NEW ROSS RUGBY
The New Ross Under-15s were in Leinster League action again on Saturday in Mullingar. Mullingar has been the team to beat this year in Leinster and this promised to be the young Rossonians' toughest match of the season so far.
The long three-hour bus trip definitely took its toll on the energy of the team, and a little travel sickness left the coaches with a late decision to re-jig the back line. Mullingar started the game at a phenomenal pace and camped out in the New Ross half for the first 20 minutes.
New Ross rarely touched the ball for long periods and were only being kept in the game through powerful defensive tackling from their back line. Mullingar's dominant pack kept attacking with wave after wave of well-orchestrated phases of play and broke the Ross try line after 22 minutes. The converted kick meant that at 7-0, New Ross would have to wake up.
Ross had only five minutes before the end of the first-half to answer back and answer back they did. Following the retake, Callum Crean, Shane Power and James Fitzgerald from the New Ross pack mowed through their Mullingar counterparts and set up clean ball which was quickly floated to the Ross back line.
This enabled the New Ross centre, Cormac Tierney, to make a breaking run and link up with Michael Dwyer who, with his strength and blinding pace, ripped through the Mullingar defence to score a well-deserved try just before the first-half whistle. The interval score was Ross 5, Mullingar 7.
New Ross started the second-half with a lot more intensity but gave away a soft try within a couple of minutes, after some confusion over a whistle that had been blown in an adjacent game (Ross 5, Mullingar 14).
Mullingar once again started to play exceptional rugby and had Ross on the rack multiple times. The order of the day for Ross would now have to be, getting on some fresh legs and winning all breakdown balls and letting the Ross back line work its magic.
Barry Roche, who had not been well after the bus trip, came in at out-half and settled the back line, while Patrick Hickey and Ian Foley joined the pack. With only five minutes left on the clock and a scoreline in favour of Mullingar, the boys from New Ross came alive with what can only be said was some of the most exciting rugby that was ever played in a New Ross red jersey.
Big Luke English in the front row took on the ball at the Mullingar '22 and hammered his way through an onset of tackles before being grounded, while James Fitzgerald, Shane Power and Liam Whelan led the forwards over him. Scrumhalf Saliu Cullen then floated the ball to Barry Roche who set up Michael Dwyer to score under the Mullingar posts with an acrobatic head over heels try. The conversion left the score at New Ross 12, Mullingar 14, with two minutes remaining on the clock.
New Ross gathered the ball from the Mullingar kick-off and ran straight at them, passing, hitting and rucking phase after phase. Mullingar at this stage were just trying to hold out.
New Ross had made it to the Mullingar '22 when a flying pass from the back of a ruck set the man of the match, Michael Dwyer, off to weave around seven Mullingar players and score a fantastic try in the top left corner. Final score: New Ross 17, Mullingar 14.
Coach Derek Furness proudly spoke of the never give up attitude and determination among these young New Ross rugby players.
Squad: Callum Crean, Cathal Boland, Luke English, James Fitzgerald, Oisín Murphy, Shane Power, John Buckley, Liam Whelan, Saliu Cullen, Cormac Tierney, Michael Dwyer, Patrick Whelan, Morgan Purcell, David Thorpe, Patrick Hickey. Replacements - Ian Foley, Peter Lawlor, Liam Furness, Aaron Foley, Zach Cullen, Barry Murphy, Ben Sutton, Ciarán Murphy, Barry Roche.
2012 was a very busy year for Dunbrody Archers despite a reduction in the numbers of S.B.G. (Standard Big Game) shoots on the calendar. Instead there was an abundance of fun, informal Unmarked Animal rounds, and alternative shoots.
There were several charity events run too, specifically the Temple Street Hospital charity shoot held at our course and organised by Andrew Wayland with the help of several Dunbrody club members, and with the support of local businesses - €920 was raised for the children's hospital.
The membership numbers remained high at the club throughout 2012 with in excess of 80 archers registered by the end of the year. We hosted a successful 2012 national championships in the summer with almost one hundred archers competing. In addition, four other open shoots were held at our woods. Our archers competed in Italy at the Europeans, and in England at U.K.I.F.A.C.
