By John Shirley
Newbridge 6 Carlow 11
Half way through their Leinster League campaign, Carlow head the Division 2A table following their 11 -6 away win against Newbridge on Sunday.
This contest was billed as Newbridge’s fast young backs versus Carlow’s strong pack.
In the event Newbridge at home got off to a lively start but then the horrible weather conditions blunted their game. Carlow forward strength too was frustrated when almost the entire second half was played with uncontested scrums, due to injuries in the Newbridge front row.
Newbridge exerted early pressure forcing Carlow into conceding a number of kickable penalties. After missing a simple penalty on 6 minutes, Newbridge fullback Karl Darragh scored a three pointer after 12 minutes.
Carlow then stopped trying to spread the ball wide and instead the charged up the field with once off runners. In their efforts to stop the black and amber charge, Newbridge conceded penalties and had their prop Paddy Commone yellow carded. Carlow kicked for the corner.
Time and again they surged towards the Newbridge line and eventually the home side’s resistance was breached when Carlow’s James Nolan squeezed over the line with the help of his team mates.
Rob Browne’s conversion attempt was charged down so the visitor lead remained at 5 – 3.
A second Karl Darragh penalty put the home side back into a 6- 5 lead and this score stood at half time.
With the aid of the elements in the second half, it was expected that Carlow could kick on and win well. And while the visitors spent most of the rest of the game camped around the Newbridge 22 all they had to show for this dominance was two successful penalty scores from new kicker Wes Shirley. Prior to this success, two kickable penalties were also sent wide by Shirley and Browne.
Apart from the uncontested scrums Carlow were frustrated when they were twice penalised for a “truck and trailer” offence when the pack was charging towards the line for an inevitable score following a lineout maul.
Time and again outhalf John Whyte steered kicks into the corner. In spite of the awful conditions Carlow did well in the line outs but were bedevilled with knock-ons and dropped balls in their attempts to score.
At the half way stage in the 2017-18 Leinster League campaign Carlow lie top of the table on 30 points. This is one point ahead of Railway Union these two teams have opened a 10 point gap with the rest of the table. Next week the two Carlow teams travel to Cill Dara.
Carlow Junior 1
Robert Browne, Harry Hennessey, Fionnan Burke, Simon Walshe, Johnny Murphy, John Whyte, Jeff McDermott, Larry McGrath, (Capt) Joe Gorman, Alan Byrne, Thomas Whitney, Wes Shirley, Michael Mannion, Ross Elmes, James Nolan.
Subs; Ross Byrne, John Lyons, Niall Bermingham, Peter Hennessey, Evan Gordon
Karl Darragh, Bobby Browner, Paul McDonald, Billy Delaney, Dave Mullins, Donal Cashman, Mark Delaney, Dave Mangan, Niall Duggan, Paddy Commone, Lar Jones, Keith Moran, Mark Doyle, Brendam Kiernan, Ronan Mangan Capt.
Junior 2 game.
Newbridge 14 Carlow 30
Carlow men’s 2nds team also head their Leinster League Table following their 30 – 14 win away to Newbridge on Sunday. Carlow’s score came from five tries one conversion and a penalty. Newbridge scored three penalties in the first half and a try in the second. Half time score was 10 – 9 in favour of the visiting team, Carlow’s score coming from a John Lyon’s try and a penalty plus conversion from outhalf Peter Hennessey.
In the second half Carlow took a more direct route. This led to tries from strong runners Timmy O Donoghue, Gavin Whitney, Ed Keating and Conal Slator. That makes it six wins from six outings by Carlow.
Carlow Junior 2
Tom Bolger Capt, Paul Byrne, Ed Keating, Peter Cassidy, Eoin Rea, Peter Hennessey, Evan Gordon, Zac Fitzhenry, Rudi Corcoran, Timmy O Donoghue, Fred Leonard, Gavin Whitney, John Lyons, Chris Challe, Willie Whitford,
Subs Dillon Kehoe, Matt Murray, Ken Maguire, Conal Slator.’’
Carlow Coyotes 24 Edenderry 5
The Carlow Coyotes womens’ side got their League season back on track at Oakpark on Sunday when they beat visitors Edenderry by 24 points to 5.
This lifts Carlow to 4th in the table with a game in hand. The Coyotes scored four tries, two in each half. Mullingar scored a single unconverted try in the second half. The Carlow Coyotes tries were scored by Catriona Cassidy (2), Emily McKeon and Maureen Young.
Two of the tries were converted by fullback Maureen Young. Next week the team travels to Mullingar and to Cill Dara on Sunday December 10.
Maureen Young, Kerri Doyle, Bethany Sharpe, Rebecca Mullen, Aisling Brosnan, Shorcha Fitzhenry, Emily McKeon, Erin Byrne, Val Timmons, Tanala Keogh, Abigail Mullen, Nollaig Lyon, Keeva Owens, Catriona Cassidy. Jenny Ardill, Lisa Doyle, Rebecca Smyth, Lisa O Malley, Joyce Mahon, Fiona Cantwell, Doireann Bashford,