Thursday, November 28, 2019

Leinster League Division 1B

Carlow 15

Boyne 10

CARLOW secured their first home win of this season’s Leinster League at the weekend when they accounted for visitors Boyne. At the league’s half-way stage, the Barrowsiders are lying fourth in the table.

Despite all the rain, the Oak Park pitch held up well and this helped to produce an entertaining game. However, Carlow should have and probably would have scored more points but for their malfunctioning lineout.

Four times in the first half, the home side lost own-throw lineouts in the opposition 22 and allowed the Drogheda-based visitors off the hook. On another occasion Carlow won a lineout 10 metres from the Boyne line but were penalised for ‘truck and trailer’ when Boyne didn’t engage to stop a Carlow drive.

This left the half-time score 3-3. A fifth-minute Boyne penalty was cancelled on 35 minutes by a kick from in front of the posts by Carlow captain Richard Whyte. Earlier Carlow had rejected kickable penalties only to lose the corner lineouts.

Carlow’s breakthrough try came 10 minutes into the second half. Full-back Graham Brennan came into a backs move at pace and put winger Callum Murphy in for a touchdown in the corner.

Eight minutes later the Co Meath-born IT Carlow student Brennan scored a lovely try himself. Carlow won a lineout 30 metres out. In what looked like a training ground move, first the ball was passed right, then back left and then passed right again in an offload to Brennan who ran a lovely angle from full-back to slice through the defence for a score. Whyte’s conversion opened up a 15-3 home team lead.

After this Boyne moved up a gear. They forced two Carlow yellow cards and whilst the Oak Park side was down to 13 men, the team from Louth managed to get through for a touchdown after a series of scrums and pick and goes.

A feature of Carlow’s game this year has been their tight defence. Once the home side was back to the full complement after the sin binning, Boyne didn’t look like getting through for another score. The game ended at 15-10 to the home side.

Carlow’s next outing will be at home in Oak Park against Clondalkin next weekend. Then on Sunday 8 December Carlow play Tullow at Black Gates.

This time in addition to bragging rights and Leinster League points, the two protagonists will also be competing for a new trophy called the Carpe Diem Cup. This cup has been sponsored by John Colgan, owner of the Carpe Diem Bar in Carlow and the Tara Arms Hotel in Tullow.

Carlow: Graham Brennan, Sam Cullen, Pat Connors, Richard Whyte Capt, Calum Murphy, Fionan Burke, Isaac Daly, Owen Edgehill, Evan Gordon, Ross Byrne, Wes Shirley, John Lyons, Rhys Edgehill, John Murphy, Ross Elmes. Subs: Larry McGrath, Martin Mullins, Conor Treacy, John Whyte, Sam Dunne.

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