Tullamore down league champions to make cup final
Tullamore booked their place in the final of the Darcy U-19 Cup with an epic win over a strong Gorey side in Athy at the weekend.
Gorey have already been crowned Leinster U-19 League champions this season and were determined to make a second final. Tullamore have steadily improved with every round of the competition and are now playing a brand of rugby that enabled them to handle this highly competitive Gorey side.
The game started at a frantic pace with both teams attempting to get the upper hand. Tullamore went on the attack from the off and were putting serious pressure on the Gorey defence. They were duly awarded a penalty after 10 minutes and Dean Cahill opened the scoring to make it 3-0.
The game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half with constant attacks by both sides. Gorey repeatedly attempted to get their renowned backline moving but the Tullamore defence was solid throughout. Gorey did manage to score a try after 23 minutes but failed to take the extra two points with the conversion. Their two point lead was brief however and Tullamore responded some minutes later with a well taken penalty by Dean Cahill and the half ended 6–5 to Tullamore.
The second half saw the intensity rise another couple of notches. Tullamore scored another penalty after four minutes by Dean to make it 9–5 and that turned out to be the last score of the game.
The Tullamore scrum was solid throughout the game and they used their rolling maul to great effect on a number of occasions. The strong breeze on the day made the lineouts a bit of a lottery for both sides.
The highlight of the second half had to be the grit and determination that Tullamore showed to hold onto their slender lead for over 30 minutes. They kept attacking and should have been rewarded with a try midway through the half, but the referee was poorly positioned to see the ball being grounded by Gavin Ridgeway and adjudged that the ball was held up.
Entering the final 10 minutes Tullamore repelled wave after wave of Gorey attacks with some heroic defending. Two tackles in quick succession by Tom McNamara stood out in the memory This was a game where every player on the Tullamore side deserves huge credit for their performance on the day. It was a very physical, but sporting contest between two well matched teams and the game could have gone either way
This was a fantastic performance by Tullamore, and the task of picking a man of the match was again impossible as so many of the team excelled themselves. In the end Dean Cahill was awarded man of the match for his brilliant game management, aggressive tackling and solid kicking throughout the game. The final against Naas is on Monday, May 7 in Donnybrook.
Panel: Dean Cahill, Gary Pike, Senan Carroll, Pietro Scarinechio, Killian Rusk, Johnny Brophy, Joe McDonnell, Tom McNamara, Kevin Robins, Leon Martin, Darragh Coughlan, Joe McDonnell, Darren Bermingham, Peter Connolly, Emmet Brewer, Eoin Magner, Aengus O`Donnavan, Greg Walsh, Gavin Ridgeway, Jamie Hogan, Jarlath Glynn, Cillian Byrne.
Fixture: Sunday - Tullamore 4ths v Enniscorthy 4ths in 2nd Round of Cup at home.
Provincial Towns Cup Final will be played this year in Portarlington RFC on Sunday, April 15 at 3.30pm between Enniscorthy and Tullow.
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Weather for Tullamore
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North east