24 Oct 2017
After a poor team performance last week, Tullamore needed to get back on track and set down a marker for their season’s ambitions. Straight from the 12 o’clock kick-off, the Tullamore Black team went on the attack, pinning North Kildare deep in their own 22. Despite some shaky rucks, Tullamore managed to maintain possession for a sustained period. After 8 minutes, North Kildare’s defence finally succumbed, allowing Dylan McDermott to cross for Tullamore’s first try, converted by Luke Egan.
From their own kick off, North Kildare managed to obtain possession and a break down the wing was snuffed out by a great tackle by Darragh Drea, resulting in a knock on from North Kildare. The ensuing Tullamore scrum was well on top and was successful in winning a penalty off the back of a scrum, which put Tullamore back on the front foot. Tullamore continued to reside in the North Kildare half and traded penalties with their opposition. From the second Tullamore penalty, Dylan McDermott found some room to cross for his second try, which was once again converted by Luke Egan. Again from the North Kildare kick off, it was like ‘déjà vu’ when Daragh Drea shut down any chance of a North Kildare break up the line. Although Tullamore pushed hard and made several breaks, the scoreboard showed 14-0 to Tullamore going into half time.
At the restart, a long North Kildare kick-off wasn’t dealt with by Tullamore and the home side won a scrum on Tullamore’s 5 metre line. The visiting Tullamore team seemed to have the hosts in all sorts of trouble in the scrum but the resulting penalty to North Kildare came as a surprise to many. Some lessons must have been learned from last week as this penalty was well fronted up by Tullamore’s forwards, resulting in a Tullamore penalty. The relief was only temporary as we failed to find touch, giving possession straight back to North Kildare who obliged by going on the attack.
Following a scrum for North Kildare, this period of pressure from them was finally ended by a Scott Milne turn over. From the penalty, no mistake was made this time as Luke Egan drove the ball out over the line, deep in North Kildare territory. Tullamore won the line-out and piled the pressure on North Kildare until Dave McElduff took a line any 13 would be proud of and carved through under the posts. Of course, this was converted once more by Luke Egan. Not to be outdone by his second row team mate, Luke Egan waltzed the next try over the whitewash to leave an easy conversion for himself. While everything at this stage was going Tullamore’s way, North Kildare valiantly tried to stem the Tullamore tide. However Mc Elduff got back over their line, scoring the fifth try for Tullamore, converted by Egan.
The next Tullamore try followed shortly when a 40 metre straight run by Conor Neary was finally halted metres short of the North Kildare line. A lovely clear out by James Galvin Daly made fast ball available for Christian Conroy who duly obliged and finished with a great try, converted by Egan. It was all Tullamore still with North Kildare not getting any rewards for their efforts and Liam Farrell crossed the line to mark his seasonal return for the wing. Luke Egan’s flawless boot converted the try to keep his 100 per cent conversion record for the day, ending the game at 49-0 in favour of the visitors!
While it was great to be back to winning ways and green shoots of improvement were evident in many areas, this win must be taken in the context of the opposition on the day. There is room for improvement and better work rate is needed to get back to the high standards this group has set for themselves. As they say, “A lot done, a lot more to do”. Well Done Black Team!