Carlow 24 Newbridge 24
Carlow’s chances of promotion from Section 2A of the Leinster Rugby League took
another knock on Sunday when they only drew 24 points each with Newbridge a team
they beat 30 pts to 18 in Newbridge back in October.
With the main pitch still out of use from the recent flooding, the game was played on
the top pitch at Oakpark.
Against the wind in the 1st half Carlow conceded a succession of frustrating penalties
three of which were converted. Newbridge also got in for a converted try to leave
them on 16 points at the break. For their part Carlow scored a try when full back
Ritchie Whyte got in at the corner after the forwards had mauled from 30 metres.
Whyte also converted a penalty to leave it 16 – 8 in favour of the visitors at half time.
With rain adding to the wind in the second half this score looked surmountable for
Carlow in the second period but within the third minute Newbridge had scored
another unconverted try. Carlow failed to counter a good cross kick from the
Newbridge and their winger scored in the corner.
Newbridge now led 21 -8 but almost immediately Carlow came back with a Ritchie
White penalty. The Carlow pack was now beginning to dominate and the young
number 10 Fionnan Burke began to use the corners and the wind. In the ninth minute
the pack swept up the field and James Nolan barged over for a try which was
converted by Whyte. The score was now Carlow 18 Newbridge 21 and Carlow looked
good for a win with 30 minutes remaining.
But then followed a period of immense frustration for the Carlow team, supporters
and coaches alike. A litany of knock-ons could be explained by the driving rain and
cold but the five second half penalties given against the dominant Carlow scrum
mystified all Carlovians. The referee seemed to be particularly hard on experienced
prop Larry McGrath. One of these penalties under the posts was converted by
Newbridge to bring them to 24 points.
Fortunately for Carlow full back Ritchie Whyte was also on target with two
challenging late penalty kicks for the Barrowsiders to bring the final score to 24
Carlow travel to Edenderry for their next match before meeting Cill Dara in the
Towns Cup at Oakpark on the following week.
Carlow J1 .
Ritchie Whyte, Jeff McDermott, Harry Hennessey, Simon Walshe, Peter Hennessey,
Fionnan Burke, John Whyte, Alan Byrne, John Farrell, Ross Byrne, John Lyons, Wes
Shirley capt, Chris Niall Bermingham, Thomas Ratahi, James Nolan.
Subs used Larry McGrath, Mark Furey, Mark Elmes.