11 Jan 2016
AIL Div 2C Wanderers 6 Tullamore 5
A gut wrenching last gasp defeat for Tullamore at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday on the artificial back pitch. Tullamore were dreadfully unlucky to lose a great game by one point. The game had wonderful commitment from both sides, bone crunching tackling and a terrific finish. Despite the low score it was a thriller all the way. Tullamore must feel hard done by with a few crucial decisions going against them. The referee made a very harsh call right at the end with Tullamore camped on the Wanderers line. This game had everything and Tullamore should hold their heads high after a smashing display. The 2 sides were evenly matched and the result was on a knife edge until the last whistle.
Very unusually in the modern game we had no score in the first half. Tullamore slightly edged it territorially but defence was king from both teams. Tullamore missed 2 long range penalties and Wanderers missed one. The crucial scores came early in the second half. The Wanderers out half Peter Brougham was successful with 2 kicks to give the home side a 6-0 lead after 50 minutes. Tullamore attacked with gusto but the home defence held. After long spells of pressure the breakthrough came in the 67th minute. Winger Jordan Conroy received the ball in space 40 metres out and streaked in for a wonderful individual try. The conversion attempt by Karl Dunne agonisingly shaved the post but stayed out 6-5. From here on we witnessed a titanic battle as Tullamore threw the kitchen sink at the home side. A marvellous 60 metre run by Jordan Conroy was barely snuffed out. From a 5 metre scrum late on Tullamore drove Wanderers to the line when the scrum collapsed. Only a penalty but another scrum. Again the scrum went down but no response from the referee. Tullamore picked and drove to the line but the referee whistled them back for accidental offside in the maul, an absolute shocker of a decision. A relieved Wanderers cleared from the resulting scrum and escaped 6-5.
A losing bonus point keeps Tullamore in second place but they deserved more. This was a fine performance despite the result and the large Tullamore support were extremely proud of their efforts. The scrum and lineout were simply awesome while the tackling by the whole team was terrific. In a brilliant pack Matthew Murphy, Rob Connor, Cathal Feighery and Ger Molloy were mighty while out wide Richie Hughes, Aaron Deverell, Ivor Scully and the electric Jordan Conroy were top class. Ben Ridgeway started his first game at full back and after a bright opening was unlucky to stretch his hamstring after only 12 minutes.
Next Saturday sees the visit of 5th placed Midleton to Spollanstown.
Panel Ben Ridgeway, Brian Gilligan, Ivor Scully, Tom Gilligan, Jordan Conroy, Aaron Deverell, Richie Hughes, Darragh Lowry, Cathal Feighery, Matthew Murphy, Leon Martin, Ivor Deverell, Kevin Browne, Rob Connor, Adrian Hanley, Ger Molloy, Karl Dunne, Cormac Moloney, Mark Kennedy, Philip Jordan, Cyril Cornally.