By John Shirley…..
Carlow 24 Newbridge 24
Carlow’s chances of promotion from Section 2A of the Leinster Rugby League took another knock on Sunday when they only drew 24 points each with Newbridge a team they beat 30 pts to 18 in Newbridge back in October.
With the main pitch still out of use from the recent flooding, the game was played on the top pitch at Oakpark.
Against the wind in the 1st half Carlow conceded a succession of frustrating penalties three of which were converted. Newbridge also got in for a converted try to leave them on 16 points at the break. For their part Carlow scored a try when full back Ritchie Whyte got in at the corner after the forwards had mauled from 30 metres. Whyte also converted a penalty to leave it 16 – 8 in favour of the visitors at half time.
With rain adding to the wind in the second half this score looked surmountable for Carlow in the second period but within the third minute Newbridge had scored another unconverted try. Carlow failed to counter a good cross kick from the Newbridge and their winger scored in the corner.
Newbridge now led 21 -8 but almost immediately Carlow came back with a Ritchie White penalty. The Carlow pack was now beginning to dominate and the young number 10 Fionnan Burke began to use the corners and the wind. In the ninth minute the pack swept up the field and James Nolan barged over for a try which was converted by Whyte. The score was now Carlow 18 Newbridge 21 and Carlow looked good for a win with 30 minutes remaining.
But then followed a period of immense frustration for the Carlow team, supporters and coaches alike. A litany of knock-ons could be explained by the driving rain and cold but the five second half penalties given against the dominant Carlow scrum mystified all Carlovians. The referee seemed to be particularly hard on experienced prop Larry McGrath. One of these penalties under the posts was converted by Newbridge to bring them to 24 points.
Fortunately for Carlow full back Ritchie Whyte was also on target with two challenging late penalty kicks for the Barrowsiders to bring the final score to 24 points each.
Carlow travel to Edenderry for their next match before meeting Cill Dara in the Towns Cup at Oakpark on the following week.
Carlow J1 .
Ritchie Whyte, Jeff McDermott, Harry Hennessey, Simon Walshe, Peter Hennessey, Fionnan Burke, John Whyte, Alan Byrne, John Farrell, Ross Byrne, John Lyons, Wes Shirley capt, Chris Niall Bermingham, Thomas Ratahi, James Nolan.
Subs used Larry McGrath, Mark Furey, Mark Elmes.
Carlow 20 – Newbridge 0.
Carlow’s J2 team had a comprehensive 20 nil win over Newbridge in a 1.30 p.m game played in good conditions at Oakpark on Sunday.
The Carlow scores came from tries by hooker Conal Slater and centre Nico Kretschmer. Kretschmer who once played on the German national side converted both tries and was also successful with two penalty attempts. The team also featured French born Paul Larrazet from the IT college at outhalf.
The win leaves the Carlow J2 side after 10 games on 30 points which is second in the Table behind Portlaoise on 36 points.
J2 team .
Billy Murphy, Gearoid Dunbar, Clement Mauroy, Nico Kretschmer Conor Fennell, Paul Larrazet, Tom Bolger, Zac Fitzhenry, Conal Slator, Dylan Keogh, David Keppel,
Thomas Whitney, Timmy O Donoghue, Eoin Lyons Anthony Mannion.
Subs used Colm Harpur, Neil Slater, Gavin Whitney, Adam Dowling, Niall O Malley, Eoin Bailey.