independent

Sunday 24 March 2019

New Ross exit race

Provincial Towns Cup: New Ross 5 Boyne 42

James Ryan making tracks for New Ross.
James Ryan making tracks for New Ross.

Brendan Furlong in New Ross

While it was more misery for injury-ravaged New Ross, it was quite a positive display from Boyne who dominated the game to such an extent that the outcome of this Provincial Towns Cup opening round tie was never in doubt at Southknock on Sunday.

This was a result that was somewhat expected since New Ross lost four players through injury from the previous weekend, while Boyne had hit a spell of form as the cup approached.

And the difference in class was never in doubt as the Boyne pack won quality and quick ball, putting their team in a position to run in some excellent scores.

New Ross underwent the strange experience of having to field nine players of 19 years or under, whereas Boyne were an experienced outfit.

Their superior physique and ball handling skills eventually led to them getting in control, putting the pressure on New Ross as they mauled and drove their way towards the line, bringing the scores they deserved.

Boyne led 5-0 after just three minutes. A series of mauls and drives close to the New Ross line saw the ball eventually fed along the line, with winger Adam Brodigan showing excellent strength and speed to crash over in the corner. Karl Keogh was just wide with his conversion attempt from out on the touchline.

It was not the start that New Ross would have planned, but they managed to respond with a couple of breaks from Mark Wallace and David Crowdle.

Having forced their way inside the opposition '22, they opted for a penalty into the corner.

With Bryan Harte winning clean possession, the pack got on a tremendous drive, with tight head James Ryan forcing his way over for a try close to the corner. David Thorpe was narrowly wide with his conversion attempt.

Frankly, it was only a matter of time before this young and inexperienced New Ross side would wilt under the physical pressure exerted by their opponents.

After a Karl Keogh 19th-minute penalty had restored Boyne's lead (8-5), the floodgates eventually opened as the physically superior Boyne pack began to totally dominate their opponents.

Opportunities started to present themselves for Boyne. Camped inside the home side's '22, they exerted serious pressure, resulting in their second try after 25 minutes.

After several drives were held up under the posts, Boyne decided to move the ball wide at pace, leaving Graeme McQuillan to get over in the corner, with Keogh kicking an excellent conversion to increase their lead to 15-5.

A heavy defeat was looking ever more likely for New Ross as the Boyne pack had taken total control.

Having forced a five-metre scrum, they turned the pressure on the New Ross eight and Wilson Twentyman was credited with the touchdown, while Keogh added the conversion to make it 22-5 after 30 minutes.

After this period of pressure, New Ross managed to lift the siege as they staged a series of attacks with some fine play from Michael Dunleavy and David Crowdle, but they were unable to create any worthwhile scoring opportunities.

Boyne finished the half with Wexford town native Colm Joyce-Ahearne adding a try, converted by Keogh, while Michael Briscoe - who had assumed the penalty duties following an injury to regular kicker Keogh, that forced his retiral - stretched the lead to 32-5 at the interval.

With never a chance of a New Ross recovery, the second-half was low on quality. Boyne's Patrick Shuttleworth adding a 44th-minute try, but Briscoe failed with his converson attempt.

Kevin McCleary then pounced for an unconverted try ten minutes later as a Boyne side including ex-Wexford footballer Robbie Vallejo from New Ross just saw out the remainder of the game.

The action was held up for several minutes midway through the second-half when David Crowdle received a dislocated knee which saw him eventually helped from the pitch, to add to his side's injury woes.

New Ross: Mark Wallace, Thomas Ryan, David Crowdle, James Ryan, Peter Lawlor; Michael Dunleavy, David Thorpe; James Bryan, Jordan O'Brien, James Ryan; Rory Browne, Bryan Harte; Foley Philips, Tim Coughlan, Liam Furness. Replacements: Conor Dalton for Furness (38), Desmond Cleary for Crowdle (62), Mark McGrath for Bryan (68), also Myles Dempsey, Niall O'Callaghan.

Boyne: Robbie Vallejo; Cormac McQuillan, Adam Brodigan, Brian Howell, Joe Sweeney; Michael Briscoe, Kevin McCleery; Patrick Shuttleworth, Tadgh O'Reilly, Keith Keogh; Kevin Prendergast, Rory Hennessy; Colm Joyce-Ahearne; Wilson Twentyman, Karl Keogh. Replacements: John Heeney for O'Reilly (19), Seán Callaghan for Karl Keogh (37), Ben Dunphy for Sweeney (32), O'Reilly for Heeney (70), also Sam Flynn, Conor Callaghan.

Referee: Ian O'Leary (Leinster Branch).

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