Awful conditions ruin Arklow hopes
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.