Ashbourne returned home with two victories from our visit to Monastery Road with victories in both league games today
Ashbourne 1st XV also had to withstand great pressure from the home side that needed a win to avoid being the league play-off position. Ashbourne won by 25 points to 19, but they had withstand serious [pressure at the end.
Ashbourne were in trouble early on when Sean Kent took a knock in the first play and had to be replaced by Murray. Keegan was also making his first league start in the front row this season while Matt Connolly was getting a deserved run on the wing. Ashbourne took a while to settle and the home side was trying to put the ball wide on every occasion. Ashbourne defended well though in the 12th minute a reverse pass and a missed tackled allowed Clondalkin in for a soft try, which was converted.
It took a Gavin Kennedy try in the 27th minute, converted by Casey Dunne to level things up. From a Clondalkin line out on the right 10 meters out from their own line, their hooker overthrew and James McCaghy gathered the ball in and set up the ruck. McNally cleared the ball out to Kennedy who broke left. The cover split and Kennedy sped into the gap and to touch down under the posts. Dunne converted.
It was nip and tuck as the half went on and a missed penalty by Clondalkin was the only scoring opportunity until the past play. Deep in injury time Ashbourne chose to take a quick penalty on the halfway and work their way down the field. Clondalkin were drawn offside and Dunne nudged Ashbourne into a 10 point to 7 lead at the break.
A Cramer try converted by Dunne, stretched Ashbourne’s lead. 5 minutes after the restart Ashbourne worked the ball down the fields. Eventually a fine carry by Keegan set up a ruck and McNally put Cramer into space. He was able to gather his own chip ahead and scored under the post. Dunne converted and Ashbourne no lead by 17 points to 7. This was followed by a Dunne penalty in the 30 minute put Ashbourne ahead by 20 points to 7. But Clondalkin was not finished and came back hard. An unconverted try by Clondalkin narrowed the score 5 minutes later.
Kennedy struck again with an uncovered try in the left corner. Ashbourne won a scrum in the middle of the field. McNally found Kennedy going right. Cramer came at a great angle with a dummy run and Kennedy put Coyle into space. He took the ball around the cover and he found Kennedy supporting him on his right shoulder and he found the try line.
Ashbourne were an the back foot straight away when Clondalkin came back with a try and a grandstand finish followed but Ashbourne held out and celebrated their win and let out a sight of relief.
Ashbourne have also consolidated their 3rd place in the league but like their colleagues on the second team, they too will finish in their highest league position in the history of the league so well done lads.
Ciaran Roche, James McCaghy, Frank Keegan, Jake Wall, Sean Kent, James Rooney, Mark Rooney, Simon Deevy, Conor McNally, Gavin Kennedy, Matt Connolly, Tristan Cramer, Charles Coyle, Casey Dunne, Stephen O’Neill
Daniel Norton, Alan Wall, Stephen Murray, Kelan Toolan, Zybnek Schutz,
Ashbourne 2nd XV kicked off at 12.30pm with a hard fought win with a depleted side, but manfully the 20 players that turned out today out up a great performance. With the first minute Under 20 player Jack O’Brien crossed in the left corner to get he visitors off to a great start. After that Kelan Toolan used his boot to kick the rest of the points. He scored 2-drop goals and 5 penalties. Ashbourne had to withstand a strong comeback from Clondalkin to win by 26 points to 22.
It should also be noted the performance two other 20’s players who came off the bench with Meehan and Burlacu not looking out of place at all. The future is with the 20’s
Ashbourne 2nds XV consolidated their position in second place in the league and would to hope to end up with a win next week to ensure their best ever league result.
Team: Ciaran Boylan, Shane Boland, Alan Wall, Stephen Murphy, Sebastian Bularda, Daniel Norton, Stephen Murray, Shane Keogh, Zbynek Schutz, Kelan Toolan, Conor Brennan, Daniel Cahill, Jack O’Brien. Mark Heavy, Edward Conaty
Eoin Hanratty, Stephen Magee, Conor Meehan, Chris Scanlon, Dragos Valentin Burlacu
Our last game is next weekend when we host Suttonians and lets end the league campaign with a another double in Ashbourne on Saturday next.