By John Shirley
Carlow 37 – New Ross 3
Carlow bounced back from their tame Towns Cup exit with a thumping 37 – 3 Leinster League win against New Ross on Saturday at Oakpark.
This bonus point victory has kept alive Carlow’s hope of league promotion. It’s now all pointing to a showdown against Railway Union in Dublin in the final game of the season on 6th March next.
New Ross on Saturday were short a few players but the Wexford side had beaten Carlow in the South East League last September. This time round Carlow played to their strength of their pack and only spread the ball wide when the opposition were already on the back foot.
Players such as Mark Furey, Conal Slater, and John Michael Nolan all started the game and made huge contributions. Indeed the Nolan brothers from Myshall dominated the scoring. John Michael Nolan got a hat trick of tries from the left wing. His brother James also scored as did number 10 Fionnan Burke and Conal Slater.
Indeed Carlow had the bonus point wrapped up at half time when they led by 20 pts (4 unconverted tries) to 3. New Ross’s reply was a sole penalty score.
Carlow went on to score three more tries in the second half one of which was converted. New Ross failed to score but they could do Carlow a big favour if they could win their next league game which is at home to Railway Union.
Carlow’s next match is at home against bottom of the table strugglers Athboy on the 28th February. A simple win by Carlow then in the final game in Railway Union on March 6 would put Carlow in league promotion territory.
Carlow J1 team.
Peter Hennessey, Jeff McDermott, Harry Hennessey, Simon Walshe, John Michael Nolan, Fionnan Burke, John Whyte, Alan Byrne, Conal Slater, Ross Byrne, Mark Furey, Wes Shirley capt, Niall Bermingham, Thomas Ratahi, James Nolan.
Subs used John Lyons, Chris Challe, Ross Elmes, Mark Elmes, Ian Atkinson.
Carlow 29 New Ross 25.
The exciting Junior 2 match between Carlow and New Ross, also in Oakpark on Sunday, saw the league changing several times with Carlow’s winning score coming in the last play of the game.
Carlow led by 19 – 12 at half time. New Ross scored an unconverted try plus a penalty 20 minutes into the half to go one point up at 19 – 20. Carlow then scored a try to lead by 4. New Ross scored another try to lead by one at 24 – 25. Finally former Carlow captain cut through for the winning score just at the final whistle.
Carlow other tries came from Colm Harpur, Brad Cruickshank, Colboc Thibaut, and Mark Elmes. One try was converted by fullback Eoin Bailey.
Next Sunday Carlow’s J 2 side travel to Birr to take on the local 1st team in the Seconds Towns Cup.
Eoin Bailey, Colboc Thibaut, Clement Mauroy, Ross Elmes, Conor Fennell, Ian Atkinson, Mark Elmes, Zac Fitzhenry, Tom Bolger, Dylan Keogh, David Keppel, Neil Slater, Kealan Power, Brad Cruickshank Gavin Whitney.