Carlow 8, Arklow 14
Carlow’s Junior 2 side took on Arklow’s Junior 1 side in a Towns Plate match in Oakpark on Sunday and should have won. However the dogged Wicklow men went home with a 14 – 8 win and move onto the semi final of the competition.
Carlow started strongly and went close to scoring a number of times. Anthony Mannion was lording the lineouts, Ian Atkinson was dictating things at out half and Adam Dowling look threatening on the left wing. Carlow Full back Nico Kretchmer missed a kickable penalty on 15 minutes before being successful with his second attempt five minutes later.
Then it was Arklow’s turn to exert pressure. Slack mid field tackling by Carlow allowed the visiting centre to score under the posts and Arklow went in at half time with a 7 – 3 lead.
From the restart for the second half the Arklow receivers allowed the ball hop amongst themselves. Carlow pressed up field and were awarded a penalty on the 22. Carlow captain Tom Bolger quick tapped and after a few recycles he slipped through for a try. The relatively easy conversion was missed but Carlow now had a narrow 8 – 7 lead.
Now it was Carlow’s turn to fluff the restart. Arklow were awarded a penalty in front of the Carlow posts. The kick was wide but a Carlow player knocked on beside his posts thus keeping his team under the cosh. Eventually Arklow got through for their 2nd converted try to lead 14 – 6. Carlow still had almost 30 minutes to save the game. They pressed and pressed. Neil Slater got over the line and was “100% sure” he had grounded the ball but the referee was unsighted and gave a five yard scrum.
Carlow continued to attack. John Lyons, Ross Elmes Thomas Whitney and Tom Bolger made a number of charges for the line. An Arklow player was yellow carded for persistent fouling and obstruction but his dogged team held their line until the relief of the final whistle. A potentially good Carlow J2 side have only themselves to blame for the loss.
Carlow J2 team and subs
Nico Kretchmer, Adam Dowling, Ross Elmes, Dara Williamson, Clement Mauroy, Ian Atkinson, Tom Bolger (capt) Neil Slater, Evan Gordon, John Lyons, Anthony Mannion, Gavin Whitney, Eoin Lyons, Thomas Whitney, Conal Slater.
Subs , Conal Slater.
Subs. Zac Fitzhenry, Colm Harpur, Christoff Challe, Ed Keating, Niall O Malley