CAPTAIN FANTASTIC PRODUCES LIGHTNING START TO SECOND HALF
The ‘Well revival continued in earnest at Musgrave Park, with a tenacious performance against top
of the table Enniscorthy. It was a nail biter finish, with the ‘Well having to play an extended period of
time after the clock struck 80 with a precarious single point lead; having just conceded a try to David
Given the form guide of both teams; one would have expected Enniscorthy to be exerting immense
pressure in those dying minutes, with the ‘Well needing a major back to the walls defensive
approach to try to hold out. However; it couldn’t have been any different with the ‘Well utilising
their powerful breakdown defense and scrum; to keep Enniscorthy pinned back. Indeed it was the
‘Well who could have scored with excellent attacking opportunities inside the Twenty-Two but most
crucially; they managed to run the clock out, even though the Wexford club had their chances in
possession but couldn’t get far behind half-way.
Throughout the game there was little between the sides and despite being a game of top v bottom it
was difficult to tell who was in what position. After a winless first-half, this ‘Well tea, and squad have
shown immense resilience and self-belief and while nothing has been secured yet; they can be very
confident in their ability and form to pull away from the relegation zone.
TENACIOUS AND TIGHT OPENING FORTY
The first-half was scoreless but did have its moments of interest. The ‘Well knew they needed both
intensity and discipline in defence that they had in spades. The magnificent inspirational Captain
Conor O’Brien led by the forwards; but everyone put their body on the line. Shane Desmond got
through an immense workload in the tight, with Mike McCarthy and Mark Kelly also very active.
Enniscorthy looked to spread the ball out quickly and expose space for their backs; particularly the
speedster Ben Kidd at full=back. The ‘Well backs did recover when the defense was exposed with
Maurice Daly and Gary Downey making some excellent last ditch efforts to prevent scores while
Ryan Buckley and Will Trevor also put in some big hits.
It was far from one-way traffic though. The ‘Well’s scrum; with Evan O’Connell adding bulk in the
second-row rather than front-row won some crucial penalties early on. They provided some
opportunities – albeit far-out for kicks at goal with Eoin Geary unlucky to see his two efforts just slip
the wrong side of the posts.
The ‘Well’s main threat came off the line-out where they produced some magnificent driving mauls.
One such effort after Cormac Kelliher secured possession saw them drive twenty meters over the
line – but unfortunately the ball was just held up and under the new laws – Enniscorthy could clear
with a goal-line drop-out.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC PRODUCES LIGHTNING START TO SECOND HALF
After forty minutes of hard-fought intense rugby not producing a solitary score; it took less than a
minute for the first score of the second-half to come. Gary Downey produced a great up and under
that Ivan Jacobs seemed to gather cleanly initially; but then slipped forward. The chasing ‘Well
players were quick to pounce and secure possession and it was quickly passed out to Conor O’Brien.
O ‘Brien briefly looked straight ahead and saw immense space from forty-five metres out. In the
middle of the field he produced a great arcing run to get up to the Twenty-Two and leave several
defenders in his wake. As Enniscorthy scrambled a couple of players caught up with him, but there
was no stopping the captain who produced a powerful hand-off and then powered forward to touch
down under the posts to the joy of the ‘Well crowd. This was as easy a kick as Geary could have
hoped for and he slotted over the extra two points.
A rare defensive lapse saw the ‘Well concede a penalty in midfield for offside. Enniscorthy went
deep with a kick to touch that Will Trevor was unlucky not to keep in play. ‘Scorthy spread the ball
out and there was an argument for obstruction; as one of their runners ran a dummy line ahead of
the ball carrier – taking out a likely tackler. The referee though played on and after a couple of
phases close to the line; center Nick Boyle squeezed over the line. Ben Kidd couldn’t add the
The ‘Well did not dwell on that disappointment. Another powerful scrum; with Neville O’Donoghue
having come on the field, had Enniscorthy under pressure and they conceded another penalty. With
the ‘Well strengthening it wasn’t the easiest opportunity but Geary slotted it coolly over.
The game got a bit stop-start for a while after this with a couple of niggling injuries breaking up the
flow of the game. The ‘Well though maintained control and once more their driving maul proved a
powerful weapon as they drove towards the Twenty-Two. Enniscorthy came around from the side –
conceding a penalty with Geary making it a two-score game at 17-5
As the clock came close to 80; the table toppers pushed hard and eventually made a breakthrough
with David Farrell touching down. The experience of Joshua Featherstone and Denis Hurley off the
bench helped the ‘Well play out those closing minutes; with their defense coming up with the big
play when needed to secure a great victory.
PLOT THICKENS IN BID TO AVOID RELEGATION PLAY-OFFS
A lot done over the past two games with wins against the top two, but still a lot more to do. Clonmel
have similarly come on strong with two wins in the past two games and are now a point ahead of us;
but their win over City of Derry did help lift the ‘Well off the bottom; with the Ulster side at the
bottom Bruff also gained a nail-biting win over Omagh and remain two points ahead of the ‘Well;
and travel to Derry in a big relegation battle next week.
For the ‘Well; all eyes will be on a tough trip to Tullamore. The side have shown their capabilities
against other promotion challengers but will be fired up and focused on getting their first away win
of the campaign. Meanwhile, Clonmel will be making the short trip to Towns Park to take on
Scorers: Sunday’s Well: C O’Brien try, E Geary 2 pens, con.
Enniscorthy: N Doyle D Farrell tries, B Kidd con.
Sunday’s Well: G Downey; W Trevor, M Daly, R Buckley, R Kelliher; E Geary, F Loughrey; G O’Sullivan,
J McHenry, M McCarthy; E O’Connell, S Desmond; C Kelliher, M Kelly, C O’Brien (c). Replacements: N
O’Donoghue, A Browne, J Costello, J Featherstone, D Hurley.
Enniscorthy: J Kelly; I Jacob, N Doyle, D Pim, D O’Dwyer; I Poole, A Dunne; A Todisco, D Murphy, MJ
Doyle; T Stamp (c), C Byrne; J Doyle, L Stamp, N Parker. Replacements: P Waters, D Farrell, S Lynch,
D Morycki, B Kidd.
Referee: K Coffey