AIL Div 2A Round 3
NENAGH ORMOND OFF THE MARK IN ALL IRELAND LEAGUE
UL Bohemians 12 Nenagh Ormond 13
Nenagh Ormond secured their first points in the 2018/19 AIL when they overcame UL Bohemians by the minimum margin in an entertaining match played at the University all-weather pitch in Plassey last Friday evening. Storm Callum had passed earlier in the day and conditions were calm & dry on the night. However, it took both teams quite a while to get going, and supporters had to wait until 30 minutes for the first score of the game. A speculative high kick by UL Bohs from inside their own half was poorly dealt with by the Nenagh defence with two players going for the ball and failing to secure it. The mistake allowed UL Bohs right winger James McCarthy to collect and race unopposed from 50 metres and dot down under the posts. Robbie Burke added the extras for UL Bohs.
Shortly afterwards, UL Bohs looked certain to score another try, but a superb covering tackle by Patrick Scully forced the UL Bohs player into touch. Scully picked up a shoulder injury for his efforts though and had to be replaced a few minutes later by Willie Coffey. By this stage Andrew Mackey had been replaced by John Hayes.
It looked as if Nenagh would go to the half time break with nothing, but they worked their way into the Bohs 22 and when the UL Bohs hooker Joe Bennett was yellow-carded for a high challenge, Alex Ropeti kicked the resultant penalty to leave the score at 7 points to 3 going in to the half-time break.
Nenagh were awarded another penalty after 10 minutes of the second half and Alex Ropeti again landed the kick to leave Nenagh just a point in arrears. Nenagh had their best period of the match in the next ten minutes and worked a fine try which ultimately was the defining moment in the game. From a Nenagh scrum inside their own half, scrum-half Nicky Irwin, whose work-rate impressed throughout, made a break from the base of the scrum. He cleverly evaded the back-row cover and sprinted clear and then kicked ahead as the opposing full-back approached. The chasing Peter Coman collected just shy of the try line but was held by the scrambling UL Bohs defence. Nenagh worked the ball back though, and quick hands from Alex Ropeti sent Stephen Carey over for a try which Ropeti then converted.
With just three minutes remaining, and the game very much in the balance, UL Bohs No. 8 Brian Walsh scored a try 5 metres in from the touchline on the left-hand side. The conversion, which would have put them ahead, was pulled left of the posts by UL Bohs Robbie Burke, and Nenagh held out for a win, which on balance they probably deserved.
At the end, relief was the dominant emotion for the Nenagh players & supporters. A win in a tight game is always a plus and leaving Limerick with 4 league points was job done. The set piece worked adequately but line-kicking from the hand was generally poor. On too many occasions penalties which should have found touch handed the initiative back to the opposition. With the AIL now taking a two-week break, it was important to get the points on the board as stiffer tests than this will surely lie ahead. League action resumes on the October Bank Holiday weekend when Nenagh Ormond entertain Queens University Belfast at Lisatunny on Saturday 27th October KO 2:30p.m.
Nenagh Ormond: Fergal Brislane, Aidan Doyle, John Coffey, Kevin O’Flaherty, Kevin O’Gorman, Andrew Mackey, Evan Murphy, John O’Flaherty, Nicky Irwin, Alex Ropeti, Patrick Scully, Stephen Carey, Peter Coman, Gerard McNamara, Nicky Daley.
Subs: Thomas McNamara, Jonathan Hayes, Roy Stanley, John Hayes, Willie Coffey
UL Bohemians: Joseph Conway, Joe Bennett, Mark Bromell, Sean Seymour, Edward Kelly, Darragh O’Grady, David Rowsome, Brian Walsh, Hugh Bourke, Robbie Bourke, Shane Mullins, Henry Fleming, Conor Ryan, James McCarthy, Joe Murray.
Referee: Richard Kerr (IRFU)