Connemara 15 Carlow 8
Carlow travelled to Connemara with high hopes of improving their position or at least retaining the second position spot in the AIL division 3 league table on Saturday.
This expectation was well justified, despite being second on the table they were the only team that had only one defeat this season and had only conceded 66 points, the lowest in the league to date.
We were well aware of the position and knew we would need as good a performance to keep the visitors from achieving their ambition.
The weather again was a worry but on the day things turned out well, the day was good and the ground staff did a great job to make the pitch playable if not ideal for good rugby.
Carlow came with a reputation for being slow starters and lived up to their reputation on the other hand we were coming off a comfortable if not convincing win against Waterpark last week were out of the blocks like a shot and within 4min were in for a try by Kevin Keogh which was converted by Sean Joyce 7-0.
We had a chance to extend the lead a few minutes later but missed a penalty.
In the 14 minute Troy Nathan brushed aside Carlow’s best efforts to go in for a great try but the conversion was missed 12-0.
It was like last week great opening 15 minutes but Carlow are a better team than Waterpark and we remember how they came back. Carlow started to come into the game at this stage and were getting the upper hand and were rewarded after a lot of pressure with a try on the left wing which they failed to convert.
We missed another penalty in the 35th minute and when Paddy O Toole went off injured in the 38th minute we knew they would have a tough task in the second half.
In the 9th minute of the second half after a period of sustained pressure, Carlow were rewarded with a well taken drop goal 12-8.
Carlow kept up the pressure and when Michael Aspell was sin binned for slowing down the ball in the ruck things were looking grim. In fairness to our lads they put their bodies on the line and when Paddy Madden put in huge tackles the visitors attack was snuffed out.
In the 20 min Jason East had to go off injured he was replaced by Kevin Barry who himself had to go off within 5min due to injury. Benny Bester was then replaced due to an injury he received in the first half
With all these changes and the score at 12-8 the next score was going to be vital this came to us in the 27th minute a penalty from the boot of Sean Joyce 15-8. We closed out the game for the final ten minutes with good controlled by the pack.
This was a great team effort each player giving his all. The bench also played a big role as did the large number of supporters that were treated to a great days sport. The excitement of our supporters could be felt around the ground.
With the next game 3 weeks away it is hoped that most of the injuries will have cleared up by then.