Aw­ful con­di­tions ruin Ark­low hopes

Bray People - - SPORT -

THE WEATHER was the en­emy in this match with a strong gale and dur­ing the game, heavy sleet, and cold pierc­ing winds all through the match.

The score line really re­flects this fact. The wind was in Ark­low’s favour for the first 40 min­utes but it was dif­fi­cult to judge, and even with the wind in Ark­low’s favour progress by the home side was stodgy due to the un­der­foot con­di­tions and han­dling dif­fi­cul­ties.

Play­ing the wind re­quires a cer­tain know-how and Ark­low judg­ment and ac­cu­racy were off a lit­tle in the con­di­tions. It took Ark­low about 20 min­utes to es­tab­lish a rhythm and struc­ture to the game.

Ark­low’s for­wards won their share of the ball, and their maul­ing and ruck­ing were good. Han­dling in the con­di­tions was good at times but even­tu­ally the ball was a li­a­bil­ity. Cer­tainly both teams dropped the ball at the last try scor­ing pass, which was un­der­stand­able. Half time ar­rived with no side on the score board.

The sleet started dur­ing the break and at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond half the pitch was even more try­ing, with pools of water and mud around the field.

All play­ers were soon un­able to hold the ball or keep their feet and tack­les slipped of due to the mud on all jer­seys. Ark­low gave a bet­ter ac­count in the sec­ond half, re­pelling at­tacks with good foot­ball and try­ing to score, when­ever the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self.

For the lat­ter half of the game Ark­low were press­ing the Eden­derry try line but due to good de­fense man­aged to keep the home side out. A break late in the game saw Eden­derry get up to the Ark­low 22 line and a harsh call by the ref­eree gave Eden­derry a penalty straight in front of the Ark­low posts, which was con­verted much to the joy of the Eden­derry sup­port­ers. Ark­low still had a chance as they se­cured the kick off ball and were awarded a penalty with just one minute on the clock but about 35 me­ters out.

The wind was just too strong to kick at goal and Ark­low ran the ball right up to the 5 me­ter line but could not cross the line de­spite shift­ing their point of at­tack across the line. Even­tu­ally time ran out for Ark­low and the fi­nal whis­tle brought the game to a close much to all the play­ers de­light.

Ark­low can now they can con­cen­trate on the Towns Plate and their three re­main­ing league matches.

Team: Pat Bren­nan, Eoin O Scan­naill, John Louth, Ian Hart, Tom McDon­ald, Ai­den Louth, Jonny But­ter­worth, Richard Murphy, John Fur­long, Hugh Byrne, Mark Hynes, Mark Van Es­beck (C), Shane Nalty, Clive Ho­ran, Dean McCor­mack, David Mul­rooney, Rob McCor­mack, Shane McAl­lis­ter, Kieran McCarthy.

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