NEW ROSS RUGBY
New Ross Under-17s faced Wicklow in Southknock on Saturday last. The first five minutes were dominated by Wicklow driving New Ross back into their own '22.
After another ten minutes of constant back and forth play, Aaron Fenlon broke through the sea of Wicklow defenders to touch down ten yards from the sideline. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed but a penalty was awarded five minutes later and captain Adam Swan took the opportunity to slot the ball through the posts. New Ross went in 80 up at half-time.
New Ross came out all guns blazing after half-time. No mercy was shown to Wicklow as New Ross made big tackles and hit the rucks and scrums hard. Ten minutes into the second-half Tim Coughlan and Adam Swan linked up to score New Ross' second try. The conversion barely glanced wide of the far post.
New Ross held a strong defence, stopping Wicklow a couple of times on the New Ross try-line. New Ross made it back up the pitch and hooker Cillian Fenlon burst over the line with ten minutes left. Unfortunately, the ball barely glanced wide from the tee.
New Ross didn't let up as Aaron Fenlon ran through from half-way to touch down for his second try. The ball was placed under the posts and Adam Swan kicked it straight over the black spot. The match finished 25-0 so it was a good win overall for New Ross.
Team: Martin O'Connor, Cillian Fenlon, Mark Nolan, Ian Egan, John Roche, Sam Prendergast, Oisín Bridges, Tim Coughlan, Niall Coughlan, Adam Swan (capt.), Aaron Fenlon, Garrett Browne, Eanna Kennedy, Peter Aspel, Aaron Kehoe, Danny Comiskey.
On Saturday the New Ross Under-19s traveled up to Carlow with the aim of continuing their great run of form in the Leinster league. The game had a very positive start as New Ross put Carlow on the back foot through quick ball from rucks and mauls off line-outs, which resulted in the first try for New Ross.
After the first try Carlow came back very stong through their full-back, who ran every missed placed kick from Ross and gained a lot of ground through poor tackling. Carlow got their structure back and ran very hard straight lines trying to break down a very solid New Ross defence, and eventually they got there by attacking out wide and crept in the corner for a well-deserved try.
Like previous games, New Ross needed this kick up the backside to get themselves going again. This turned out to be a great battle of two strong teams, with both showing the hunger to keep pushing for a win.
A little heat built up in the game through the pressure and tension but it was the New Ross 19s that stood tall, took it on the chin and controlled the rest of the game. Once again some great pressure was exerted from the forwards, the workhorses of the team, with good rucking and hard running with the ball. With smart, confident play by the backs, they stretched the Carlow defence, attacking every line which added a second converted try.
Both sides were matched pretty evenly but Ross had more patience and managed to control the game. As in previous games this match was very entertaining to say the least and the boys of Ross left Carlow still undefeated after seven games (New Ross 15, Carlow 5).
Sunday last saw Wexford Wanderers host North Meath at Park Lane in another crucial fixture following the previous week's top of table clash with Birr. The hosts got on the scoresheet early with a try from No. 8 John Rowe which was converted by Colm O Corcora.
Ten minutes later Colm O Corcora broke through for a try himself which he failed to convert to give Wanderers a 120 start to the first quarter. In the next 20 minutes the floodgates opened for the home side with four unanswered tries.
The first came from full-back Paul Gannon, then winger John Browne was quickly followed by the half back pairing of Stewie Ryan and Maurice Logue, with young O Corcora adding two conversions to give the home side a 36-0 lead at the break.
The intensity of the contest was also impacting on the visiting side who, after losing some of their front row and replacement front row players, had to go to uncontested scrums, a fact that also provided evidence of Wanderers' physical strength up front in this contest.
The second-half started as the first with full-back Gannon scoring his second try of the contest. However, a quick break from the visitors saw one of their backs break through the Wanderers line and race to the corner to score a try which was duly converted.
The side in control of this contest once again attacked the visitors' line with pace, switching the ball from right to left before replacement prop Willie Morris crashed the ball up in front of the posts. From the resultant ruck replacement scrum-half Mick Bolger flashed the ball quickly to the left wing before wing-forward Aidan Stewart cut back in at the angle to cross for the try.
In the final minutes of the contest Wanderers once again broke quickly along the left before winger Podge Cousins scored the try which transpired to be the final score of the contest which ended 51-7. The positives that Wanderers can justifiably take from this contest were the consistency of the performance and the desire to play attractive rugby of which the attending crowd was most appreciative.
The next meeting for the side is another home tie on Sunday next, November 18, when the West Offaly Lions travel to Park Lane in another top four tie which will take Wanderers' league campaign up to the mid-season mark. Your support is as always appreciated so why not come out to Park Lane on Sunday next at 2.30 p.m. for hopefully another stunning display of rugby.
Team: Richie Morris, Alan Kinsella, Niall Stenning, Chris Walsh, Rory O'Leary, Aidan Stewart, Anthony Walsh (capt.), John Rowe, Stuart Ryan, Maurice Logue, John Browne, Colm O Corcora, Seán O Corcora, Mark Goodison, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Podge Cousins, Neil Mac Aogáin, Willie Morris, Mick Bolger, Mark Rowe.
A much-weakened seconds side faced league pace-setters Railway Union on Sunday last at Park Lane. The home side, depleted through injuries, took to the field with only 13 men and despite the imbalance played some good rugby in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
The scoreline ended up 66-0 in favour of the visitors.
Team: Dermot Graham (capt.), Adam Cheevers, Gavin Doyle, Frank Jordan, Shane Byrne, Podge Power, Neil Mac Aogáin, Cillian McConville, Seamus Carroll, Stewart Brennan, Mick Bolger, Wayne O'Connor, Dave Kelleher.