Ash­bourne’s big loss in f

Fingal Independent - - SPORT -

ASH­BOURNE have long since given up hope of re­tain­ing their Leinster League Di­vi­sion 1A ti­tle this sea­son, but their fate was sealed math­e­mat­i­cally when go­ing down heav­ily to their likely suc­ces­sors in En­nis­cor­thy last Satur­day.

The away side did not get any fes­tive cheer at the Wex­ford venue, although the fi­nal score is mis­lead­ing as it was a close af­fair un­til the home side put the game to bed in the last quar­ter.

Ash­bourne played well in the first half and were asked to de­fend for long pe­ri­ods of time against the run­away lead­ers. The vis­i­tors were miss­ing a few reg­u­lars but still had a strong side out and were look­ing to take some­thing out of the game.

Both sides played good rugby, with En­nis­cor­thy mov­ing the ball well across their back­line where they have real strength. Ash­bourne de­fended well, how­ever, and though un­der pres­sure they did not seem trou­bled by it.

It took un­til the 20th minute for En­nis­cor­thy to get the break­through as a miss-pass to the right cre­ated space for their winger to get in for an un­con­verted try.

En­nis­cor­thy added two more penal­ties in the half, but Ash­bourne were still in it and when the home side got a red card for a no-arm tackle on Jake Wall it was a po­ten­tial turn­ing point. Donal Crotty con­verted the penalty and Ash­bourne went into the break 11-3 be­hind.

In­stead of Ash­bourne push­ing on af­ter the restart, though, 14-man En­nis­cor­thy lifted their game. They stuck early from the kick­ing tee with three points.

Con­nolly re­sponded with a well-worked Ash­bourne try from an ex­tended pe­riod of pres­sure, show­ing great pace and strength to score and leave his team trail­ing by just six points - 14-8.

How­ever, the last 20 min­utes

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