul­low pre­vented the home side from putting any scores on the board. Although the first half showed a poor per­for­mance from Rath­drum, the sec­ond half was all about the home side's ef­forts and Tul­low's de­fense, with some ex­cit­ing ac­tion along the Rath­drum five yard line.

The ref­eree barely had time to turn around, be­fore the vis­i­tors had made their way into Rath­drum's half, with Frank Murphy touch­ing down for a try af­ter less than two min­utes. Murphy sailed over the line, right by the posts leav­ing for an easy con­ver­sion for Tul­low's Wil­liam Canavan.

This early move from the hands of An­drew Turner, Alan Deer­ing and Frank Murphy set the mantra for the game; good tries from Tul­low in ex­cel­lent po­si­tions leav­ing the ma­jor­ity of con­ver­sions easy for Canavan.

Af­ter eight min­utes, Tul­low had scored their sec­ond try. A Canavan ball came from the back of a scrum to John Han­bidge who went over the line right at the posts. Canavan again con­verted bring­ing the score to 14-0.

What was start­ing out as a cool crisp day, great weather for rugby, quickly changed, with the rain slow­ing the game down at the 10th minute.

Af­ter 15 min­utes, Tul­low made a change bring­ing on John Fitzger­ald for Stephen Smith who went off in­jured.

Frank Murphy scored his sec­ond try of the day af­ter the 24th minute. A li­ne­out in the home side's favour was stolen by Sean McCarthy. Af­ter three phases, Murphy went un­der the post for a try. Canavan kicked this con­ver­sion bring­ing the vis­i­tors to a storming lead of 21-0, just a quar­ter of the way into the game.

Tul­low's pack was up to scratch on the day, with some ex­cel­lent scrum­mag­ing. Af­ter 33mins, Tul­low turned over a Rath­drum scum. John Fitzger­ald stole the ball from the scrum, and a move to John Han­bidge saw him bring the ball safely over the line for Tul­low's fourth try. Canavan had a tough con­ver­sion against the wind, which he un­for­tu­nately missed.

The vis­i­tors made some changes in the sec­ond half, with Paul 'Pookie' Canavan re­plac­ing Dar­ren Dunne. Cil­lian Murphy tem­po­rar­ily came on for Murphy, who made a re­turn to pitch around the 65th minute.

Af­ter the 50th minute, the front row seen a huge change, with Joe O'Connor re­plac­ing Sam Cor­ri­gan and Scott Cald­beck re­placed Alan Burns.

An­drew Turner put in a mas­sive run in the 70th minute to get Tul­low's fifth try. A high kick from Rath­drum's full­back, Rob Win­ter­bot­tom, sent the ball sail­ing into Tul­low's 22, where it was grabbed by Aaron Daly.

Daly passed it to Roche, who then made a move to Turner. Speed and fancy foot­work seen Turner go over the line, run­ning al­most half the length of the field, leav­ing the home side trail­ing be­hind him. Canavan con­verted bring­ing the score to 330.

Wil­liam Canavan scored the fi­nal try of the game al­most at the last minute. He went over the line in the cor­ner. This brought the score to 38-0, a mas­sive open­ing win in the cup cam­paign for the vis­i­tors.

Tul­low put in a huge per­for­mance in the first half, in the wet weather con­di­tions, against the wind. The sec­ond half was ex­pected to be eas­ier, with the wind in their favour.

How­ever, Rath­drum came back fight­ing in the sec­ond half. A mas­sive ef­fort from the home side saw some ex­cit­ing ac­tion along their five yard line. How­ever, Tul­low put in a mas­sive de­fense, leav­ing them with­out a score on the board.

Rath­drum have never been in the Pro­vin­cial Towns Cup fi­nal, while Tul­low have had some con­sid­er­able success in it in re­cent years.

Rath­drum had im­pres­sive per­for­mances from Michael Dowl­ing, Barry Shee­han, Ro­nan Phe­lan and Rob Win­ter­bot­tom.

Rath­drum: C.Done­gan, N.Cross, S. Byrne, K. Doyle, J. Emery, D. Walsh, M. Dowl­ing, B. Shee­han, S. Kinsella, R. Phe­lan, I. Snell, J. Con­way, S. Burch, C. Phe­lan, C. Par­sons, R. Win­ter­bot­tom. Rep: V. Kingston, M. Driver, M. Bin­ions.

The Rath­drum side had no an­swer for the Tul­low on­slaught.

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