First XV v Navan Match Report
AIL 2A Round 13
Terry Pratchett, the renowned English author once said,“In order to have a change of fortune at the last minute, you have to take your fortune to the last minute.”
And so it came to pass at a windswept Balreask Old on Saturday. Navan, having raced into a lead in the reverse fixture at Stradbrook, once again started quickly and had a 10 : 0 lead after seventeen minutes, scoring a penalty and a fine converted try.
10 : 0
On twenty three minutes, Niall Hardiman scored off the back of a rolling maul to get us on the scoreboard. Kicker Quirke certainly brought his kicking boots on this road trip and converted his first of four conversions, two of which were from way out wide.
10 : 7
On the half hour mark, Paul McSweeney scored a push over try and the extras were added by Quirkie.
10 : 14
In first half time added on and after a jinking run from their centre, Navan scored a well worked try in the corner. The conversion attempt missed and they led by a single point at the break.
15 : 14
After the break Kicker put us back in the lead, slotting a penalty from near half way.
15 : 17
Two superb long range penalties, taken from inside our half, put Navan back in front after sixty eight minutes.
21 : 17
A red card for a dangerous tackle from Navan #19 on seventy five minutes changed the outcome of the match. Up until then the game was so closely contested that none of the huge crowd present would have taken a bet on who might get over the line.
With Navan down to fourteen, gaps appeared in their back line. First to take advantage of this was James ‘Jesus’ Fennelly who cross kicked from a scrum for Chris ‘Rollers’ Rolland to score in the corner. Quirkie added the extras with another superb effort.
Well into time added on and after we could hear the ref. saying “last play” we did what we have become known for. Navan, looking for a score to win the match, ran the ball from a scrum at their 22. They lost possession just short of half way. Dave McCarthy swooped on the loose ball and passed to Ross Barron. Barron broke two tackles and then dummied to score our Bonus point try. The unerring boot of Kicker Quirke added the extra two. We rode our luck and brought that fortune to the final minute, leaving a distraught Navan with the five points secured.
21 : 31
After a brilliant effort, both in defence and attack, The Carl Gross Menswear MOTM is Dave McCarthy. For all your menswear needs, visit Carl Gross online or in-person at their shop on Dawson Street.
Other results on the day sees us now second in the league table. With 46 points we are level with MU Barnhall, who are in first place with a points differential of 28.
A Queens loss to UL Bohemian sees the Belfast outfit drop down to third place on 44 points. Nenagh Ormond beat Old Crescent and are up to fourth on 42. Cashel, after a draw at home to Dolphin, round out the top five on 41 points.
Next up is a top-of-the-table clash against MU Barnhall this Saturday, Feb. 25th, in Stradbrook. This is the biggest game of our season thus far and all support is much appreciated.
There is space available at the pre match lunch.
Bookings to Conor Cleary before noon on Thursday, please.
Tel: 087 255 1479