WITH more injuries than a large hospital in recent months, Tullow haven't had the luck needed to force a win. They put all the negatives behind them at the weekend however with a well deserved win over Clane in the first round of the Towns Cup.
With six minutes on the clock it seemed neither team was going to kick start the action but Keiaho Bloomfield and Frank Murphy broke the line and forced Clane into conceding a penalty. William Canavan was in fine form with the boot and he made it 3-0.
Bloomfield was all over the field at the start and the scrum half relieved some pressure with a fine kick as Clane looked dangerous after twelve minutes.
With twenty minutes played Canavan broke the Clane line, he found Peter Fitzgerald and just when it seemed a try was a certainty he dropped the ball in the wet conditions and Clane's hides were saved.
With the terrible conditions, the wet and the mud, neither team could claim to be Clane as the jerseys were becoming unrecognisable. Alan O'neill stopped John Fitzgerald from gaining possession at the ruck and the scrum half was sin binned. The numerical advantage allowed Tullow's Willie Cas to break and spread to James Shearan and he went over to make it 10-0 and that's how it stayed at the break.
Clane needed to fight back early and they did, earning a penalty in the first five minutes of the restart. Mark Lynam made it 10-3 and Clane tried to build.
Tullow made three subs at once and although Clane made it 10-6 the fresh legs made a difference. Had they not been on when Willie Cas was harshly sin binned maybe Clane would have completed the comeback but Tullow stepped on the gas and headed for the Blackgates Bar.
William Canavan missed a penalty but Tullow built again and Willie Cas managed to score a try when he had no right to do so. The slim centre dragged three men with him as he made for the line after great work by Bloomfield originally.
Colin Finnerty was then sin binned but it mattered little as Tullow began to look impressive. Weirdly in the 48st minute, the eight minute of stoppage time, Willie Cas broke again but popped to substitute and fighting cocks teammate Joey Connors to grab the final try of the game.
Tullow will now play Wicklow away in the second round on the 19th of February.
The former hooker was pleased after a hard days work by his side.
"Conditions didn't help either team but our set pieces were excellent and we mauled quite well, there were a few handling errors but we blame that on the conditions.
"The lads are training unbelievably hard and trying to do the right thing, we just needed to get a win."
Tullow made changes and had men sin binned but still had enough for Clane.
"Yeah we made three changes at once and it gave us that little bit extra, the likes of William Hollow O'brien did well when they went in," said Jackman. The draw sees Tullow take on an improving Wicklow in the next round on the 19th of February and although they will prove tricky it could have been worse for Jackman.
"Well the teams from Division 1A are very strong the likes of Tullamore and that but the lads are building a nice bit of confidence now so they won't fear anyone" smiled Jackman.