Clondalkin seconds close in on title after edging Wicklow

By Stephen Leonard

CLONDALKIN RFC’s seconds now require just one point from their remaining two games against Portlaoise and Mullingar to secure the Leinster League 1B title.

The team edged closer to the prize following a hard-fought 20-17 point victory over Wicklow.

Clondalkin RFC 2nds Colm Tighe v Wicklow 26 January 2017

Colm Tighe rocketed them out of the blocks when he powered over for the opening try, while Paudge Murphy and Ben Foran followed suit to help secure the vital points for the Gordon Park side.

Ian Murphy turned in a fine performance on the wing as did Number Eight Stephen McKenna and front rower Bobby Smith.
There is no game for the team this weekend, but they will be hoping to wrap up the prize early next month.

Meanwhile any hope Clondalkin had of catching Leinster League Division 1B leaders Wicklow went up in smoke after they lost out narrowly 13-16 in Gordon Park last weekend.

The hosts had the chance to take the lead but Chris Jebb’s penalty kick veered off slightly to the right.

Instead it was the newly-crowned champions who drew first blood with a touchdown under the posts by Ben Porter that was comfortably converted by Niall Earls

Jebb was then presented with another attempt at the posts only to see this one hit the woodwork, yet the team did reduce their arrears with a try by Massimo soon after.

Yet another penalty for Wicklow saw them head in at the halftime break 10-5 to the good, but Clondalkin restored parity early in the second half.

Awarded another penalty, Jebb opted to go for a crossfield kick that was gathered and grounded in the corner under pressure by Andy Tyndell.

The two sides exchanged penalties to make it 13 points apiece, but a late kick by Earls proved just enough to see Wicklow over the line.

It was a disappointing loss for Clondalkin, who were somewhat unlucky in terms of Jebb’s narrowly missed attempts early on and in coughing up penalties when they had Wicklow under pressure.

Paul McDermott was excellent at Number Eight for the hosts as were props John Glynn and Gareth Black while Karl Jebb also put in a huge shift and was unlucky not to score under the posts at the start of the second half.

Elsewhere the Clondalkin thirds went top of their league following an emphatic 46-10 triumph over Barnhall on Saturday while the club’s Under 13s stormed to a 31-17 point win over Athy and the Under 17s really put it up to league leaders Barnhall, but were edged out 55-47.

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