Ashbourne Win at Suttonians – Just About!!
Ashbourne went to Sutton last Saturday with an expectation of coming away with a win, with Ashbourne lying 4th on the league and Suttonians, winless at the bottom, but nobody told the home side that. Ashbourne did win with a bonus point but, only just.
The rain had cleared and the pitch was in great condition but it was cold and windy in Sutton at kick off time. Ashbourne had one late change before kick-off with Hughes crying off with illness and Colreavy coming in at fullback, while David Carey was back from injury at 10. And within 3 minutes Ashbourne secured three points through the boot of Crotty after sustained pressure. You waited for Ashbourne to kick on but it was Suttonians who scored next.
On their first visit to the Ashbourne half and from a lineout Suttonians mauled their way into the 22. They kept it tight over multiple phases and eventually drove in for an unconverted try to take the lead. Ashbourne went back to work but met stout opposition and Suttonians were defending their lead with determination. In the 17th minute it some good individual play from scrum half Conor McNally to get Ashbourne ahead again. From a scrum in the Sutton 22, McNally picked at the number 8’s feet and broke right. Running into traffic there he cut back left and found a path through the cover to touch down. Crotty added the points after and Ashbourne lead by 10 points to 5.
The game went into phase were both sides worked hard but there was little in the way of scoring. The Ashbourne pack had the upper hand in the scrum but the lineouts did work as well but a slippy ball and windy conditions did not help. The break through came in the 29th minute when Crotty put a penalty deep into the Suttonians 22 on the right. McCaghy found McNamara at the front and Jake Wall collected his tap down. He drove through the cover and when stopped McNally’s pop pass found Simon Deevy on hand to score the try which Crotty again converted.
5 minutes later Deevy added a second. Again from a lineout in a similar position Ashbourne lost the ball and Cathal Field, who slide into the catch, caught the clearance. His pass found Colreavy who drove into the heart of the Suttonians defense. The ruck formed and both Deevy and McNally were poised at the base. As McNally went to take the ball Deevy grab it and dummied through the cover to touch down. Donal Crotty added the conversion to take Ashbourne into a 22 to 5 lead after 34 minutes. Suttonians added a penalty on the stroke of halftime but there was nothing to indicate the difference in the second half.
From the kick off, it was the home side that pressed and their scrum half split the Ashbourne defense and score under the post to take the initiative. Within 5 minutes they have leveled the game when a great break by the right-winger cut open the Ashbourne defense. From the ruck their tight head drove through the middle with no cover from there to touch down for a converted try. It was all Suttonians at this point and Ashbourne were in trouble and flat.
A penalty in the 11th minute put the home side ahead in the 11th minute when poor discipline let Ashbourne down and in the 19th minute it got worse. From an Ashbourne attack a pass to Field was intercepted and hacked down the pitch. Field chased hard to make up the lost ground. Coming level with the Sutton player on the Ashbourne 22, Field took the player down as he hacked on. Penalty awarded and Field was yellow carded. Luckily Dunne was covering hard and Ashbourne avoided conceding penalty try. Suttonians converted and stretched their lead to 28 points to 22 and what a difference 19th minutes of rugby can make.
I fairness Ashbourne came to life and the next 10 minutes was played in the home sides half. With 14 men they raised their game and pressed hard and it was in the 31st minute that they got their 4th try. McCaghy found Rooney in the middle of the line and the pack formed the maul, which has been a big weapon for Ashbourne all season. The advance towards the try line and as the maul drove towards the right sucking in the cover Deevy broke left and touched down from close in. The try was unconverted by Ashbourne now trailed by a point and were back up to 15 men.
It was all about winning at that point and when in the 35th minute a longrange penalty presented itself Casey Dunne was up to the challenge edging Ashbourne ahead. He repeated the feat in the 44th minute to make safe the win. The final score was 33 points to 28 for Ashbourne but Suttonians proved that they are better then their league position. The win maintains Ashbourne in 4th spot in the league as all three sides ahead of Ashbourne won this weekend.
The second half of the league starts next week and Ashbourne are away to the surprise team of the league Gorey with a 2.00pm kick off. They currently sit second in the Leinster League and will prove to be a big challenge. The second team plays the same opponents at 12.30pm
Team: Alan Wall, James McCaghy, Mark Behan, Tom McNamara, Ciaran Roche, Jake Wall, Mark Rooney, Simon Deevy, Conor McNally, David Carey, Cathal Field, Donal Crotty, Sean Kent, Casey Dunne, Dermot Colreavy
Subs: Dan Norton, Eoin McGuiness, Stephen O’Neill, Tristan Cramer,
Ashbourne seconds returned to winning ways, with a 33 points to 5 win also against Suttonians. Playing in the worst of conditions with cold, wind and rain to contend with, they scored 5 tries to win comfortably. Kelan Toolan chipped in two tries and 4 conversions, while Tristan Cramer, Frank Keegan and Eugene Gallagher added tries as well.
Team: Ciaran Boyle, Shane Boland, Frank Keegan, Stephen Magee, Martin Gallagher, Daniel Norton, Stephen Murray, Eugene Gallagher, Zbynek Schutz, Kelan Toolan, Anthony McCreevy, Tristan Cramer, Adam Sherrard, Matt Connolly,
Subs: Mark Ward, Sebastian Bularda, Mark Norton, and Mark Heavey, Stephen O’Neill,