independent

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Rugby champs savour the moment

Enniscorthy club creates history with televised final

Brian Bolger, David Shore and Kieran Hurrell
Brian Bolger, David Shore and Kieran Hurrell
Ann Wall, Ger White, Reenie Kelly and Sandra Farrar

Pádraig Byrne

As the shrill blast of the referee's whistle sounded in the Wicklow sunshine on Sunday evening, there was pure elation on the pitch, the sidelines and all over Enniscorthy as it meant that the Provincial Towns Cup would once again be returning to Slaneyside. In truth, David Wrafter's men looked in control throughout and, despite a late rally from Tullow RFC, ran out 20-13 winners.

The win, the club's third in seven years and eight Towns Cup win overall, clearly meant a lot to the players and it appeared they had a point to prove to the current holders and near neighbours Tullow. There were fairytale scenes as captain Ivan Poole held aloft the trophy and passed it around between team mates.

The fine display was watched by thousands around the country on EirSport and even further afield on the Bank of Ireland Facebook page and no doubt the game will be watched over and over again in the Ross Road clubhouse.

When the players soaked in the last of the atmosphere and finally left the pitch, they couldn't wait to get back to Enniscorthy and the clubhouse, where they received a hero's welcome and enjoyed the festivities.

'It was about 9.30 or 10 p.m. by the time we got back,' said elated Manager David Wrafter. 'We had a good crowd in and there were great celebrations. Mind you, a few of us were fairly tired..it was a long day!'

In terms of the game itself, Wrafter felt that his players used disappointments from earlier in the season to spur them on to the big win.

'I think we felt we missed an opportunity, not winning the league,' he said. 'There was a bit of bitterness in the team over that and we were determined to come away with the win on the day. We were confident that if we could spread them around a bit they couldn't keep up with us. We did miss some opportunities as well and we defended well towards the end, but I think the overall consensus is that we won well.'

Coming in for particular praise from the manager was man of the match, flanker Timmy Morrissey, who Wrafter says typifies the grit and determination of this group of players.

'Timmy got a back injury in the final there two years ago and he basically spent a year and a half in rehab,' he explained. 'He had twenty minutes in a game in January there, and for him to come from that to winning man of the match in the final is an unbelievable achievement. It just goes to show the level of determination that exists among these players.'

Having brought some all important silverware back to the Ross Road once again, no doubt that league title will be next on the list for the team, however, for the time being plans are already afoot for some further meet-ups in establishments across the town to watch the game back and relive what was a special day for all involved with the black, white and red of Enniscorthy Rugby Club.

Enniscorthy Rugby Club will hold its AGM this Thursday, May 3 at 8.30 p.m. in the Clubhouse. All members and those interested in getting involved are encouraged to attend.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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