Portlaoise 29 Dundalk 7
Leinster U-17 League
There was a second win in a row for Portlaoise in the Leinster League when they played host to Dundalk.
The win was all down to the work that was done in the first half which proved vital in securing four more points on the table.
On a perfect day for rugby it didn’t take the Laois lads long to put a try on the scoreboard as the forwards drove down the right side of the pitch and sucked in the Dundalk defence.
The Portlaoise backs then spread the ball out wide for PJ Larkin to cross over the whitewash. Jake Culbert duly converted and Portlaoise were up and running.
There was no mood to let up the by the men in navy who put three more tries on the board with Jamie Baldwin, Dylan Kelly and Sean Peters all scoring with great set up work from Jarlath Taylor and Liam McNulty leaving the score standing at 24-0 at half time and Dundalk were wondering what hit them.
Portlaoise started the second half brightly with Sean Peters scoring a carbon copy try of his first one as he stormed down the sideline and try as they might the Louth men couldn’t pull him down on time.
Portlaoise started to take the foot off the pedal and mistakes were evident as the legs were beginning to get tired and this led to a series of old habit of missed tackles resulting in an easy try for Dundalk under the posts. Dundalk converted but time was running out.
In the last play Portlaoise worked the ball from their own end line to the Dundalk 22 and big Sean Peters picked up the ball and did his best to get a hat-rick of tries but just came up short and also picked up a nasty injury in the process.
The final whistle went soon after marking another good victory for Portlaoise U-17’s. Everyone involved with the team wishes Sean to a speedy recovery.
Their next up is away to Boyne on Sunday next, 31 October.
Tullamore 20 Portlaoise 25
Leinster U-16 League
Portlaoise travelled to Tullamore on Friday 15 October for an evening kick off in the Leinster League.
Portlaoise went there feeling positive despite a defeat the previous week from a strong Wicklow side.
Portlaoise only had one sub on the night as a few key players were not back from injury. Tullamore had a strong unit out. It was a wet and windy night making conditions hard for both teams.
Portlaoise started off well in the tough conditions with Aaron Coiley going over after five minutes with the difficult conversation missed.
Portlaoise were back defending strong but Tullamore got over with a missed conversation to even up the score.
Portlaoise did not take the foot of the gas and good work from the forwards saw the ball moved back to Aaron Coiley to run in for his second try of the night and with the converting missed Portlaoise went in to the first water break leading 10-5.
Portlaoise were keeping up the tempo with Eoin Rooney going over for their third try with a missed conversation and put a little daylight between the two teams.
Tullamore were not going to roll over to the visitors and were awarded a five metre scrum and despite some strong defence from the visitors, Tullamore got over for their second try of the night with a missed conversation.
Just before half time Portlaoise had to put up a big defence to keep Tullamore from going over again and won a penalty meaning they went in at half time 15-10 ahead.
Portlaoise kept up the pressure in the third quarter and won another penalty and they opted to go for points with Euan McCann slotting over.
A few minutes later Portlaoise won yet another penalty and opted to tap and go with Sam Brown scoring their forth try of the night and with Euan McCann adding the conversion they went in to second water break leading 25-10.
But this game was far from over and Tullamore made the visitors battle to the last minute. The home side won the last quarter with two tries, their last try was at almost full time with a brilliant conversion to leave Portlaoise with a narrow win.
This was a magnificent win for Portlaoise who displayed great fight and determination over the course of the game.