Our under-age archers were on top form throughout 2012. Kevin Power continued his super impressive form with too many victories to name. The young man from The Rower, who some time ago progressed to Junior class, excelled with many fabulous scores not to mention Irish records. He also was a worthy winner at the 2012 United Kingdom and Ireland Champs (U.K.I.F.A.C.) held in England.
Shannon Mernagh from New Ross is setting the standard in the female cub category. She was victorious at many shoots at home but also at U.K.I.F.A.C. in Bury St. Edmonds, England.
Cian Kehoe (Waterford city) is another cub archer who is set to have a very productive 2013. From his first-ever visit to our club, he showed he had an eye for archery and tremendous potential.
As for the adults, Diane Cummins from Slieverue had a very productive year, leading the charge for the club at the Europeans in Northern Italy where, following a week of stiff competition, she came away with an impressive eighth place finish amidst the top lady field archers in Europe. She had many wins here at home throughout 2012 too.
Mark Daly (Adamstown) continued his general domination of the Adult Male Recurve class, and has recently changed classes to the traditional side of archery to challenge himself further in 2013.
As Micheál Irwin from Graiguenamanagh continued to excel in I.A.A.A. target archery circles, Helen Kavanagh of New Ross became the first lady in I.F.A.F. nationally to receive the coveted 'hot shot' award.
Returning to our hosting of the 2012 national championships, well done to our victors over the two days - Mark Daly, Diane Cummins, Kevin Power, Shannon Mernagh, Evan Cummins (Slieverue), David Nolan (Arthurstown) and William O'Leary (Wexford). Thirtyone archers in total from Dunbrody competed.
Danny and Diane Cummins (Slieverue) designed and organised the production of our new club jerseys in the Irish colours. The club held several 'have a go' demo events, the biggest being the annual Duncannon Military festival. Other club 'have a go' events took place for the No Name Club, a Norwegian tour group, the Hillside Vintage Club, New Ross Celtic River festival, a Bree youth contingent, and the Waterford Harvest festival amongst others.
We participated at the New Ross St. Patrick's Day parade again which is something we enjoy preparing for. Members from the club took part in worthwhile emergency first aid courses.
The other local club, Aos Dána, held their inaugural shoot using the Dunbrody woods during the summer which was a clear success.
At the national A.G.M., Martin Moylan, Dunbrody Chairperson (New Ross), was voted in as I.F.A.F. national safety officer, while Dunbrody P.R.O. Andrew Wayland (Campile) took on the new I.F.A.F. role of national P.R.O. Andrew was also appointed I.F.A.F. Child Protection Officer.
The I.F.A.F. training the trainers level one courses hosted by coach Eric Kelly of the I.A.C. club, Edenderry, took place over two weekends in November. The first took place in Ballykelly, the second in Oldcastle (Longford). Well done to the six Dunbrody archers - Stephen Clarke (Nuke), Alex Furlong (The Rower), Martin Moylan, Mark Daly, Danny Cummins and Andrew Wayland who were part of the 18 archers nationally who successfully completed and passed the course.
Our club website, dunbrodyarchers.com, is a very useful source of information on the club and is updated regularly, as is our club Facebook page which continues to gain fans also.
Well done to our three club members of the year who were announced in December following a club voting system, to conclude the packed calendar year - Helen Kavanagh (New Ross, adult winner), Kevin Power (The Rower, Junior winner) and Jack Nolan (Arthurstown, cub winner).
As we look forward to another busy year, we wish all our members the very best for the months ahead. We are already under way competitively following the first S.B.G. at Na Laoch Dall's course in Waterford held last weekend with more successes going in Dunbrody Archers' direction. A new club crest is in the latter design stages thanks to club member Ian Grace from Wexford.
Several of our archers will compete in the U.K. this year too. The International Mailmatch (I.M.M.) commences very soon, where archers from the club compete in a three-round regulated indoor tournament against archers from all around the world from countries such as Brazil, Estonia, Australia and Namibia. We have had great successes in this annual competition in the past and hope to continue this form this year too.
Our club A.G.M. takes place on January 17 and we hope to see a large attendance. See our hard-working Secretary, Clodagh Nolan, for further details.