Portlaoise 19 Wexford Wanderers 23
Leinster Rugby League Division 2A
Portlaoise’s chances of making an immediate return to Division 1B of the Leinster Rugby League were dented this afternoon in Togher.
The home side went down by four points to Wexford Wanderers – a result which sees the men from the South East leap-frog Portlaoise in the table.
It was heart-breaking for Portlaoise who conceded a try two minutes from the end as they fell to their third defeat of the season.
Portlaoise began the day second but now find themselves fourth – four points behind leaders Clondalkin with four games to play.
However, Portlaoise will have the chance to get themselves right back into the promotion race next Sunday as they host the leading Dublin side in Togher.
Portlaoise actually made a brilliant start to the game as centre Simon Williams crossed for the game’s first try after five minutes – which was then converted by Jack Reddin.
But the Wanderers soon began to apply pressure to Portlaoise’s defence who initially coped very well.
Niall Keenan and Andrew Ryan both tackled ferociously in this period while Diarmuid Joyce made a try saving interception as well.
However, Portlaoise’s resistance was finally broken when Wexford converted a penalty and they struck for two tries in the final five minutes to take a 13-7 lead at half time.
Portlaoise competed far better in the second half and a try, which wasn’t converted, narrowed the gap to a point.
Wexford responded with their third try but when Philip O’Brien crossed the line for Portlaoise’s third try and replacement Andy Tyndall converted, the home team led 19-18 with nine minutes to play.
However, Wexford had a sting in their tail and their bonus point try arrived after 77 minutes to see them claim the win.
Portlaoise do achieve a losing bonus point but they will have to finish the season very strongly to push themselves back up towards the top of the table.
SCORERS – PORTLAOISE: Simon Williams (1 try), Jack Reddin (1 conversion), Philip O’Brien (1 try), Andy Tyndall (1 conversion)
PORTLAOISE: Andrew Ryan, Darragh McAuley, Simon Williams, Niall Keenan, Jack Reddin, Philip O’Brien; Padraig Bourke, Sean Smith, Brian Flannery, William Sherlock, Diarmuid Joyce, Ross Cooper, Mark Sherlock, Robin Foot. Replacements: Andy Tyndall, Eugene Hearns, Chris Cahill, Jamie Holohan