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Friday 26 April 2019

Wanderers on song in derby

Wexford 29 New Ross 14

Shea Boggan of Wexford Wanderers tackles Bryan Harte (New Ross) in Sunday’s Division 2A derby
Shea Boggan of Wexford Wanderers tackles Bryan Harte (New Ross) in Sunday’s Division 2A derby

David Medcalf in Park Lane

A bonus point win kept Wexford in Leinster League Division 2A contention at Park Lane on Sunday, while win-less New Ross remained marooned at the foot of the table.

The Barrowsiders were also left shorn one of their most influential characters as veteran scrum-half Jared Dunbar shipped a nasty neck injury in the second-half.

The 42-year-old was kept immobilised and left in the care of paramedics while the match was completed on one of the back pitches at the Wanderers complex.

An air of inevitability hung over the venue from early in play once prop Seán Redmond barrelled over for the first of his side's five tries of the afternoon.

The homesters had their four-try bonus wrapped up within 30 minutes of kick-off and there was little in the way of a local derby feel to the occasion.

Elegant rugby was made all but impossible by the breeze at Wexford backs as they attacked the Volunteers end of the pitch in the opening half.

Ross enjoyed some early possession but, once opposition out-half Shea Boggan began lofting kicks on the wind, they were soon on the back foot.

A lost line-out and some fierce mauling opened the way for Redmond to trot in for his all-too-simple touchdown, followed by an excellent Richie Waters conversion.

And the visitors remained on the ropes throughout the following 20 minutes or so as the eventual winners laid the foundations of victory.

Try two followed shortly afterwards, again landed by a prop - this time Bobby Clancy erupting from scattered midfield play with the ball to show a pleasing turn of foot.

With Tom Brennan and Luke Roche sailing high in the line-outs, try three was not long in coming.

The over-worked New Ross defence was dragged first one way and then the other before Richie Waters burst over in the right corner.

The winger proved unable to add the conversion from the touchline and he was also off target after full-back Eoin Roche claimed try four.

This was the most crowd-pleasing score of the lot, the result of a fleet-footed break out from defence led by Boggan and Seán O Corcora.

The prospect of a hiding loomed as the scoreline read 24-0 at the interval, but the bloodbath never materialised.

With Brennan withdrawn for attention to a shoulder strain and indiscipline leading to the concession of a series of unnecessary penalties, the tide turned.

Quick taking of one of these penalties opened the way for full-back Seán Crowdle to squeeze his way through for a defiant New Ross score.

The same player slotted the conversion safely over the bar, and not even the switch to the reserve pitch halted the revival of the underdogs.

When Liam Furness profited from confusion at a Wexford line-out to gain possession and stretch his way over the line, the gap was reduced to just ten points.

But Wexford quashed all thoughts of an unlikely revival as Waters added his second touchdown of a blustery afternoon, though the losers at least emerged with some measure of pride.

Wexford Wanderers: Eoin Roche, Richie Waters, Seán O Corcora, Colm O Corcora, Calum Murphy, Shea Boggan, Stuart Ryan; Seán Redmond, Graham Grant, Bobby Clancy, John Turner, Christopher Walsh, Tom Brennan, Luke Roche, Darragh Kehoe. Subs. - Kevin Redmond, Kyle Roche, Corey Carty, Liam Barry, Seán Stafford.

New Ross: Seán Crowdle, Tommy Ryan, David Crowdle, Michael Dunleavy, Matt Crowdle, Seán Nolan, Jared Dunbar; James Ryan, Jordan O'Brien, James Bryan, Bryan Harte, James Fitzgerald, Foley Phillips, Liam Furness, Tim Coughlan. Subs. - Rory Browne, Mark McGrath, Steve Roche, Ben Sutton, Mark Wallace.

Referee: Willie Murphy (Thomastown Normans).   

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