Rathdrum shake off cob­webs with home vic­tory

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

RATHDRUM kicked off their sea­son by host­ing Old Wes­ley in a ‘friendly’ at the Ivy Leaf grounds last week­end.

The end of the sum­mer has been very ac­tive on the train­ing pitch with Neil ‘Shorty’ Short back at the coach­ing helm of the Rathdrum out­fit.

Rathdrum have a core of reg­u­lars who en­joy play­ing the flow­ing game Shorty em­ploys on the pitch.

This sea­son Rathdrum also wel­come back Shane Byrne and Sean Kin­sella who have been out with a long-term in­jury, it’s great to see them both back at the Ivy Leaf in a Rathdrum shirt.

The game, a warmup for both teams, was played in 20-minute ses­sions and was a real chance to blow off a few cob­webs and so­lid­ify the game plans for the com­ing sea­son.

The con­di­tions for Septem­ber well suited to a warm-up match. The game while com­pet­i­tive was played in the spirt of rugby and en­joyed by both teams.

It was a flow­ing but a rel­a­tively low scor­ing af­fair, end­ing 12-7 to Rathdrum. Rathdrum clearly were well drilled, cy­cling the ball through the for­wards.

How­ever, there was very much ev­i­dence of the rust as of­ten a promis­ing at­tack fiz­zled out of­ten due to sim­ple er­ror.

Old Wes­ley also of­fered stern op­po­si­tion adding seven of their own in what was a well worked try.

Rathdrum’s hard work in the for­wards was re­warded with two tries, one by the Cap­tain Matt Bin­nion’s and a su­perb in­di­vid­ual ef­fort by Conor Parsons.

The game plan showed off Shorty’s nat­u­ral flair for ex­pan­sive rugby which al­lows the team to ac­tively pres­sur­ize the op­po­si­tion with fast for­ward play while the backs are of­ten re­warded with space.

How­ever, de­spite the pres­sure there seemed a de­gree of panic and Rathdrum failed to cap­i­talise, credit must also go to Old Wes­ley’s solid de­fense clos­ing down Rathdrum.

‘Rathdrum Rugby Club would like to thank Old Wes­ley for pro­vid­ing solid com­pe­ti­tion for the warmup game and wish them well for the com­ing sea­son,’ said a club spokesper­son.

The sea­son starts in earnest this Fri­day as Rathdrum travel to UCD for an 8pm kick­off in Belfield grounds.

This com­ing week should al­low the team to re­group and iron out the creases ahead of what is usu­ally a com­pet­i­tive and closely fought game.

Team that played Old Wes­ley:

1. S Fen­nel, 2. S Byrne, 3. R Smith, 4. M Bin­nions, 5. S Burch,

6. C Swords, 7. R Brad­shaw, 8. D Dowl­ing, 9. S Kin­sella, 10. C Parsons, 11. I Snell, 12. D Phe­lan,

13. D Hef­feran, 14. N Fen­nel, 15. F O’Toole, 16. S Lee, 17. P Hud­son,

18. K Merry.

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