Ashbourne Advance to Quarterfinals of the Seconds Provincial Towns Cup
Ashbourne 2nd XV are in the quaterfinals of their Towns Cup with a hard fought 33 point to 14 win away at Birr. The score does not reflect the tight nature of the game with Ashbourne only pulling clear in the second period of extra time. Up to that and though Ashbourne were ahead for most of the game, a victory was never certain playing against the Birr 1st XV who play in the Leinster League in Division 2B.
Ashbourne seconds are leading their league and this game was good preparation for a chrunch game next weekend when they play Bective in the penultimate game of the league in Donnybrook next Saturday.
Up by 7 points to 6 at the break, with a Kennedy try and conversion, the only score that Ashbourne had to show for a tough half. Birr had taken an early lead with a well taken penalty before Ashbourne got their try after a Norton had put Colreavy into space and the fullback burst through to the cover. He found McLoughlin in support and his offload put Kennedy through, who also converted. Birr added a second penalty to close the gap to a point.
In the second half Andy Whittaker try saw Ashbourne stretch the lead aftere great work by Tormey, but Birr fought back to tie up the game at the end of 80 minutes with a good try and a penalty. They had the momentun going into extra time.
In the first period Ashbourne’s fitness started to show and they got an early break with Matt Connolly taking the ball in from the halfway line, showing great pace and skill. Live wire Aaron McLoughlin’s pace saw him chase a kick and recover the ball to score an excellent try before Danny Norton sealed the victory with his try after excellent fielding by sub prop Kevin Keyes.
The final score was 33 points to 14 and both sides were glad of the final whistle.
The opponents in the quaterfinal will not be know till North Kildare and Edenderry play on the 9th of March and a date will follow.
Dermot Colreavy, Aaron McLoughlin, Matt Connolly, Conor Creaby (Capt.), Andrew Tormey, Gavin Kennedy, Ciaran Sutton, Frank Keegan, Danny Norton, Ciaran Boylan, Conal McGrath, Shane McNulty, Shane Boland ,Lorcan OReilly, Andy Whittaker
Subs: Brian Grieve, Kevin Keyes, Stephen , Ben Mahon, Conor Malone
Tries: Gavin Kennedy, Andy Whittaker, Matt Connolly, Aaron McLoughlin, Danny Norton
Penalties: Gavin Kennedy x 4