Carlow 13 Edenderry 10
By John Shirley
Eight minutes into this Section 2A Leinster League game at Oakpark on Sunday the visitors Edenderry led Carlow by 10 points to nil and a trouncing looked possible.
But Carlow dug deeper and incredibly Edenderry added nothing to their score in the last 72 minutes.
Instead it was the home side that eked out a narrow win scoring 13 points in a far from fluent display.
After the game the relieved Carlow Coach Padraig Brennan commented that “sometimes you have to win ugly but we’ll take the win whatever way it comes”.
From the start the visitors tore into Carlow and within a minute had three points on thee board from a penalty kicked by centre Steve Cummins.
Seven minutes later a Carlow penalty failed to make touch and Edenderry attacked from near their own line. About 60 metres out the ball went to their strong winger Jason Moore, who broke a number of tackles, ran down the side, to score in the corner. Against the wind and from the sideline Steve Cummins steered to ball through the posts to make it 10 nil for the visitors.
With Wes Shirley and captain (Tubbs) Ratahi leading by example Carlow steadied the ship and during the remainder of the 1st half squeezed the Offaly side into conceding two kickable penalties which were converted by fullback Peter Hennessey. This gave an interval score of Carlow 6 Edenderry 10.
The third quarter proved Carlow’s best period. James Nolan (on for the injured Ratahi) was making inroads with his charges upfield and the pack was getting on top in scrums and lineouts. Ten minutes into the half Nolan was stopped close to the Edenderry line. The ball was recycled to prop Larry McGrath who drove over the line for Carlow’s only try. Hennessey converted from half way out to push Carlow 3 pts ahead at 13 – 10.
In the final quarter Edenderry started to dominate territory but time and again fluffed chances including two penalty goal attempts one of which the kicker Steve Cummins only missed by inches.
With 8 minutes left Carlow lost outhalf Harry Hennessey through a leg injury but his team mates held their line intelligently and scraped out a narrow but important win. Carlow lie 3rd in the table behind Cill Dara and Longford.
Peter Hennessey, Seamus Curran, Fionan Burke, Simon Walshe, Sam Dunne, Harry Hennessey, Alex Crossley, Larry McGrath, Conal Slater, John Lyons, Thomas Whitney, Wes Shirley, Niall Bermingham, Thomas Ratahi (capt). Chris Chall,
Subs, James Nolan, Alan Byrne, Ross Byrne, Andrew Hanley, Adam Dowling.
Edenderry 1st team
Andrew Munnelly, Willie Groome, Ian Curry, Stephen Cummins, Jason Moore, Stephen Gill, Ross Brereton, Tom Mulligan, Brian Quinn, Graham Geraghty, Mark Bergin, David Hurst, Brian Holt, Shane Melia
Carlow’s Junior 2 side kept their unbeaten Leinster League record intact at Oakpark on Sunday edging out Edenderry by 18 pts to 10.
Carlow led 10 – 0 at the interval after Atkinson’s try from fullback was converted by Zac Fitzhenry who also scored a penalty in that 1st half.
One minute into the second half, a moment of inspiration from winger Adam Dowling resulted in Carlow’s second and final try.
First he fielded a cross kick, offloaded, quickly took a return pass and weaved in and out for 40 metres to score under the post. Martin Mullins slipped on taking the conversion but made amends 20 minutes later with a penalty to push Carlow’s lead to 18 – nil.
However in the final quarter of the game Edenderry discovered form. They scored two unconverted tries and butchered others which let Carlow off the hook. The result means that Carlow leapfrog Edenderry to joint 1st in the J2 table along with Cill Dara.
Ian Atkinson, Adam Dowling, Jack Hickie, Rudi Corcoran, Willie Kelly, Tom Bolger (capt), Nigel Smyth, Ed Keating, Evan Gordon, Ross Byrne, Zac Fitzhenry, Anthony Mannion, Dylan Kehoe, Dan Carpenter Keogh, Martin Mullins,
Subs Mark Dooley, Neil Slater, Niall O Malley, Eoin Rea,
Elsewhere Kilkenny lost to Malahide in a Division 1A clash, while Tullow beat Clondalkin 24-18 in Division 1B