Clonmel RFC 20
Enniscorthy RFC 22
Enniscorthy continued their winning form in the league with a hard-earned victory in a thriller away to Clonmel last Saturday. This was an excellent game with both sides scoring 3 tries. Enniscorthy were a little more accurate with the boot which proved crucial at the finish. Again, as in the past three games, the bench provided the impetus to secure the win.
The hosts got off to a great start scoring a try off a driving maul after only 7 minutes. Their full-back missed the conversion and also an easier penalty kick soon afterwards. Enniscorthy, however, began to take the game to Clonmel and after a series of rucks No 8 Timmy Morrissey drove over near the posts, Ben Kidd converted to put them in the lead. Midway through the first half, they struck again from a 5-metre line out. The pack went through a series of phases before they spread the ball, full-back Richard Dunne found space when he entered the line and dived over for a well-constructed try. Ben Kidd kicked an excellent conversion to put the visitors 14-5 up.
Clonmel hit back with a penalty 25 metres out after driving back the Enniscorthy scrum. Two line-out losses on their own throw cost the Wexford men as Clonmel gained valuable possession and drove towards the line. Eventually, their influential No 8 Neville Melbourne squeezed over from short range. Darren Cass missed an easy conversion that would have given them the lead at half time.
Enniscorthy started the second with a slight 14-13 lead. After 10 minutes Richard Dunne, who had a wonderful game, popped up again when he quickly picked up from the back of a ruck and ran 30 metres up the blindside. Wing Ivan Jacob did well to be on his shoulder and when Dunne passed inside to him Jacob ran in from 25 metres. Ivan Poole missed THE conversion from wideout.
Enniscorthy were dominating at this stage but they did need an extra score which did not come.
With about 7 mins left Clonmel were awarded a penalty and went for the corner. After a series of mauls, they scored under the posts to put them 20-19 in the lead. Enniscorthy responded however and after a series of attacks, Clonmel were caught offside in the middle. Ivan Poole converted to restore the lead for Enniscorthy with 2 mins of injury time left. Clonmel did get one last throw of the dice when they were awarded a penalty on the halfway near the left touchline. They decided to kick for goal but it was well short and wide. This was the final play in a wonderful closely contested open game.
This was Clonmel’s first home defeat in the league. Enniscorthy’s composure and fitness probably told at the finish. It was very much a big team effort. In the pack, No 8 Timmy Morrissey had a huge game while full-back Richard Dunne broke Clonmel’s heart with some great runs and a wonderful try. At the end, Enniscorthy were both thrilled and relieved to come away with this crucial win.
Coach Kieran Hurrell was very happy after the game “The lads showed character today against a big physical Munster team. With Tom Ryan and Joe Carley out, both Lee Treacy and Stephen Hadley did very well. We came back from a point down with just 7 minutes left to win the game. This was as tough a test as we have met so far.”
Enniscorthy continue their AIL campaign at home Saturday 30th November in the Ross Road against Tullamore at 2.30pm.
Angelo Todisco, Davy Murphy, Paddy Waters, Tomas Stamp, Stephen Hadley, Nick Doyle, Lee Treacy, Timmy Morrissey, Billy Wickham, Ben Kidd, David O’ Dwyer, Ivan Poole(Captain), Daniel Pim, Ivan Jacob, Richard Dunne.
Subs: M J Doyle (L Treacy 50 mins), Jim White (S Hadley 50 mins) Hughie O’ Neill (B Kidd 50 mins), Arthur Dunne (B Wickham 50mins), Ryan Cahill.