Seconds clinch derby hat-trick
Historic day for Wanderers
The Wexford Wanderers second XV hosted Enniscorthy at Park Lane on Saturday in the final round of the Leinster South East J2/J3 league.
Wanderers 26 Enniscorthy 5
Going into the fixture Wanderers had all but secured second place, with Enniscorthy trailing by three points in third place and tied with New Ross on points.
The game provided Wanderers seconds with an opportunity to achieve an historic home hat-trick of derby wins within the same season following wins over Gorey and New Ross at Park Lane. Unfortunately for Wanderers, in the away fixture in November Enniscorthy managed to secure a narrow 34-29 last-minute win to deny them a hat-trick of away derby wins.
The game started with Enniscorthy attacking Wanderers in the forward line to try to create a platform for their back line. However, Wanderers' defences held firm and 15 minutes in centre Richie Waters found a gap to cut through and score under the posts to allow him easily add the conversion.
Enniscorthy again attacked hard and sterling tackles from Moore and Smythe snuffed out many attacks before they took hold. The next score came on the stroke of half-time when Enniscorthy pressure finally paid off and they scored an unconverted try to narrow the gap to 7-5 at the interval.
In the second period Wexford were first off the mark when Waters and O'Neill linked up to allow Waters sneak a try in the corner after ten minutes.
Twenty minutes later Waters found a gap in the Enniscorthy midfield and raced through to score his hat-trick under the posts to increase the scoreline to 19-5.
At this stage Wanderers had started to utilise the bench, with Byrne and Vickery carrying strongly while Kelleher provided further options for Wanderers in the line-out. Walsh came on to the wing for Cardiff and acquitted himself well, especially in defence.
As the final whistle approached the slippery Callum Murphy finally wormed through the Enniscorthy backs to score under the posts and allow Waters to finish the scoring at 26-5.
It was an impressive and historic win for the second side in a season where many have matured into players capable of challenging for places in the first XV. With the league out of the way, Wanderers' focus now switches back to the Provincial Seconds Towns Cup.
Two weeks ago an impressive win in the opening round propelled the side into the second round, the first time Wanderers recorded a win in this competition in a generation. The second round sees Clane visiting Park Lane next Sunday, February 26, at 3 p.m. with the prize of a place in the quarter-finals at stake for the winners.
The side know that with cup rugby it is 80 minutes of winner takes all action, and after such a successful season in the league the chance of success is there to take one game at a time. All supporters of the club are asked to get out on Sunday to Park Lane and to cheer the side on into the next round.
Meanwhile, the Wanderers first XV were due to play Boyne at Park Lane on Sunday but late on Friday the news emerge that the opposition were looking for a postponement due to players being injured or tied up with their A.I.L. campaign.
Following a flurry of activity, Boyne conceded the fixture, giving Wanderers a bye into the second round of the Provincial Towns Plate. At this stage the identity of their opponents is unknown as the draw is due to take place during the middle of this week.
In other news the club will be hosting a 'Stars in their Eyes' competition in the clubhouse on Friday, March 3, to raise funds. The number of acts rehearsing after rugby training has been growing steadily over the past number of weeks and an entertaining night will be guaranteed, with many acts paying tribute to a variety of artistes and musical genres.
Tickets are on sale at only €5 each and may be booked through the club social media channels or on the door.
Meanwhile, the date for the club annual dinner dance in the Talbot Hotel has been announced as March 17 which will give rugby supporters an added reason to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year.
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Team: Dave Martin, Aaron Smythe, Jason Guirrine, Pat Toomey, Reece Moore, Alan Kinsella, Cartaigh Geogeghan, Darragh Keogh, James Bolger, Tommy Hudson, Callum Murphy, Noel Richards (capt.), Richie Waters, Owen Cardiff, Aaron O'Neill. Subs. - Chris Vickery, James Byrne, Chris Walsh, Dave Kelleher, Seán Redmond.