Ashbourne Do the Double Over Monkstown
Leinster League Div. 1A
Venue: Milltown House, Ashbourne
Ashbourne continued their good form in 2016 with a hard won victory over visitors Monkstown at Milltown House on Saturday. The game started with a minute silence to honour Christopher Tormey whose son Andrew had been part of the squad this season. May he rest in peace.
Ashbourne missing a number of players started with Schutz restored to the 9-jersey with Gavin Kennedy starting at 10. James Rooney came in for his brother Mark who was on the bench, while Roche started in the front row in place of Alan Wall. Both Carey and Crotty were missing in the backline with Cramer coming into the center. It was no surprise that the home side started slowly.
Monkstown are in relegation trouble and it is a surprise, with their talent, that they are in that position. So they started with great intensity, as they needed to take the points. Ashbourne’s dominant scrum was under pressure this week and Monkstown were putting a lot of pressure on the breakdown. In the 6th minute Monkstown managed to keep an Ashbourne kick in play and they broke own the left. When stopped the recycled well to the right and their right-winger rounded the defense to touch down for an unconverted try to take the lead.
Ashbourne struck back quickly with a Dunne penalty following a good carry from Jake Wall and then Mark Behan. From the ensuing ruck Monkstown was caught offside and penalised the gap narrowed to 3 points to 5.
Ashbourne got going and they slowly worked their way into the game with McCaghy leading with his carrying and Rooney was doing well in the lineouts. The backs with Dunne, Cramer and Hughes showing well, started turning the tide. Schutz and Kennedy were tidy at halfback and created good field position for Ashbourne. They had to wait till the 28th minute to get another score though. Good lineout work by Rooney at the Monkstown throw in caused a turnover and Ashbourne were awarded a line out. Good work by Jake Wall, Simon Deevy and Keith Kennedy set up Tom McNamara for the drive. When stopped Monkstown were penalised and Casey Dunne slotted the 3 points and Ashbourne took the lead for the first time. Monkstown had two penalty chances themselves but missed with both.
Ashbourne scored their only try in injury time when some clever play caught Monkstown sleeping. Ashbourne were awarded a penalty with no time left to go for touch, before halftime, on their own 10-meter line. Kennedy took a quick tap and took a step with ball before he chipped the ball over the cover for Deevy to gather and break forward. Behan and Roche arrive in support with Kennedy and when the ball was recycled Schutz found McCaghy breaking left who in turn put Dunne free down the left wing. Dunne broke two tackles as he sprinted in the score the try from the Monkstown 10 meter line. He missed with the conversions and Ashbourne leas 11 to 5 at halftime.
The second half was full of endeavor but little in the way of scoring by either side. Ashbourne worked hard but it was Monkstown who drew first blood with a penalty in the 13th minute to narrow the score to 11 points to 8 but it was their last score. Ashbourne brought in Charles Coyle into the backline for his first game of the season while Frank Keegan also came into the front row. Ashbourne eventually added another penalty from Dunne but neither side were making huge progress. McNally came for reliable Colreavy at fullback
The last 5 minutes was all about Monkstown piling on the pressure and they camped in the home 22. A driving maul was stopped with a huge counter ruck from Ashbourne resulting in a turnover. Ashbourne cleared their lines.
The final score was 14 points to 8 for Ashbourne and they now have a break from league action till the 14th of February when the visit Kilkenny. Next week it is Towns Cup action against local neighbours Boyne on Sunday.
Mark Behan, James McCaghy, Ciaran Roche, Tom McNamara, Jake Wall, Keith Kennedy, James Rooney, Simon Deevy, Zbynek Schutz, Gavin Kennedy, Casey Dunne, Tristan Cramer, Sean Kent, Adam Hughes, Dermot Colreavy
Subs: Dan Norton, Frank Keegan, Mark Rooney, Charles Coyle, and Conor McNally