Carlow 17 – Suttonians 38
With their Town’s Cup game against Kilkenny coming to Oakpark next Sunday Carlow will be hoping that the gremlins that hit their league game against Suttonians on Sunday last, will be gone for good.
After a close match in Dublin, which they won by 24 – 13, league leaders Suttonians came to Oakpark primed for a battle, but Carlow didn’t show up. The 38 – 19 scoreline was made more respectable with two late Carlow tries when Suttonians had the game won.
This was Carlow’s most disappointing match of the season. Apart from being bossed in scrums and rucks the home side seemed to lose concentration with a series of turnovers, knock-ons and missed tackles. Repeatedly Carlow players were pinged for high tackles but some of these resulted from the pressure applied by the visitors.
Within two minutes Suttonians had their first try. From the Carlow kick-off they ran the ball up their right wing. Poor tackling allowed their fullback Nathan Henderson in for an unconverted try.
To their credit Carlow responded almost immediately. Good work by Wes Shirley and a break by fullback Darragh Mullins got a lineout close to the Suttonians line. From the lineout maul Carlow drove over the line with hooker John Farrell getting the touchdown. Ritchie Whyte’s conversion from out wide saw the home side actually leading by 7 – 5.
With wind assistance Carlow held this lead for 12 minutes but the Suttonian backline looked dangerous and the home side was conceding far too many penalties. 20 minutes into the half the visitors converted a penalty to recover the lead. Between then and half time Suttonians scored two long distance tries and another penalty to lead 23 – 7 at the interval.
One feared for the Oakpark side facing into the second half wind. Things got worse when their lineout talisman Wes Shirley was yellow carded. In his absence Suttonians got a pushover try plus another from a 70 metre kick where their right wing won the race for the touchdown.
Two further penalties pushed the Dublin side onto an unassailable 38 – 7 lead. Carlow bought on subs including former captain James Nolan, Michael Mullins, Owen Edgehill, Sam Cullen and John Whyte. Suttonians too changed their front row which lost them their scrum dominance.
The game started to swing more towards Carlow. James Nolan broke through tackles and the ball was passed wide to fullback Darragh Mullins who sold a nice dummy before going in for his try.
Then almost in the last play of the game wing forward John Murphy took a ball from a maul and burst through a couple of tackles before scoring in the corner.
Their recovery in the final quarter of this game showed that Carlow still have potential and can do better than what was on show earlier in the match.
Carlow Junior 1 team
Darragh Mullins, Fionnan Burke, David McDermott, Ritchie Whyte capt, Jeff McDermott, Fiach Millward, Isaac Daly, Larry McGrath, John Farrell, John Lyons, Wes Shirley, Thomas Whitney, John Murphy, Sam Dunne, Ross Elmes,
Subs James Nolan, Michael Mullins, Owen Edgehill, John Whyte, Sam Cullen.
Carlow 20 Suttonians 14
When Carlow’s Junior 2 side played Suttonians in Dublin they came away with a 41 – 7 win but in the return game at Oakpark on Sunday Carlow were very glad to hear the final whistle while they were still leading by 20 to 14.
With the wind behind them Carlow dominated the first half but only led by 10 – 7 at the break. Early in the game Carlow where making breaks all over the field with actually scoring. Eventually good work by Wes Whitten, Conal Slater and Aaron Forbes passed the ball to winger Comac Walshe running a good line to score beside the post. Harry Hennessey converted and then kicked a penalty to help the home side to go 10 nil ahead.
At the close of the half on their 1st visit to the Carlow 22, Suttonians hooker Ronan Quinn followed his own kick, got a lucky ball bounce into his lap, and scored.
With wind assistance in the second period the visitors seemed to move up a gear. A huge penalty clearance from their own 22 saw them with a lineout close to the Carlow line.
They secured the lineout, sped the ball wide and scored in the left corner. The sideline conversion saw the visitors into a 14 – 10 lead.
This shocked Carlow into action and more direct running resulted in good tries from outhalf Harry Hennessey and number 8 Conal Slater. The elusive Mark Landon seemed to have also touched down for a try but the referee on the spot deemed him to have knocked on in the act of the touchdown.
Trailing by 14 to 20 points the visitors were within a converted try of a win. They spend most of the final 10 minutes camped in the Carlow 22 but the home side absorbed the pressure with captain Ed Keating, Aaron Forbes and Dean Hayden putting in several try saving tackles. The win puts Carlow into 3rd spot ahead of Tullow in the Leinster 2nds League table
Carlow Junior 2 team
Tom Bolger, Cormac Walshe, Mark Landon, Simon Walshe, Simon Attright, Harry Hennessey, Daniel Nemec, Lorcan Gill, Liam Slater, Ed Keating, Fred Leonard, Wes Whitten, Dean Hayden, Aaron Forbes, Conal Slater,
Subs; Tony Jones, Gearoid Dunbar, Alec o Meara, Liam Doran, Mark Slye.