Roscrea’s forwards were well on top for long periods of this match, with the lineout functioning well and a scrum that had the home team going backwards at times but scoring was difficult against an excellent Portarlington defence. All Roscrea scores came form the boot of outhalf John Lillis. Portarlington on the other hand with less possession got in for two fine trys. In difficult conditions the Roscrea backs handled the ball well but there was no penetration and they never threatened the Portarlington line.
The front row of Enda Harte, John Maher and Robert Dempsey were excellent and all three players made a lot of big carries in the loose. Malachy Maher did particularly well in the line outs, apart from his usual around the field trekking. Joe Smith at No. 8 mad a lot of big carries also and controlled the ball well at the back of the scrum.
Roscrea weathered an early onslaught from the home team and often good work by Shane Markham, Joe Smith and Robert Dempsey. Roscrea took the lead with a penalty. This was soon followed by John Lillis’ second penalty after Paul McNamara put a good kick into the corner. John Maher, Enda Harte and Malachy drove into the 22 and Portarlington conceded a penalty against a run of play. Portarlington got in for a try, after Roscrea had failed to deal with a high up and under. Roscrea combined to have the better of the exchanges but could not add to their 6 pts and had to be content with a 1 point half time lead.
Barry Wallace did well to field the Portarlington drop off and Roscrea wee on the attack once again. John Lillis attempted penalty kick from 40 metres dropped short. Portarlington were playing down the hill and used the boot to get the ball into the opposition 22 and they went ahead with a penalty from 20 metres. After good work by the pack, particularly Malachy Maher and Michael Lynch. Denis Moloney made a jinking run up the right wing. Roscrea got a scrum and Portarlington were penalised in the front row and John Lillis put Roscrea back into the lead. But Portarlington quickly regained the lead with a penalty and then put the match out of the reach of Roscrea with a fine converted try. Roscrea were now 9 pts behind and with the match coming to a conclusion John Lillis kicked a penalty to earn Roscrea a losing bonus pt.
Next Sunday, Roscrea are at home to New Ross 1’s and 11’s. 1’s at 3 p.m. and the 11’s start at 1.30 p.m.
Team: S. Greene, D. Furlong, P. McNamara (Capt.), D. Moloney, E. O’Keeffe, J. Lillis, C. Bulfin, E. Harte, John Maher, R. Dempsey, S. Markham, M. Lynch, B. Wallace, M. Maher, J. Smith, Replacement, Joe Maher.
Leinster League 11’s
This was Roscrea’s firs outing of the season and it showed. Portarlington were much fitter and better organised and came out easy winners. No doubt Roscrea will improve. Despite the result Roscrea showed that they have potential and there were some good performances from Niall Carey, Kieran Comerford and Seamus Treacy in the pack. Will Rymer had a fine game at outhalf scoring a fine try and he got good support from scrum half Keelan Murphy, Siein Ivanov and D. Fitzpatrick.
Team: W. Maher, S. Ivanov, S. Cooke, D. Fitzpatrick, L. Macheda, W. Rymer, K. Murphy, B. O’Rourke, R. Delaney, D. Costelloe, K. Comerford, N. Carey, K. Stone, B. Brussels, S. Treacy.