New Ross Rugby Club preserves Division 2B status
New Ross and Balbriggan met in a play-off to decide which team would play in Division 2B next season. The match was played in Carlow as a neutral venue was required.
This game was played at a frantic pace throughout, and and New Ross gained the upper hand in the first-half. Balbriggan had the heavier pack by far, but the Rossonians had the better set of backs and attacked at every opportunity.
Michael Moloney scored after 15 minutes, with Adam Swan adding the conversion for a vital seven-point lead.
The north Dubliners came straight back at New Ross, but they were picked off again when David Crowdle ran in close to the posts. Swan converted again and soon after was lining up another kick after Jamie Cullen went over in the corner.
The conversion was missed this time but the lead was stretched to 19 points to nil. It now became very important to deny Balbriggan any type of score before half-time.
New Ross were in no mood to give up that score and Adam Swan touched down under the posts and then converted for a half-time lead of 26 points to nil.
If New Ross thought the game was over, Balbriggan had other ideas. In fairness, early second-half injuries to captain Steve Roche and James 'Tank' Ryan cost them a huge amount of experience and Balbriggan started to put their huge forwards to good use.
They scored two tries in quick succession, both unconverted. They looked set to score a third, but Michael Moloney picked off a stray pass and ran the length of the pitch to break the hearts of Balbriggan.
Although they scored a try to bring the scoreline to 36 points to 15, New Ross just had to defend well to see the game out. Adam Swan added another try just before the end and added the conversion for a final score of 43 points to 15.
So, in a game with ten tries, seven to New Ross, the Barrowsiders' Division 2B status was preserved for next season.
Adam Swan just about shaded man of the match, with a personal haul of 18 points.