Ross occupy third spot
New Ross welcomed Garda to Allianz Park on Sunday for a Leinster League Division 2A match. Having won five of their ten games in the league so far, they needed one more win to make their position mathematically secure to stay in this division next season.
New Ross 32 - Garda 7
They started well, going on the attack from the first whistle, but Garda seemed to relish the challenge and came back strongly after the initial home onslaught. Using their out-half to kick for position with a strong chase from his team-mates, they forced Ross to run from deep. In fact, Garda dominated for a while and won some penalties.
The home team took the lead in the 21st minute from a penalty after a period of pressure. Kevin Burke obliged with the kick from 25 metres.
Straight from the re-start, New Ross gained possession and Paddy Delaney swung a long, skipped pass. The ball made its way through a number of hands to Matt Crowdle who scored a superb try after chasing his own kick. The conversion was missed to leave the score at eight points to nil.
It seemed that New Ross would kick on from this and more tries would be inevitable. But Garda managed to re-group and scored a try when they poached a line-out from the home side on their own line.
A few ruck phases later, Garda were over the try line for a score to which the conversion was added. It was 8-7 now and all to play for. New Ross were guilty of sloppy play on a few occasions when the last pass went astray with the line at their mercy. However, half-time came with score at 8-7 in favour of New Ross.
New Ross came out a different side in the second-half, playing much more focused rugby, and running hard in straight lines. Conor Dempsey made a superb break, evading several tackles, and Emmet Hall found Jamie Cullen for a great team try. Burke once again added the points for a 15-7 lead.
Five minutes later, Stevie Roche made a strong break from his own half and found Emmet Hall again, who once more supplied Jamie Cullen with a pass for another try, this time in the other corner. It was 20-7 now, and the bonus point was now in sight.
Garda were hardly getting out of their half now, and were facing red jerseys hungry for the next score. It came from Conor Dempsey, who once again broke several tackles to score close to the posts. Mission accomplished now, and a few substitutes were introduced, Luke FitzGibbon being one of them.
Luke finished the scoring with a great individual try when Garda just could not bring him down. Paddy Delaney converted to leave the final score at 32-7 and move New Ross into third place in the league table.
There were some great performances from Stevie Roche, Conor Dempsey, Paddy Delaney and Emmet Hall. New Ross travel to league leaders, Mullingar, next weekend and then play Wexford in the Towns Cup the following week.
Best of luck from the club to Kevin Burke on his last game for the club for a while.
Rathdrum 17, New Ross 0:
New Ross ladies welcomed Rathdrum to Allianz Park on Sunday for a South-East League match.
In cold, blustery conditions, Rathdrum managed to dominate the game with their far bigger forwards and superior tactics. New Ross gave all they had in defence, but they were not able to stop the ball-carriers making yards at the tackle, and using quick ball to keep New Ross scrambling in defence.
Rathdrum were ahead by five points to nil at half-time through a try from a driving maul.
New Ross are known for their attitude of never giving up and demonstrated that once again in this game.
Things might have worked out a little different if the home team had managed to make the final pass or avoid a few frustrating knock-ons at vital times.
This team has a very positive way of playing, but whenever Rathdrum managed to impose their game on the New Ross girls, they always looked dangerous.
Rathdrum added two more tries in the second-half and one conversion to run out 17 points to nil winners.