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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Wexford share spoils

Battle for second spot will end Sunday

The Wexford Wanderers first XV travelled to Arklow on Sunday in the penultimate round of Division 2B of the Leinster League.

Arklow 14 Wexford Wanderers 14

Wanderers came into the game on the back of a long lay-off due to the cup season and the fact that in the opening round of the Provincial Towns Plate they received a walkover from Boyne.

The last time the sides met in November, Wanderers dispatched Arklow at home by 35-0 in a contest that marked their resurgence in the league.

The game started with both sides competing well across the pitch, with Arklow's home knowledge of their ground providing a slight edge in the very heavy ground conditions which ensured the game would not become a spectacle of running rugby.

Indeed, such were the ground conditions that the match ball appeared to be unbalanced due to the coating of heavy mud that covered it for the duration of the game.

Wanderers were first on the scoreboard with a try on the right from wing Carty who was released down what appeared to be the only part of the pitch with any volume of grass covering it by scrum-half Casey after 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the conversion was not added.

Arklow responded with a converted try 15 minutes later to take the lead before their indiscipline started to cost them when centre Waters converted a penalty just before the interval to give Wexford a narrow 8-7 lead.

In the second period Waters increased the lead twice from the boot to give Wexford a seven-point margin heading for the end. However, the game had some acts still to play.

Firstly after some good handling Waters managed to break the Arklow defence with Casey in support before he was cynically tackled around the neck by the last defender who should have been given more than a yellow card for his actions.

An off-load to Casey, who is better known as a winger than a scrum-half, could possibly have sealed the contest.

Arklow rallied and in the closing minutes kept Wanderers pinned in their own '22. Such was the pressure that in the end the referee walked to the posts to award a penalty try which Arklow duly converted to secure a very undeserved draw at 14-14 before he blew the final whistle.

To add injury to insult, results elsewhere saw Athy narrowly beat league leaders New Ross to re-open with Wanderers the battle for second place. A win in Arklow for Wanderers would have blown the whole title race with New Ross open again.

Next up is the final round of the league next Sunday at Park Lane when Wanderers host Ardee at 3 p.m. Your support is always welcome so come and encourage the boys to finish the league with a bang.

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Wexford: Seán Redmond, Kevin Redmond, Jason Guirrine, Chris Walsh, Darragh Kehoe, Tom Brennan, Luke Roche, Carthaigh Geoghegan, Robbie Casey, Eoin Roche, Callum Murphy, Tommy Hudson, Richie Waters, Corey Carty, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Shea Boggan, Graham Grant, Aidan Stewart, James Byrne, Aaron O'Neill.

Wexford People

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