Saturday 25 November 2017


Sunday last saw Wexford Wanderers host North Meath at Park Lane in another crucial fixture following the previous week's top of table clash with Birr. The hosts got on the scoresheet early with a try from No. 8 John Rowe which was converted by Colm O Corcora.

Ten minutes later Colm O Corcora broke through for a try himself which he failed to convert to give Wanderers a 12-0 start to the first quarter. In the next 20 minutes the floodgates opened for the home side with four unanswered tries.

The first came from full-back Paul Gannon, then winger John Browne was quickly followed by the half back pairing of Stewie Ryan and Maurice Logue, with young O Corcora adding two conversions to give the home side a 36-0 lead at the break.

The intensity of the contest was also impacting on the visiting side who, after losing some of their front row and replacement front row players, had to go to uncontested scrums, a fact that also provided evidence of Wanderers' physical strength up front in this contest.

The second-half started as the first with fullback Gannon scoring his second try of the contest. However, a quick break from the visitors saw one of their backs break through the Wanderers line and race to the corner to score a try which was duly converted.

The side in control of this contest once again attacked the visitors' line with pace, switching the ball from right to left before replacement prop Willie Morris crashed the ball up in front of the posts. From the resultant ruck replacement scrum-half Mick Bolger flashed the ball quickly to the left wing before wing-forward Aidan Stewart cut back in at the angle to cross for the try.

In the final minutes of the contest Wanderers once again broke quickly along the left before winger Podge Cousins scored the try which transpired to be the final score of the contest which ended 51-7. The positives that Wanderers can justifiably take from this contest were the consistency of the performance and the desire to play attractive rugby of which the attending crowd was most appreciative.

The next meeting for the side is another home tie on Sunday next, November 18, when the West Offaly Lions travel to Park Lane in another top four tie which will take Wanderers' league campaign up to the mid-season mark. Your support is as always appreciated so why not come out to Park Lane on Sunday next at 2.30 p.m. for hopefully another stunning display of rugby.

Team: Richie Morris, Alan Kinsella, Niall Stenning, Chris Walsh, Rory O'Leary, Aidan Stewart, Anthony Walsh (capt.), John Rowe, Stuart Ryan, Maurice Logue, John Browne, Colm O Corcora, Seán O Corcora, Mark Goodison, Paul Gannon. Subs. - Podge Cousins, Neil Mac Aogáin, Willie Morris, Mick Bolger, Mark Rowe.

A much-weakened seconds side faced league pace-setters Railway Union on Sunday last at Park Lane. The home side, depleted through injuries, took to the field with only 13 men and despite the imbalance played some good rugby in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

In order to try to disrupt the visitors' patterns of play, the home side tried as much as possible to play the game up front and to the visitors' credit most of their scores came from the use of an overlap of players in areas the home side struggled to cover, especially out wide on the flanks.

Wanderers came close to scoring a couple of times during the contest, firstly from the boot of out-half Stewie Brennan after they were awarded a penalty, but unfortunately the ball drifted wide of the posts. The second opportunity came from prop Gavin Doyle who charged at pace with the ball towards the Railway Union line before being stopped five metres short.

The only opportunity of the second-half came when some Railway indiscipline allowed Wanderers to work the ball up along the touchline. From the resultant line-out Wanderers charged at the visitors' line with No. 8 McConville getting closest before Railway were awarded a penalty and managed to lift the pressure.

In a difficult contest the Wexford players acquitted themselves well in the circumstances although the scoreline ended up 66-0 to the visitors.

Team: Dermot Graham (capt.), Adam Cheevers, Gavin Doyle, Frank Jordan, Shane Byrne, Podge Power, Neil Mac Aogáin, Cillian McConville, Seamus Carroll, Stewart Brennan, Mick Bolger, Wayne O'Connor, Dave Kelleher.

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