Very dis­ap­point­ing de­feat for Ark­low

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

ARK­LOW trav­elled the width of Le­in­ster to Birr with hopes of im­i­tat­ing last year’s two good per­for­mances against the Co. Of­faly club.

But the Co. Wick­low side never got out of the start­ing stalls in this game. Ark­low started this game brightly enough ap­ply­ing pres­sure in the Birr 22-me­ter area.

The pres­sure paid off to a de­gree with a well kicked three points and the lead. This was not to last too long as Birr were awarded a penalty which they took very quickly, and the vis­i­tors’ de­fense were not pre­pared, and Birr crossed the try line and added the con­ver­sion to leave it 7-3 in favour of the home side.

In ma­chine gun fash­ion Birr were awarded three more penal­ties all within five me­ters of the Ark­low try line, all of which were suc­cess­ful, and con­ver­sions were added to each try to leave Birr 28 points to three ahead of Ark­low’s.

Ark­low could not get the ball at all and for long pe­ri­ods man­fully de­fended the line but were un­able to pre­vent Birr al­most scor­ing at will. Ark­low crossed the Birr try line for a good try and con­ver­sion but found them­selves down 31-10 at half-time with a long se­cond half to come.

The vis­i­tors needed a good start to the se­cond which they got but couldn’t score and even­tu­ally Birr took con­trol of the game and ran from all over the pitch with con­fi­dence that they could score at will.

Birr con­tin­ued in this fash­ion un­til the end of this game. Ark­low were not pre­pared from the start and thought this game was go­ing to be a stroll in the park.

The Co. Wick­low side lacked com­mit­ment and de­ter­mi­na­tion and the will to win. If they pos­sess any am­bi­tion to be in con­tention at the end of this league next March, they must reload their de­ter­mi­na­tion that no other team will beat them so eas­ily.

Ark­low play­ers gave away far too many penal­ties at their own line and were not pre­pared for a quick take by Birr.

Ark­low also man­aged to an­tag­o­nise the ref­eree which was not help­ing their cause. Two yel­low cards were the di­rect re­sult of con­stant nag­ging to the match of­fi­cial.

The ele­men­tary ba­sics of rugby were miss­ing but as this is just the first game in a long league Ark­low must lift the car­pet up and sweep this game un­der it and start afresh next Sunday ver­sus North Mid­lands as Ark­low are a bet­ter team than this score line sug­gests.

Ark­low: 1. John Louth, 2. Eoin O Scan­nail, 3. An­thony O’Don­nell,

4. Joseph Bul­mer, 5. Luke Bul­mer,

6. John Fur­long, 7. Adam Slater,

8. Colm Doyle, 9. James Lam­den,

10. Dean McCor­mack, 11. Pa­trick Phe­lan, 12. Micheal O Scan­nail,

13. Jonathan But­ter­worth, 14. Billy Slater, 15. Shane Nalty, 16. Gavin Dunne, 17. Ben Byrne Di­a­per, 18. Michael Donoghue, 19. Tim Byrne,

20. Ben­jamin Ka­vanagh.

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