Wanderers teams make winning start to new year versus Athboy and Kilkenny
Wexford Wanderers' first XV started 2017 with a long trip to face Athboy in a fixture the visitors needed to win well to keep pressure on local rivals New Ross in the push for the Leinster League Division 2B title.
When Athboy visited Park Lane back in October, Wanderers ran out 37-19 winners, securing a bonus point in the process.
The return fixture started as Wanderers would have wished with full-back Paul Gannon opening the scoring with an unconverted try on ten minutes.
A further ten minutes of tough rugby ensued until centre O Corcora added the next unconverted try. However, some Wexford indiscipline allowed Athboy narrow the gap with a penalty to leave the score 10-3 at the interval.
In the second period Wanderers picked up where they left off, with winger Robbie Casey scoring two tries - the second of which was converted - within ten minutes of the re-start to secure Wanderers the bonus point.
Not to be left behind, out-half Eoin Roche scored his first try for the Senior team five minutes later to put the fixture beyond doubt. Winger Barry concluded the scoring on the 60th minute with a try which was converted.
In the final phase of the contest the game took a dark turn with Athboy being punished for indiscipline, with two players spending time in the sin-bin. However, this seemed to steel the resolve of the remaining Athboy players who denied Wanderers any further scores.
The final score was 34-3 to Wanderers with an important bonus point secured. Next up is the visit of perennial opponents Balbriggan to Park Lane in another vital fixture in Wanderers' drive to chase down New Ross for the title.
Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m. next Sunday and as much support as possible will be appreciated.
Team: Seán Redmond, Kevin Birney, Dave Martin, Darragh Kehoe (capt.), John Turner, Tom Brennan, Luke Roche, Cartaigh Geoghegan, Kevin Roche, Eoin Roche, Robbie Casey, Colm O Corcora, Shea Boggan, Liam Barry, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Kevin Redmond, Willie Morris, Corey Carty, Aaron O'Neill.
The Wexford Wanderers second XV started 2017 on the road in the Leinster South East J2/J3 with a trip to the Marble city to face Kilkenny.
The game started with keenly-contested breakdowns and Kilkenny managed to steal the opening score after some very loose and scrappy play. It was during these early exchanges that Wanderers lost winger Craig Hore to a serious leg injury which we all hope he recovers from quickly.
Wanderers, however, refocused and centre Murphy managed to break through for the opening score which Carfiff converted. The second score came shortly after with full-back O'Neill latching onto a pass from Barry and using his blistering pace to burn the Kilkenny backs and score in the corner.
Kilkenny were starting to encounter significant difficulties at this stage as they lost players through injury, with no replacements available. Just before the interval, No. 8 Vickery latched onto a pass and made a 50-metre dash to get the final converted try of the period to give Wanderers a 17-7 lead.
In the second period Kilkenny's problems continued to mount as more players left the fray injured. Wanderers managed to continue keeping the pressure on, and both Smythe and Walsh were unlucky not to have scored.
The final score came from Murphy once again who cut through the Kilkenny defence to gift Cardiff the easiest of conversions. With the score at 24-7, Kilkenny reached breaking point with their injuries and the referee blew the final whistle around the 60th minute.
Team: Bob O'Leary, Aaron Smythe, Dermot Graham, Dave Kelleher, Pat Toomey, Chris Walsh, Alan Kinsella, Chris Vickery, James Bolger, John Barry, Craig Hore, Noel Richards, Callum Murphy, Owen Cardiff, Aaron O'Neill. Subs. - Stevie Holloway, Trevor Devereux.