Malahide’s Bonus Start

November 7, 2018

Leinster League Division 3

Malahide 24
IT Carlow 7

Malahide started phase 2 of Leinster League Division 3 with a hard fought win over IT Carlow and in doing so secured a vital try bonus point. In perfect conditions IT Carlow won the toss and elected to play into a slight breeze.
Malahide opened strongly and dominated the early territory stakes but could not force a breakthrough. As the visitors started to come into the game using a very efficiently functioning lineout the signs were ominous for the home team. However good defence kept the visitors scoreless and when on 18 minutes the ball was dropped in the IT Carlow backline flyhalf Blake Creighton was on hand to kick the ball through. Creighton did brilliantly to be the first to reach his own kick and showed great composure to get the loose ball under control and outsprint the chasing defenders to touch down for the games opening try. Full back Rory O’Driscoll added the easy extra points from in front of the posts. Malahide started to exert some control on the game and kept their visitors under pressure. In the 30th minute this pressure told as a loose defensive kick was snapped up by right wing Dave Murphy who showed great strength to hold off two covering defenders and score in the corner. The conversion was missed but the home side now held a valuable 12-0 lead.

Malahide had their tails up and continued to test the away side’s defence but a lack of control out of touch allowed the visitors to prevent a further score until the 37th minute when Creighton again latched onto a loose ball in the Carlow backline and used the opportunity to send flanker Eoin Crowley free. Crowley showed great pace to outsprint the defensive cover and touch down under the posts. O’Driscoll added the extras and the home team took a slightly fortunate 19-0 lead into the break.
One of the failings of the Malahide performance in the first half was an inability to keep control of possession for long enough periods to test the IT Carlow defence but for the first ten minutes of the second half the home side retained the ball very well and only a great IT Carlow defensive effort stopped the home team moving further ahead.

There were a number of opportunities for Murphy on the right wing but each time the IT Carlow cover just managed to prevent the score. As the half continued again the visitor’s lineout started to gain some control. This allowed IT Carlow to keep the home team under pressure and run through some phases. As they made there way into the home team’s 22 Malahide continued to make their tackles but eventually the pressure told on 62 minutes when the visitors flanker latched onto a loose ball at the breakdown and was able to beat the Malahide cover and open the IT Carlow account. The conversion was successful and Malahide now held a 19-7 lead. From the kick off the visitors were again able to establish a foothold in the Malahide half and keep the home side under pressure but the Malahide defence held firm and on 72 minutes they were able to force the crucial turnover and outhalf Creighton was able to break from the home team’s 22. Creighton showed great pace and poise to firstly beat the chasing cover and then timing his pass perfectly to send left wing Eoin Barber in for the bonus point try. The conversion was unsuccessful but Malahide held a 24-7 lead with time running short.

Carlow tried very hard to make their way back into the game but a now superior Malahide scrum made it very difficult for the visitors to get the continuity of possession needed. Malahide kept the students in their own territory for the remainder of the game. The final whistle sounded with Malahide comfortably containing their visitors attempted attacks. No 8 Keith Harrell and captain Eamonn Gleeson carried well for Malahide over the course of the game while Creighton’s control at 10 made sure that home team’s backline always looked threatening. Malahide will be delighted with the bonus point victory but will also know that there is still work to be done ahead of next weeks visit to Athy for their second pool game.

Elsewhere on Saturday Malahide 2nd XV stayed top of their League section with an excellent 87-6 away win against Wexford Wanderers in the Leinster J4 League while the 3rd XV put De La Salle Palmerston to the sword with a convincing 37-7 victory in Kilternan to move into 3rd in the Leinster J5 League.