Match Report: Claremorris 22 Ballaghdereen 5

Claremorris Colt’s recorded a fine debut victory over a strong Ballaghdereen side in the Connacht U15 Cup first round last Saturday afternoon in Ballyhaunis. A closely fought first half left the game finely balanced on a score line of 5-5 at the break. The stalemate prompted Claremorris into a number of changes at the interval which were to pay major dividends.  Despite limited possession and under sustained pressure from Ballaghdereen, the Colts were able to pull away and win by a final score of 22-5. Best for Claremorris was Man of the Match Shane Gilbert ably supported by Stephen Murphy, Thomas Browne and Liam Murphy.

The first half was a tight affair with both teams trying to run and play an attractive type of rugby. First blood went to Ballaghdereen who capitalised on a failed Claremorris clearance to go over for a try in the corner in the 6th minute. The conversion was missed and the score remained at 5-0 until the 19th minute, when Claremorris flanker Shane Gilbert collected the ball from a ruck and drove over the Ballaghdereen goal line for a fine solo try. The remainder of the first half was a tense affair and the teams went into the break tied at 5-5 and with everything to play for in the second half.

Claremorris, after bringing on Evan Slattery and Ethan Clarke at the break, had to endure sustained pressure from a rampant Ballaghdereen until the 37th minute. Colts then went through a series of pick and go’s to break out of their own 22,  march the length of the pitch and put Stephen Murphy into the corner for a superb team try. Undeterred, Ballaghdereen continued to press in the Claremorris half until another break in the 48th minute had Shane Gilbert driving over the Ballaghdereen line for his second try. A successful conversion from Jack Vahey brought the score to 17-5 and the victory into sight. Despite the scores against the run of play, Ballaghdereen continued to press hard but could not break the spirited Colts defence marshalled by Man of the Match Shane Gilbert. The scoring was completed in the last minute of the game when Cathal Walsh went over for his first try for the Colts to bring the final score to 22-5 in favour of Claremorris.

Claremorris now go forward to the second round of the Connacht Cup where they will face either Ballyhaunis or Dunmore in the coming weeks.

Claremorris Colts: 1. Cian Ryan (James Gallagher 50’) 2. Joey Cooley 3. Jarleth Ruane 4. Aaron Ronayne 5. Cathal Walsh 6 Thomas Browne 7 Shane Gilbert 8 Liam Murphy 9 Luke Osborne (Evan Slattery 30’) 10 Danny Barry (Peter Breakell 50’) 11 Jack Vahey(C) 12 Stephen Murphy 13 Cormac Hanley 14 Jack Lally (Ethan Clarke 30’) 15 Daniel Merrick

Subs: E Slattery, P Breakell, E Clarke, C Lavery, J Gallagher, D Leonard, R Vahey, D. O Brien, E Roe, Z Birdthistle, James Vahey, E Harkin, S Cranshaw

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