Wednesday, March 01, 2023

U/14 Leinster Rugby Premier League

Portlaoise who came so close to pulling off a shock win against Enniscorthy in the U/14 Leinster Premier League

Portlaoise     20

Enniscorthy  26

PORTLAOISE came into this game as underdogs and were so close to pulling of a major shock as Enniscorthy had to pull everything out of the locker to get over this determined and resolute Portlaoise U/14 side.

The Portlaoise centre, Excel Onosedeba Exemhenrekhian finished off an amazing continuous pick and drive from the Portlaoise forwards and had the home team 5-0 with only five minutes on the clock.

Enniscorthy had to pull their socks up after that and knew they were going to be in a game and they weren’t long racking up scores with a try coming from the back of a scrum and their big No. 8 drove over the line and another seven points added when Enniscorthy took a quick tap from a penalty and got the ball out to the tramlines and scored in the corner.

It was all Portlaoise for the rest of the half as Denis Phelan scored another up the jumper try and a super try from Finn Darcy after the Portlaoise forwards sucked in the Enniscorthy defence. Alex Sheehan got the ball out to Darcy who had to beat three men to spearhead over the whitewash. Portlaoise were in dream land leading 15-14 as the half time whistle went.

Portlaoise started the second the way they finished the first with another thunder-bolt of a try as Dan Downey waltzed his way through from half way to make it 20-14 and the Wexford side were shell shocked.

However, the Slaneysiders weren’t going down without a fight and it took them 20 minutes of the second half to get more scores as Portlaoise legs were beginning to tire. A wonderful conversion from the Enniscorthy number 10 put the away team 21-20 ahead with only minutes left.

The gas was gone in Portlaoise and Enniscorthy finished off the game with another try but Portlaoise can be very proud of their ever improving performance and plenty to look forward to before the end of the season.

PORTLAOISE SQUAD: Jack Dowling, Conor Phelan, Leon Walsh, Ryan O’Brien McCormack, Daragh Lalor, Ciaran Dunne, Denis Phelan, Excel Onosedeba Exemhenrekhian, Alex Sheehan, Rian Weston, Odhran Fitzpatrick, Finn Darcy, Tadgh Roberts, Jack Rice, Daniel Downey, Josh Bowe, Josh Kearney, John  Cuddy, David Cunningham, James Fitzpatrick.

Coaches: John Dowling. Thomas McCormack, Mark Roberts

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