Tullow 19, Carlow 12
The winning and losing of this vital Leinster League game at the Black Gates on Sunday lay in the first 20 minutes when a Tullow side down to 13 men kept their try line intact against serious odds.
In addition the cuter and more experienced Tullow side played throughout with more precision than neighbours Carlow and converted every chance into a score. As a result of this match, in addition to points and pride Tullow are the 1st winners of the new Carpe Diem Cup.
In the 6th minute on their first visit to the Carlow half Tullow were awarded a penalty 40 metres out in front of the posts. Outhalf Paul Canavan split the posts from the tee to go 3 nil up.
However playing into the wind Carlow had started this game with all guns blazing. In an early Carlow attack Tullow fullback William Cass O’Brien had to leave the field injured after a clash of heads. In the 12th minute Tullow winger Shane Rowan was yellow carded for slapping down a pass to Carlow winger Callum Murphy when a score looked likely.
Within two minutes Tullow sub Dylan Leybourne was also yellow carded for the exact same offence in the same corner of the field. From the resultant penalties Carlow opted for scrums but instead of spreading the ball wide they persisted in charging for the try line in heavy traffic. The grateful Tullow 13 just swallowed once off runners whilst Carlow right wing Daithi Murphy, standing on his own on the touchline like an abandoned sheep on the Curragh, shouted in vain for a crosskick.
Eventually after almost 15 minutes of continuous Carlow pressure they conceded two penalties which brought Tullow into the Carlow half for almost the second time in the match. Carlow offended again just inside their half and again Paul Canavan stepped up with a pinpoint long range penalty score.
After this turnaround one felt that this was going to be Tullow’s day and so it proved. Restored to their full 15 the home side opted for typical Cup rugby. Canavan kicked for field position at every chance and Smith was his usual marauding number 8. But Carlow continued to play with spirit and marshalled Smith’s every break attempt. Outhalf Fionnan Burke was clean through and seemed set to run in from the half way only to be ankle tapped from behind. Wes Shirley made a lot of ground and along with John Murphy and Ross Elmes got Carlow into the Tullow 22 where the home side were penalised. Carlow captain Richard Whyte kicked well to bring the score to 3 – 6 in favour of the home side.
With anticipated wind assistance in the second half Carlow supporters were still hopeful of victory but a late, and somewhat controversial, Tullow 1st half try changed this picture. The home side had several minutes of pressurising the Carlow line when they lost the ball forward. Carlow carried the ball forward for about four metres expecting a scrum advantage. However Carlow were penalised for holding on as the referee deemed that advantage was over after Carlow had made the forward progress.
From the resultant penalty Tullow kicked for the corner and easily drove the lineout maul over the visitor’s tryline. Canavan converted the score from out wide to give Tullow a 13- 3 interval lead.
In the second half the wind seemed to ease but the cold rain came and this seemed to suit the strong home pack. Four minutes in Canavan kicked another penalty to make it 16 – 3. Richard Whyte brought it back to 16 – 6 four minutes later after Isaac Daly caught his opposite number at the base of the scrum. Generally the visitors bossed the scrums while Tullow fared best in the lineouts where John Hanbidge excelled.
After getting a scrum penalty on the half way line Carlow kicked the ball dead as Whyte tried to get the last metre out of it. Instead of a Carlow lineout 5 metres from the Tullow line Tullow had a scrum on the half way.
Shortly after this Canavan kicked another penalty to stretch the gap to 19 -6. In the last ten minutes Richard Whyte (who like Canavan had a perfect day off the tee) kicked two more Carlow penalties. This brought the score to 19-6 giving Carlow a losing bonus point. As a result of this game Tullow lie 2nd in the table while Carlow have slipped one place to 4th.. Speaking after the game Carlow Coach Corey Carty felt that the game swung on two crucial refereeing decisions. “ One of the deliberate knock ons leading to a yellow card stopped us scoring a definite try and I thought that a penalty try could have been awarded but then again our player should have passed the ball earlier. Also prior to the penalty that led to the Tullow try I felt that we should have been given a scrum for the Tullow knock-on”.
Tullow Coach Maurice Logue praised his team’s great defence when they were down to 13 men and kept Carlow out. “ It wasn’t a day for back play. I felt that Paul Canavan kicked well from hand and off the tee. Steve Smith and Martin Cole drove our pack forward in the loose and John Hanbidge secured our lineouts. We were probably the fitter team too.”
Graham Brennan, Daithi Murphy, Pat Connors, Ritchie Whyte Capt, Callum Murphy, Fionan Burke, Isaac Daly, Owen Edgehill, Ross Byrne, John Lyons, Wes Shirley, Martin Mullins, Rhys Edgehill, John Murphy, Ross Elmes.
Subs, Larry McGrath, Sam Dunne, Jack Hickey, Sam Cullen, John Whyte,
William Cas O Brien, Shane Rohan, Mavae Muru Teutau, Keiatho Bloomfield Capt, Sean Doyle, Paul Canavan, Ryan O Neill, Scott Caldbeck, Jordan Leybourne, Louis Kilcoyne, John Hanbidge, Martin Cole, Kyle Hanbidge, James O Brien, Stephen Smith.
Sam Corrigan, John Fitzgerald, Jack McDonald, Dylan Leybourne, Spencer Hanbidge.
Carlow 19 Tullow 13
Carlow took some solace home from the Black Gates on Sunday when their Seconds side secured a 19 – 13 point win against their Tullow counterparts.
The first half of this game remained scoreless until five minutes from the end when Tullow’s number 10 Adam Doyle slotted over a penalty.
Almost immediately Carlow swept down the pitch with a back’s passing movement. Tullow stopped the move on their own try line but from the resultant ruck Carlow
prop Luke Curran got in for an unconverted try. This gave the visitors a 5 – 3 interval lead.
Carlow began the second half with another lively backs move and this led to fullback Dan Gray touching down in the corner. Carlow centre Peter Hennessey converted from out wide to give his side a 12 – 3 lead.
For the next 25 minutes Carlow played a lot of field rugby but dogged Tullow defence and poor final passes denied them scores.
Then Tullow won a series of penalties which brought them all the way to the Carlow line and after several Tullow charges their centre Bill Eustace got in for an unconverted try.
The resultant kick off was mishandled by Tullow allowing the visitors back up into their half. Again the active Carlow backs advanced towards the home tryline and when they were stopped Carlow prop Phil Lonergan burst through a couple of tacklers to score near the posts. This pushed the visitor’s lead out to 19 – 8 with only a few minutes remaining.
However in those last moments Tullow backs showed they too could play running rugby. The last play of the game ended with full back Davy Moran getting a try in the corner. The try wasn’t converted but Tullow were good for a losing bonus point. After this win Carlow lie second in the Seconds League Table behind Longford while Tullow come in at fourth.
Carlow 2nds Team
Dan Gray, Cathal Byrne, Jeff McDermott, Peter Hennessey (Capt), Conal Brennan, John Whyte, Johnnie McDonald, Luke Curran, Tom Bolger, Philip Lonergan, Sam Dunne, Shay Somers, Jack Hickey, Steve Treacy, Conor Treacy.
Subs; Mike Sheeran, Peter Ryan, Jamie McCabe, Alex O Meara.
Tullow 2nds Team
Davy Moran, Matthew Mulhall, Paddy McCall, Bill Eustace, Tom Eustace, Adam Doyle, Eoin Cleary, Paddy Keogh, Aaron O Byrne, Keith Hickey, Joe Waters, Dylan Thomas, Fionn Murphy, Cian Doyle, Paddy Tobin.