Nenagh came out on top in a close encounter played on the 3G pitch in U.L. on Sunday last.
Waterpark had the advantage of the wind in the first half and used it to good effect. The game was nip and tuck with both sides trying various options to gain the upper hand. Waterpark were first to score when their strong-running no. 7 ran a great line off a ruck to drive over for a good try on 22 minutes. The conversion was successful.
Nenagh replied soon afterwards when the ball was moved swiftly across the back line to leave winger Marcus O'Mahony in space. Marcus showed great pace to get around the covering Waterpark defence for a great try. Cillian Healy added the extras to leave the game tied at 7 - 7 at the break.
Nenagh started on the attack and won a penalty for hands in the ruck 3 minutes into the second period. Cillian slotted a great kick. Nenagh suffered a similar fate when conceding a penalty on 25 minutes for not releasing. Waterpark went to the corner and Nenagh managed to repel them over numerous phases. They managed to work their way to a metre from the Nenagh line. Some quick thinking from the ruck yielded a try when their back row dived over the middle of the ruck to score. The conversion was missed, leaving the score at 12 - 10 to the visitors.
This Nenagh team is nothing if not resourceful. Trusting their systems, they ran everything and fullback Cillian Healy got in for a great team try in the left corner with 3 minutes left on the clock. The conversion attempt was wide by inches.
Roared on by a big travelling support, Waterpark went on the attack and, with time just up, they won a scrum 10 metres out.
Their no. 8 chose to pick and attack the rather narrow blindside with his winger in tow. The ever-dependable Nathan Mannion at no. 6 drove the winger into touch, and the final whistle sounded, much to the delight of the Nenagh contingent.
This was an excellent win for Nenagh against a very powerful and well-drilled Waterpark side. The lads, to a man, showed fantastic commitment throughout the game as well as great resolve to come from behind on two occasions during the match. Waterpark offered a stern challenge throughout, which was met by the Nenagh lads to a man.
We are away to Garryowen next week in the same competition.
Thanks to all the parents and family members who made the trip to support the lads.