Malahide fight back bravely but fall short

Fingal Independent - - SPORT - BY PAUL BYRNE

MALAHIDE are still look­ing for their first away win in the AIL fol­low­ing a 10-point loss to Dublin ri­vals Sea­point on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Di­vi­sion 2C new­com­ers Malahide have now won two and lost two of their open­ing four games, with both losses com­ing away from home. In truth this was a com­fort­able vic­tory for the hosts who led 25-0 at one stage, but two late tries from Malahide put a bet­ter look on the score­board for the vis­i­tors.

Malahide went into the game with­out the ex­pe­ri­ence of Mike Ross and they were also dealt a blow be­fore­hand as out half Conal Keane was ruled out. Keane has played a huge part in Malahide’s back-to-back pro­mo­tions and his ac­cu­racy with the placed ball was sorely lack­ing against Sea­point.

Malahide knew that this was go­ing to be a tough bat­tle given Sea­point’s ex­cel­lent home record. Eric Miller’s side went into the game on a five-match un­beaten home run, beat­ing Mi­dle­ton, Rainey, Kan­turk and Ban­gor twice in Kil­bogget Park.

Malahide coach Rick Evans knew that th­ese were the type of games his side had to over­come should they be look­ing to gate­crash the top four in Di­vi­sion 2C, but Sea­point got off to a steady start, scor­ing two penal­ties in the open­ing five min­utes to open up a six-point lead.

It was 13-0 five min­utes later as a well-worked li­ne­out saw the ball pop out to the Sea­point winger who found a gap in the Malahide de­fence be­fore div­ing over the white­wash.

A sec­ond try for Sea­point ar­rived five min­utes later as some nice in­ter­play in mid­field re­sulted in the ball be­ing switched out wide for the speedy winger to go in for try num­ber two. That try was suc­cess­fully con­verted and Malahide were now strug­gling, with the score­board read­ing 20-0 to the hosts.

A night­mare first half ended on a sour note for Malahide as Sea­point once more punched a hole in the Malahide de­fence be­fore go­ing over in the cor­ner. The con­ver­sion may have been missed, but as the sides went in at the break Sea­point would have been very sat­is­fied with their first-half per­for­mance which saw them go in 25-0 ahead.

Malahide fi­nally got on the board im­me­di­ately af­ter the restart

DIV 2C TA­BLE

as Shane O’brien slot­ted over a penalty to make it 25-3.

Min­utes later the gap was re­duced still fur­ther as the al­ways re­li­able Mar­cus Mcallister bull­dozed his way over the try line to make it 25-8 and give his side a glim­mer of hope.

Colin Cork­ery failed to add the ex­tras, but Malahide looked re-en­er­gised now and were en­joy­ing their most dom­i­nant pe­riod of the game.

Cork­ery made amends for that missed con­ver­sion with a sump­tu­ous solo try late on be­fore adding the con­ver­sion to make it 25-15.

Malahide con­tin­ued to press hard in the fi­nal 10 min­utes, but to Sea­point’s credit they stood firm and de­servedly left the pitch with a 25-15 vic­tory over a game Malahide side.

MALAHIDE: Reece O’con­nell, Peter O’connor, Tom Col­lis, Cameron Ross, David Nolan, Si­mon Kin­sella, Chris O’brien, David Whately, Hugo Nolan, Shane O’brien, Gary Robb, John Kennedy, David Mon­gan, John O’brien, Mar­cus Mcallister.

Mar­cus Mcallister’s sec­ond-half try gave Malahide hope, but it proved too lit­tle too late at Sea­point.

Cork­ery scored a late try.

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