1st XV secure a hard fought win
Our 1st XV secured a hard fought 17-13 Leinster League Division 1A win over visitors Gorey on Saturday.
After a blistering start in last weeks fixture we again endured a challenging start to this game as Gorey made excellent use of the wind at their back to put us deep in our own half from the off.
While we repelled the early pressure a yellow card for Captain, Brian Lyons, after only 5 minutes had a very unsettling effect on us as his brother Peter was sacrificed for the next scrum to allow Brian Duggan to fill out the front row. Gorey took immediate advantage to kick a scrum penalty within 15m of our line. The resulting lineout maul was executed clinically to see Gorey touch down, the Gorey 10 landing a very difficult conversion to extend the lead to 0-7 after only 8 mins.
Gorey kept the pressure on for the next 10 minutes but were unable to make it count on the scoreboard. The Water Break gave Seapoint an opportunity to reset and on the restart we began to put our trademark continuity to some positive effect. Having created some try line pressure the Gorey defence remained resolute until the 30th minute when a dominant lineout maul was the catalyst for the pressure to bear fruit with Zac Jungmann bursting over. Unfortunately in the phases leading up to this score outhalf Darragh Mullins took a knock that ended his game, so Matt McKenna stepped-up to attempt the conversion which unfortunately fell short.
Seapoint were in the ascendancy now and as the pressure was building a clearance kick from Gorey which failed to make touch was gathered by Eoghan O’Reilly just outside the 22. He looked up and quickly decided to take on the advancing defence and with some mesmerising footwork & power he weaved his way through to dot down to the left of the posts, the conversion again proving too difficult for McKenna in the conditions. With that the first half was brought to a conclusion, while the 10-7 lead was narrow there was optimism that with the wind at our backs we would kick-on in the 2nd half.
While we certainly had plenty of territory and possession the 3rd quarter was a source of great frustration for the home side as we couldn’t finish off a number of promising opportunities. Just as we entered the final quarter another well executed Seapoint lineout maul was illegally brought to ground just short of the try line, despite that the ever combative Jungmann was able to find a soft shoulder and secure our third try with McKenna taking the extras for a 17-7 lead. The referee also sent the Gorey player that he deemed responsible for the collapsed maul to the bin, so all looked set for a relatively comfortable conclusion to the game.
However that’s not how it transpired and despite Seapoint creating a couple more excellent try scoring opportunities, and Gorey being reduced to 13 men for a period, our visitors hung in there and gradually turned the tide. With 8 minutes left to play the now rampaging Gorey pack had our rearguard in all sorts of trouble. Eventually the dam burst as an attempted intercept left a big hole out wide which was gratefully accepted. The difficult conversion was sweetly landed and it was game on for the final few minutes with the lead now reduced to 17-14.
Seapoint had to absorb relentless pressure for the subsequent minutes but remained patient in defence knowing that any penalty concession could spell the end. To our credit we kept our heads and having secured a turnover penalty we were able to end the game with the lead intact, much to the relief of the home support.
This victory sees us maintain our unbeaten run as we take a break from the league campaign to welcome Enniskillen for the first round of the All-Ireland Junior Cup on Saturday (KO 3pm), a competition that has a special place in Seapoint history having won it in 2007. We look forward to another big attendance at Kilbogget Park to keep the positive momentum of this season going.???