Clondalkin 19 – Carlow 20
Carlow got out of jail on Sunday when winning their first match in Division 1B of the 2019-20 Leinster League beating Dublin side Clondalkin by 20 points to 19.
With only a minute left on the clock Clondalkin had regained the lead scoring a converted try to put them 19 -17 in front.
But from the kick-off Carlow were awarded a penalty far out. Captain Ritchie Whyte, accepted the challenge and put the ball sailing between the posts to give Carlow a valuable away victory.
This was a match in which visitors Carlow were under the cosh from the Dublin side’s beefier pack. Carlow suffered three yellow cards and had only about 30% of the possession. But, under new coach Corey the Oakpark side has developed a tenacious defence and this was put to the test on Sunday. However it is very hard to defend against the raw power of a dominant scrum and two of Clondalkin’s three tries came from scrum pushovers.
Carlow began brightly and on their first visit to the home 22 were awarded a penalty which Ritchie Whyte converted. This was followed by a period of sustained pressure on the Carlow goal line. In the midst of this Carlow lost Ritchie Whyte to the sin bin but somehow the 14 men raised the siege and worked their way into the Clondalkin half and were awarded a penalty 35 metres out in front of the posts. With Whyte in the sin bin Wes Shirley attempted the kick but was narrowly wide.
Carlow were soon under pressure again and this time Clondalkin got the 1st pushover try to lead 5 – 3. A second home try followed within minutes. Carlow were attacking the Clondalkin line but a poor pass led to a turnover and the Dublin side carried the ball the length of field to score under the visitor posts.
At 12-3 down the game seemed to be going away from Carlow but on the stroke of half time fullback Fionnan Burke broke through the Clondalkin line and fed winger Callum Murphy who ran in from 40 metres. Whyte’s conversion closed the gap to two points at the interval.
The second half saw a continuation of Carlow having to defend with desperation. Hopes that the heavy Clondalkin front five might tire were proving unfounded. Evan Gordan shipped an injury while at the same time receiving his side’s second yellow card.
However Carlow took a 17 – 12 lead mid way through the second half when sub Ross Elmes barrelled his way from 25 metres to score under the posts. Somehow the visitors held this lead in the face of constant assault on their line until the final minutes. Yet another yellow card was shipped when sub prop Luke Curran was sin binned. The 14 men saw off the first scrum but on the reset Clondalkin got their second pushover score plus the conversion to go 19 – 17 in front. The rejoicing of the home supporters was quelled almost immediately when Carlow captain had the final say with his late, late penalty.
Carlow’s Leinster League season is up and running. Next Sunday brings another test when near neighbours Tullow come to a calling to Oakpark.
Fionan Burke, Callum Murphy, Sam Cullen, Pat Connors, Sam Dunne, Ritchie Whyte Capt, Isaac Daly, Conal Slator, Evan Gordan, John Whyte, Wes Shirley, Thomas Whitney, Rhys Edgehill, Martin Mullins, John Murphy.
Subs – Ross Elmes, Luke Curran, Chris Challe, Rob Browne.
T Ankers, P Murphy, D Madden, B Foran, N Nolan, C Jebb, L Byrne, C McCrea, B Doyle, D Madden, J Kenny, M Doyle, J Lynch, C Corr, S King.
Clondalkin 15 – Carlow 42
Carlow 2nds side chalked up a massive 42 to 15 points victory over their Clondalkin counterparts in a match also played at Gordan Park Kingswood Co Dublin. This win was all the more impressive because this Clondalkin side was unbeaten last season in Division 2A of the Leinster League.
Carlow’s total came from six tries all of which were converted whether the try was dotted down at the posts or beside the touchline. Outhalf Peter Hennessey, kicked the bulk of the conversions plus was the scorer of two tries.
Other try scorers included Rob Browne, Chris Challe and Ross Elmes who then went on to feature as substitutes for the firsts. Carlow seconds featured a number of promising sub 20 years old including strong young props Luke Curren and J D Swayne. Another prop Owen Edgehill featured in the back row from were he gave an outstanding display of tackling.
Ironically this was the first outing of the season for the Carlow 2nds side as they did not partake in the earlier South East competition. Next Sunday they face Tullow in Oakpark.
Rob Browne, Phil Lonergan, Chris Challe, Ross Elmes, Graham Reynolds, Peter Hennessey, Mike O Farrell, Luke Curran, Mark Slye, J D Swayne, Gavin Whitney, Michael Sheeran, Shane Treacy, Alan Murphy, Owen Edgehill.