- Tim Molony
Match Report: U20s V. Navan
U20s 33 V. 17 Navan (H) 22nd October A lovely day in Stradbrook saw Blackrock run out 33-17 winners in a fast-flowing exciting contest. Blackrock were eager to get back on the field after a frustrating loss to UCD a week ago and it showed as early pressure was applied from the get go. A couple of breaks from Tiernan O’Hagan gave Rock early chances close to the Navan line, however, the pressure came to no avail.
The first score came on the 10 minute mark from a powerful Rock maul which saw them push Navan over from 15 metres. Spencer Loughman was the man to touch down. The conversion was missed by Peter O’Reilly and Rock led 5-0. Navan’s scrum had the upper hand in the first half and they used this to great effect as they won a penalty on the half way line which launched them into Rock’s 22. From this resulting attack Navan won a five metre scrum and eventually pushed Rock over their own line making the scores level at 5-5 with the conversion also being missed.
Blackrock came close to the Navan try line several times throughout the following 20 mins, however, they did not cross the whitewash but a penalty was won on Navan’s 22 which was slotted by Peter O’Reilly to make it 8-5. Continuous pressure came from Rock and it eventually paid off as lock Jack Gardiner blocked down a clearance kick from Navan fly-half Niall McGrane which was gobbled up by Peter O’Reilly to dot down virtually under the posts. His conversion made it 15-5 at the half time break.
Straight from the restart, slick handling from Paul Cullen, Alan Francis and Adam Larmour brought Rock up to the Navan 5 metre line which was followed by quick snipe from number 8 Cillian Daly to barrel over to put Rock further ahead making it 20-5. Navan’s defensive line was now being punctured on numerous occasions and with Blackrock’s scrum now sorting itself out, there was only going to be one winner. Peter O’Reilly slotted another penalty in front of the posts extending Rock’s lead to 23-5 and this was followed by another Rock score with Alan Francis breaking through to score under the posts , making it 30-5 with 20 mins left on the clock.
Navan did respond however as they now began to capitalize on lazy Blackrock defence as they ran in two scores for themselves with lock Conor Kelly and number 8 Cathal Wall both dotting down from short range. Victory was more or less secured however when Peter O’Reilly converted another penalty from right in front to make it 33-17 with 5 mins to go.
A great win for Blackrock which will give them confidence for their next game against St Mary’s in two weeks time.