ATHY 34 WEXFORD WANDERERS 10
AFTER THE euphoria of the previous week's exciting home league-winning performance against Birr, Wexford Wanderers were brought crashing back to earth by Division 2B strugglers Athy in the first round of the 88th Provincial Towns Cup. The game started poorly for Wanderers as an infringement in front of the posts at a ruck in less than two minutes offered Athy a chance to settle in an early score. However, minutes later Wanderers were awarded a penalty which Colm O Corcora duly converted to level the sides.
Soon after Athy converted another penalty to lead 6-3 in a game which was beginning to look very even. Midway through the first-half Athy scored the first try to extend their lead to 11-3. The Wexford side responded well and after some excellent line crashes Aidan 'Chicken' Stewart crossed for Wanderers' first try which O Corcora duly converted to bring Wanderers to one point. Just before the break Athy were awarded another penalty but the ball drifted wide to leave the score 11-10.
The second-half proved to be a different proposition as Athy used home advantage to the maximum, as well as having the significant wind and the setting sun in their backs for the second period. Full-back Paul Gannon worked exceptionally hard to arrest the aerial assault but the home side struck for first a penalty, and three converted tries before the end of the game.
The most significant Wanderers attack saw them get within two metres of the line before Athy countered deep into the '22.
Team: Willie Morris, Mark Rowe, Richie Morris, Chris Walsh, Rory O'Leary, Anthony Walsh (capt.), Aidan Stewart, John Rowe, Mick Bolger, Stuart Ryan, John Browne, Colm O Corcora, Seán O Corcora, Mark Goodison, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Kyle Roche, Gavin Doyle, James Turner, Pádraig Cousins, Niall Stenning, Mark Doyle.