Blackrock College RFC 23 Nenagh Ormond 23
After an enthralling encounter between Nenagh Ormond & Blackrock College RFC in Stradbrook last Saturday, a draw has ensured that Nenagh will retain their Division 2A status in the AIL for Season 2019-20. The result means that Nenagh are 6 points clear of last Saturday's rivals in the table, meaning that Blackrock cannot overtake Nenagh heading into the final round of this season's competition. Maximum points from their final game against the relegated Galwegians would not be enough for Blackrock to overtake Nenagh in the league standings & they now face into a play-off against Sligo. Nenagh avoid the play-offs regardless of the result against Navan in their last AIL game in Lisatunny next Saturday.
First-half tries from David Gleeson and Stephen Carey plus 2 conversions and a penalty from the returning Alex Ropeti gave Nenagh a 17 pts to nil lead at the break.
The anticipated Blackrock revival started immediately after the resumption when they scored a try in the corner which was converted. Nenagh gave themselves a cushion when Conor O'Brien, showing maturity beyond his years, kicked a long-range penalty to push Nenagh's advantage further. Following 2 quick tries in succession, Blackrock were right back in the game and the pressure on the visitor's defense was unrelenting. Conor O'Brien landed another fine penalty from a similar position to his previous effort to give Nenagh some breathing space but Blackrock drew level with their third try on 70 minutes to set up a grandstand finish. The final 10 mins saw some heroic defending by Nenagh and a missed drop-goal attempt by Blackrock but Nenagh held on for a thoroughly deserved draw.
Huge congratulations to this group of players and their coach Dermot Dunne and joint-managers John Long & Eoin O'Callaghan on recent results which mean that Nenagh Ormond will continue in Division 2A next season.