BALBRIGGAN CC 41 10 ST MEL'S LONGFORD
BALBRIGGAN CC marched on to the next stage of the Leinster Schools Junior Development Cup with this seven-try demolition of St Mel's Longford at Bowhill Balrothery last Tuesday afternoon. In this previously postponed match it was obvious from the start that there were two distinct playing styles on display, with Balbriggan playing a very open, expansive game compared to the forward-dominated tactics adopted by St Mel's.
The home side were quickly off the mark in the fifth minute when they won a lineout against the head 15 metres from their own line and out half David Goodman made a fine break before offloading to centre Tobe Eze who accelerated away to score in the corner. From the restart Balbriggan were awarded a scrum on the half-way line, and again Goodman made a telling break, and despite being stopped just short of the line he received good support from Ross Staunton who subsequently dived over.
Despite their best efforts St Mel's didn't seem to have any answer to the Balbriggan backline and in the 18th minute Balbriggan were awarded a penalty 25 metres out, the ball was quickly passed out to full back Lorcan Foran and he touched down in the corner. Balbriggan finished off the half with yet another try. This time some superb rucking, recycling, picking and driving by the forwards meant St Mel's were constantly on the back foot, and that relentless pressure led to captain Paddy Gibbs crashing over in the corner to leave the half-time score 20-0 to the Balbriggan boys. The Fingal boys picked up where they left off in the second half and within two minutes of the start centre David Ajayi made a telling break and passed to fellow centre Eze who went in under the posts.
This time Goodman converted and Balbriggan now led 27-0. Eze struck again for his hat-trick try four minutes later when from a 10metre scrum he received the ball and powered his way over, with Goodman adding the extras once more. St Mel's began to find their rhythm and after some good ball retention they found themselves awarded a scrum five metres from the Balbriggan line, from which Daragh Cork duly picked and drove over the line. Balbriggan struck back for their final score in the 20th minute of the half when they won a lineout against the head about 15 metres from the St Mel's line, and Goodman made a break and scored a well-deserved converted try. However, the last word went to St Mel's when some intense pressure from their forwards ended with Daragh McDowell going over for a consolation score. Balbriggan's next assignment in the competition is against Ratoath in the quarter-finals tomorrow (Wednesday).