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Sunday 24 March 2019

Wexford fourth after loss in snow

Rugby, Leinster League: Newbridge 26, Wexford Wanderers 0

The dreadful conditions Wexford had to endure in Sunday’s game
The dreadful conditions Wexford had to endure in Sunday’s game

The Wexford Wanderers first XV travelled to Newbridge on Sunday for the final round of matches of Leinster League Division 2A.

Wanderers, who were crowned Division 2B champions and promoted this time last season, came into the weekend in third place with the outside possibility of a league title win.

As it stood, Wanderers trailed leaders Clondalkin by four points while second-placed Cill Dara were a mere three points ahead.

On paper it appeared Clondalkin were firmly in the driving seat, with little inclination to relinquishing it as they faced second bottom Railway Union at home while Cill Dara hosted bottom side New Ross.

Wanderers had by far the toughest challenge, facing a Newbridge side just three points behind them and eyeing up their third place.

A loss for the top two and a bonus point win for Wanderers could have changed everything, but the likelihood of that seemed a long shot.

The biggest factor from the outset was the weather, with early morning rain on the journey up turning to sleet and then light snow before kick-off.

From the start the weather and the scoreline deteriorated, with Newbridge scoring on the ten-minute mark before adding a second after another five minutes to go 12-0 ahead.

At this stage Wanderers lost captain Darragh Kehoe with a head injury, with Kyle Roche entering the fray as the snow started to really pelt down.

Newbridge made the most of the conditions, with their third try arriving on the 25-minute mark before adding the bonus try before the interval to lead 26-0.

At the interval, with a number of players suffering in the conditions, Wanderers emptied the bench and made some positional changes, with Paul Gannon moving to out-half, and his brother, John, taking over at full-back.

During the second period Wanderers started to build on their strong scrum and play with the conditions like Newbridge, with both sides essentially stuffing the ball up their jerseys for the remainder of the game.

With the snow making the pitch markings indistinguishable, the referee called the game up after the 60th minute to end Wanderers' misery.

Wanderers ended the league in fourth place behind champions Clondalkin, Cill Dara and two points behind third-placed Newbridge.

Wanderers have a break next weekend before an away trip to Edenderry on St. Patrick's Day in the Towns Plate.

Wexford: Seán Redmond, Graham Grant, Aidan Stewart, Darragh Kehoe (capt.), John Turner, Tom Brennan, Cillian McConville, Bobby Clancy, Kevin B. Roche, Seán Stafford, Calum Murphy, Colm O Corcora, Seán O Corcora, Mark Power, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Kyle Roche for Kehoe (10), Kevin Birney for Grant (HT), Vincent Carroll for McConville (HT), Noel Richards for S. O Corcora (HT), John Gannon for Stafford (HT).

Wexford People

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