Ashbourne visited Enniscorthy for a second time this season and though the lost by a score of 32 to 20 this was a much improved display in many facets of the performance from the previous encounter. With a semi final place at stake in the All Ireland Junior Cup, Ashbourne found the Leinster League leaders too much on the day.
On a bitterly cold afternoon in Wexford, Ashbourne were caught cold at the start of the game and within 18 minutes were 17 nil down. Two early converted tries and a penalty saw Ashbourne face huge challenge to get something from the day. A slow start and poor tackling saw Enniscorthy use their very efficient back line to rack up the scores.
But Ashbourne in fairness worked their way back into the game. Ashbourne scrum had the upper hand and the pack in general led by McCaghy start putting some momentum into the Ashbourne game. It was from a scrum that Crotty score the first of his 5 kicks. Two more penalties brought Ashbourne back into the game by the break but there was a cutting edge missing in the backline on the day.
Trailing by 9 points to 17, Ashbourne would have hoped for a better start to the second half but Ashbourne conceded a try from the kick off so they were back to square one, but they did not give up. Rooney and Deevy carried well and the two Wall brothers worked very hard. McNally and Crotty distributed well while Kent and Cramer tried to make ground. But it was the boot of Crotty that narrowed the score to a converted try. The two kicks brought the score line to 22 points to 15. Ashbourne were in with a shout and very competitive but they still could not master the Enniscorthy movement out wide.
A two-try burst by Enniscorthy between the 28th and 30th minute, both in the right corner, saw the home side seal the game and both were uncoverted. A score of 32 points to 15 was too much for Ashbourne to recover from. That said Jake Wall touched down for a consolation try in the last few minutes but now Ashbourne will return and focus on the bread and butter of the league next week.
The league returns next week and Ashbourne are away to Suttonians next Saturday in with a 2.30pm kick off. The second XV play the same opposition at 1.00pm
Team: Alan Wall, James McCaghy, Mark Behan, Eoin Mc Guinness, Ciaran Roche, Jake Wall, Mark Rooney, Simon Deevy, Conor McNally, Donal Crotty, Andrew Tormey, Sean Kent, Tristan Cramer, Adam Hughes, Cathal Field,
Subs: Dan Norton, Keith Kennedy, Stephen O’Neill, Casey Dunne, Dermot Colreavy