Wanderers waltz to win
Wexford 35 Arklow RFC 0
A superb performance from the visiting Wexford Wanderers under-14 side saw them defeat a gallant Arklow RFC at The Oval on a bitterly cold Thursday evening last week.
Outstanding showings from Finn Ryan, Fionn O'Callaghan and Kaylem Codd helped the Wexford Wanderers to their 35-0 victory, but the Arklow boys can hold their heads high for the manner in which they kept battling in this game despite it being obvious that the bigger and more powerful Model County side were always going to dominate in the majority of sectors on the field.
The physical contrast between both sides was very noticeable when both sides lined up for the first competitive game under lights on the new pitch at the Arklow RFC grounds. The grounds are a credit to the club, the pitch was in excellent conditions, the lights were brilliantly bright and the welcome was, as always, warm and friendly.
A brave opening five minutes from the home side kept the visitors out after a number of chances. Arklow made several attempts to launch attacks but were swallowed up by a hungry Wexford defence.
It was obvious that there was pace to burn in the Wexford backs and Finn Ryan careered through a sluggish Arklow line to sail over the line for the opening score which he converted.
The Wexford heads were up at this stage and they could see the gaps outside against a clustering Arklow side and two minutes after Ryan's opener, the excellent Kaylem Codd charged over in the corner despite a decent effort to halt his marauding run. The conversion was missed.
Arklow were under the kosh for much of the opening half. What possession they did win was robbed by a clinical Wexford midfield but there were some fine defensive showings with Rian Downes and Oisin Beirne making two fantastic try-saving tackles at various times in the opening 15 minutes.
A Finn Ryan penalty made it 15-0 before Fionn O'Callaghan burst down the wing and touched down. Finn Ryan missed the conversion but got over for another try before the half-time break to leave it 20-0 to the visitors at the break.
Two tries in the second half put the result beyond doubt, those coming from Kaylem Codd but it should be said that Arklow, despite the score line, continued to drive hard at Wexford with Calvin Kirya making two superb bursts up the field only to be swallowed up by the Wexford defence.
The addition of Zander Davis and Billy Molloy certainly boosted the Arklow defence but the final 35-0 tally is a fair reflection of the difference between the sides.
An enjoyable game, though, played in a wonderfully sporting manner.
Wexford Wanderers: Brian Codd, Marty Reynolds, Fionn O'Callaghan, Finn Ryan, Niall Power, Daniel Foley, Bobby Connolly, David Harney, Eoin Walsh, Kent Lam, Luke O'Connor, Pearce Conway, Christopher Brennan, Conor Dempsey, Kaylem Codd. Subs: 16. Brian Donohoe, 17. Kyle Goold, 18. Max Matthews-Jones, 19. Luke Cullen, 20. Ruairi Flannery, 21. Harry Roche, 22. Robert Curtin, 23. James Doran.
Arklow RFC: Sean Weld, Jack Gorman, Chris O'Brien, Oisin Beirne, Calvin Kirya, Luke Doyle, Eoin Gavigan, Roy Bailham, Jamie Tobin, Daire Furlong, Josh Tunney, Theo Vanhoove, Ross Burke, Rian Downes, Dean Farrell. Subs: 16. Robert Gormley, 17. Eoin Byrne, 18. Zander Davis, 19. Billy Molloy, 20. Padraic Bermingham, 21. Marcus Wolff.
Referee: Martin Murphy