Monday 24 July 2017

Early scoring blitz sees Balbriggan boys through

BALBRIGGAN CC began their Powerade Leinster Junior Development Cup campaign with this preliminary-round away win in Dundalk last Wednesday.

Lining out in their new strip the Fingal boys certainly looked the part, but the question to be answered was, could they play as well as they looked? Balbriggan hit the ground running and within three minutes they scored their first try as a result of a break by scrum half Paddy Gibbs from a 40-metre scrum. Gibbs fed out half David Goodman who beat several players to go over in the corner. Straight from the restart Toba Toki collected the ball and drove forward at speed, feeding Goodman who in turn let the ball out to centre Tobe Eze who showed great pace and strength to go over in the opposite corner - 100 to the visitors. Balbriggan were relentless and in the 12th minute full back Ross Staunton broke the Dundalk defence and passed to Goodman who in turn fed the ball to centre Lorcain Foran whose blistering pace left the Dundalk defence for dead to make it 15-0. Just as the Grammar boys began to settle down Goodman made a break from half-way, only to be held up on the line, but some superb support play saw Gibbs touching down in the to make it 20-0 in the 28th minute. Straight from the kick-off Toba Toki took advantage from a Dundalk knock-on and quickly fed Eze who went in under the posts, with Goodman converting to leave the half time score 27-0 in favour of Balbriggan. Dundalk came out in the second half more in hope than expectation, but regardless of the score Dundalk weren't about to give up and in the 10th minute of the half, from a penalty on the Balbriggan 10-metre line they decided to give the ball to Steve McGovern who burst through the Balbriggan defence to touch down, with Lorcain Malone converting. This seemed to spur on the Dundalk boys and they struck again with two more converted tries during the next 10 minutes from McGovern and Chris Williams. With Balbriggan visibly shaken there was a sense that the game was slipping away from them even though they retained a slender 27-21 lead. But the away side steadily drove upfield from the restart and from a 30-metre scrum Gibbs fed Goodman who worked his magic to touch down and convert to settle their nerves at 3421. Dundalk came at Balbriggan again and scored a controversial try in the 29th minute of the half, but Balbriggan finished off the game with a flourish and despite being awarded a penalty on the Dundalk line, last play was called and they kicked to touch to leave the final score 34-26 to Balbriggan. This was a well deserved win for the Balbriggan boys, with stand-out performances from newcomer Daragh Allen along with Goodman, Gibbs, Foran and Eze in the backs and Shane Carroll, Toba Toki, Luke Earp and Ross McGrath in the forwards. Balbriggan's reward is a firstround home tie against Bush Post Primary next Tuesday at Balbriggan RFC - kick-off 1pm.

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