Provincial Seconds Towns Cup
North Meath 5
By Harry Shorthose
IT was a near-perfect performance from Tullow on Sunday as they advanced in the Seconds Towns Cup at Black Gates.
The only blemish on the defending champions’ card was conceding a late try in the dying seconds of the game. North Meath had their chances but struggled to convert them with the Tullow backline proving tough to break down as they held them up on a number of occasions. Tullow were excellent in attack, breaking down their opponents and finding gaps in their defence to break through.
It was a bright start with both teams going close in the early stages with mistakes costing them. Tullow took the lead on 15 minutes and never looked back. Some good teamwork saw them put pressure on the Meath backline.
Aidan Murphy appeared to have touched down but was denied the try due to a high tackle which meant they went back for a penalty with the referee having played advantage. The penalty was easily dispatched by Paul Canavan.
North Meath went close on a number of occasions throughout the half but the Tullow defence were on hand to deal with any danger, holding them up on the line.
Tullow came back fighting after the break and it took them just three minutes to score. Some good pressure from the restart led to Sean Doyle going over in the left-hand corner. Canavan missed the conversion from a difficult angle.
Three minutes later, they had a chance to get another but they were again pushed back for the penalty advantage in front of the sticks. Canavan made no mistake this time and converted easily.
Tullow kept up the pressure and it paid off in the 56th minute as they recycled the ball out wide and Patrick Dawson broke through to carry over the line. Canavan again duly converted.
They rounded off their scoring with 10 minutes to go as they broke down the left, jumping on a Meath error and Tom Eustace beat the last defender and went round to touch down under the posts leaving Canavan with a simple conversion.
In the dying minutes, Meath had a chance to grab a consolation try. Grey jumped on a rare Tullow mistake with no Tullow men ahead of him but he stopped to look over his shoulder and was tackled, Tullow clearing.
They did get a consolation in what was the last action of the game as Eanna Finn got onto the end of a lineout and found a gap in the Tullow defence for an easy touchdown.
Tullow: Adam Doyle, Patrick McCall, Sean Doyle, Fionn Murphy, Tom Eustace, Paul Canavan, Eoghan Cleary; Alan Burns, Keane Doyle, Patrick Kehoe, Dylan Thomas, Patrick Dawson, Martin Cole, Aidan Murphy, John FitzGerald. Subs: Aaron Byrne, Keith Doherty, John Bolger, David Tobin, Bill Eustace.