Carlow 11 – Naas 13
Carlow were knocked out of the Provincial Towns 2nds Cup by visitors Naas at Oakpark on Sunday but the home Club will feel that this is another game they should have won.
The two sides were evenly matched and at half time the score was tied at 3 points each. Paddy Brickall’s 13th minute penalty for the visitors was cancelled out a minute later by a similar score by Carlow outhalf Harry Hennessey.
Naas had a small advantage in the scrums but Carlow were stronger in the lineouts with Anthony Mannion and Owen Edgehill doing well. After the break Carlow had a period of ascendancy and put a lot of pressure on the visitor’s line. Four minutes into the half Harry Hennessey kicked another penalty to give the home side a 6 – 3 lead. Following the restart Carlow were quickly back into the Naas 22 pressurising their try line. Three times Carlow mauls were held up but eventually the ball was swung wide to the right where Sam Dunne crossed unopposed
This try was not converted but Carlow now had an 11 – 3 lead and looked good for a win. The Carlow centres Simon Walshe and Sam Cullen were making breaks and another home score looked likely.
However Carlow got undone by two unforced errors. Twice when Naas sent long raking kicks into the Carlow 22, a Carlow player knocked on instead of catching cleanly. This led to scrums with Naas having the put-ins. In the first scrum the Naas outhalf Paddy Brickall offloaded to right wing Tom Dore who ran through would be tacklers to score under the posts. The conversion put the visitors within a point of the home team at 10 – 11.
10 minutes later another scrum from a Carlow fumble and this time Carlow were penalised in front of their posts for a high tackle on the Naas scrumhalf. Brickall kicked the easy penalty and now the visitors were ahead 13 – 10.
For the final 12 minutes Carlow were camped deep in Naas territory trying desperately for the winning score. Equally desperate Naas defence stopped the Carlow runners time and again. Harry Hennessey was narrowly wide with a penalty attempt. A drop goal effort by the same player was blocked. When the final whistle blew there was a lot of frustration in the team wearing the black and amber over what might have been.
Tom Bolger, Peter Hennessey, Sam Cullen, Simon Walshe, Sam Dunne, Harry Hennessey, Owen Edgehill, Evan Gordon, Mark Slye, Anthony Mannion, John Lyons, Fred Leonard, Ed Keating (Capt) James Nolan.
Subs Joe Gorman, Conal Slater, Liam Slatter,
Cian Mahon, Tom Dore, Niall Rooney, Enda Dowling, Matt Burke, Paddy Brickall, Niall O Neill, N Perdue, Bryan Gallagher, Brian Dempsey, John Waters, Owen Tierney, Mike Russell, Evan Coyle, Gearoid Comber
Sub Conner Leggett.