Home Sport Rugby Moynihan’s magic moments lead Portlaoise RFC U-15s to victory over Tullamore

Moynihan’s magic moments lead Portlaoise RFC U-15s to victory over Tullamore

Portlaoise RFC U-15

Portlaoise 42 Tullamore 8
Leinster Rugby U-15 League Premier Division

On a cool and bright Sunday afternoon in Togher, Portlaoise continued their rich vein of league form to record a fine win over Tullamore.

It might not have been their most fluid performance but a strong second half showing, led by captain Eanna Moynihan, was enough to get the job done.

Tullamore kicked off and set the tone for a strong opening period as they took the game to the home side. They dominated the early exchanges and were rewarded for their hard work when they were awarded a penalty just outside the Portlaoise 22.

The captain pointed to the posts and the penalty was duly dispatched for an early lead.

Portlaoise started to find their way into the game with strong carries from Fionn Mullen, Daniel Whelan, Aaron Fitzpatrick, and Eanna Moynihan taking the home side deep into the opposition 22.

Credit to Tullamore, they defended well and were awarded a penalty at the breakdown. However, they didn’t find touch and, after great work by Fionn Cuddy and Fitzpatrick, Portlaoise were awarded a penalty of their own.

Quick-thinking by Kyle Moore got Moynihan moving and he took a great line to score under the posts. Cunningham added the extras for a 7-3 lead.

Both teams had spells of possession in the second quarter with Mark Ging and Bill Rigney getting through great work for the home side and Donnchadh Carroll sniping at the breakdown as well as getting hands on Tullamore ball to build the turnover count.

The scrum was solid, winning two against the head, with Joey McGuinness and Conor Deegan directing affairs.

As the game headed towards halftime, Portlaoise doubled their tally.

From a penalty on the Tullamore 22, Mullen and Zach Maginness made strong gains before Moynihan powered through a number of tackles to score his second try. The extras were added for a 14-3 lead at the break.

Portlaoise made a number of changes for the second half and it brought great energy to their play as Shane Foley, Stephen Conroy, and Cormac Drea laid down early markers with Paul Byrne conducting the orchestra from scrum-half.

On the back of a great tackle by Carroll, with Daragh Maher and Dara Coffey in support, the home side were awarded a scrum just inside the Tullamore 22 and Moynihan picked off the base and drove for the line for his hat-trick and a decisive score out on the left. Cunningham converted for a 21-3 lead.

The score sparked Tullamore into action and, from a penalty on halfway, they put some great phases together up along the left wing and got due reward when they touched down to the left of the posts to leave the score 21-8.

Credit to the home side, they responded well and great work by Cullen Kirwan on the left wing set the platform for Moynihan to once again drive for the line for his fourth try. The extra were added for a 28-8 lead.

Four became five shortly after for the unstoppable Moynihan following a great line-break by Nicolas Serrano at inside centre.

With great support from Paul Byrne and Declan Iguma, Moynihan shortened the journey to the posts as he shook off tackles and dotted down once again. With the extras added, the score moved to 35-8.

Tullamore kept battling hard but it was the home side that had the final word. Ethan Kelly, composed at full-back all day, came into the line to create space for Maginness who seized the opportunity to fly up the left wing and cut across to score under the posts. Cunningham made it seven from seven to leave it 42-8 at the final whistle.

PORTLAOISE: Ethan Kelly, Fionn Cuddy, Daniel Whelan, Aaron Fitzpatrick, Cullen Kirwan, Matt Cunningham, Kyle Moore, Joey McGuinness, Conor Deegan, Fionn Mullen, Mark Ging, Bill Rigney, Zach Maginness, Donnchadh Carroll, Eanna Moynihan (c).
Replacements: Ricky Lyons, Darragh Maher, Cormac Drea, Declan Iguma, Eoghan Kennedy, David Allely, Paul Byrne, Shane Foley, Dara Coffey, Stephen Conroy, Charlie O’Dwyer, Cormac Paige, Nicolas Serrano

Wexford 11 Portlaoise 5
Leinster U-14 Rugby League

Portlaoise made the long trip to Wexford on the new bank holiday Monday to compete in this fantastic tussle.

A tussle that Portlaoise tried every trick in the book to get that all important try in the last few minutes but it was not to be as Wexford held strong right to the final whistle.

In a cold but dry Wexford, the home team came out of the blocks with intention but with some brilliant tackles from the front row trio of Dowling, Phelan and Walsh, they kept them at bay and the Wexford boys wanted scores on the board and with 14 minutes on the clock decided to take a three point penalty.

Wexford 3-0 up at this stage but still threatened to score a try but the Portlaoise defence stood firm and started to make hard yards into the Wexford territory.

Alex Sheehan, the scrum half got the forwards into action with Ciaran Dunne and Excel determined to get the Midlander’s on the score sheet.

But it was great combination play between forwards and back that got full back Dan Downey on the ball and he squeezed through four Wexford defenders to get over the white wash and put Portlaoise 5-3 a head with time running out in the first half.

There was still time for Wexford to score as they had to show Portlaoise’s defence some respect as they settled for another penalty to put them up 6-5 up at half time.

Second half began and Portlaoise had the slight breeze and it felt it was only a matter of time before they scored.

They had all the ball and territory and out half Rian Weston tried everything in his power to get his team over the try line and past the Wexford stubborn defence.

There was kicks over the top, cross field kicks, grubber kicks but the luck of the bounce was not with Portlaoise. Wexford smelt danger and they knew they needed more points to win this game and when they did eventually attach they came away with scores, this time a hard fought try with 5 minutes left on the clock.

Again Portlaoise attached, attached and attached again but to no avail. It just wasn’t to be there day as the final whistle blow with 11-5 for Wexford in the referees note book.

The rematch ia coming up very soon as Portlaoise have to travel to the same venue on Friday February 10 in the Cup match.

PORTLAOISE RFC: Jack Dowling, Conor Phelan, Leon Walsh, Ryan O’Brien McCormack, Daragh Lalor, Ciaran Dunne, Denis Phelan, Excel Onosedeba Exemhenrekhian, Alex Sheehan, Rian Weston, Odhran Fitzpatrick, Finn Darcy, Tadgh Roberts, Jack Rice, Daniel Downey, Josh Bowe, Josh Kearney, John Cuddy, David Cunningham, James Fitzpatrick.

Coaches: John Dowling. Thomas McCormack, Mark Roberts

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