Connemara’s Win against Naas!
Connemara began their 2011/2012 league campaign with a win on Saturday in an enthralling encounter with Naas. Having not won a league game for over a season, Connemara wanted to lay down a marker for the season ahead.
Connemara started the game with break neck speed with Sean Joyce slotting an early penalty for 3-0. Connemara looked dangerous with ball in hand, but it was a garryowen that opened the scoring for Connemara. Full back Alan Keogh hit an up and under which he brilliantly plucked out of the sky before offloading to number 8 Richie Byrne who crossed for his first try for the club in his debut league appearance, Sean Joyce added the extra’s to make it 10-0 to Connemara.
Naas came back strong and had it not been for some inspired tackling by centre Bennie Bester they could have easily scored in the first half. Yet, it was Connemara who scored again, after some neat back play Connemara were awarded a penalty try when the referee adjudged that Naas had tackled a Connemara man off the ball, thus denying him an opportunity to score, Sean Joyce added the conversion to take Connemara’s score to 17 points. As impressive as Connemara’s back play was, the forwards excelled particularly the scrum, which no doubt pleased coach and former prop Peter Bracken. Such was the ferocity of the scrum that prop Emmet Ferron was left with a crimson mask for his efforts; it was another gargantuan performance from the Roundstone man.
It wasn’t one way traffic though, with Naas scoring two penalties and missing another, Sean Joyce had better luck with the boot, adding another penalty to make it 20-6 to Connemara at half time. A commanding half time lead was soon eroded by Naas, who came out in the second half with intense ferocity, adding two quick tries to tie the scores up at 20 apiece. The final twenty minutes were nerve wracking for both sets of supporters, with both teams threatening the winning score, thankfully it was Connemara who sealed the victory when out half Sean Joyce slotted home a drop goal, showing extraordinary composure. Connemara survived a late Naas siege to take the win 23-20.
A fine result and Connemara will enter next week’s away game with Boyne full of confidence.