Carrowholly Heavies Hold Heads High At Home

Westport’s dogged determination in the face of a half-time deficit and appalling conditions pushed them through to this year’s AIL Junior Cup semi-finals.

Played in Carrowholly against a slick visiting Cooke side, the game was as competitive and nailbiting an affair as finals football gets. With their backs to the wall 5nil down after conceding a single score into a raging head wind, Westport played percentage rugby for the opening quarter of the second spell.

LJwest2911c_640x519

Rather than die away, the breeze kicked up a gear, tearing over Westport shoulders and into the Belfast complement facefirst negating any of the get-out-of-jail clearance kick luxuries enjoyed in the first half. Westport, once famed for hardnosed forward-oriented gameplans, stuck with what they know best and took to the heavy conditions like proverbial ducks to water.

LJwest2911b_640x427Clydesdales to a peat bog would have perhaps made for a better analogy, but either way, the second half was all Westport. Timely infringements from the tourists gave Eddie Walsh (39 and counting) two opportunities to post points from 41m and 44m out. He did so with aplomb. A concerted forward campaign late in the second half forced another penalty in the hosts’ favour.

LJwest2911a_640x415Walsh, who’d made no mistake at long-range, hit his mark again from 23 out, and Westport – in front of a huge 200-plus supporters contingent – advanced to the national semi-finals courtesy of a 9-5 at-home victory. Connacht is well-represented at the business end of this season’s national junior cup, Monivea also still alive in the top four.

LJwest2911d_640x368

Related

Applications open for IRFU Club Continuity Fund