Navan U-19 Come Out On Top In Premier League Final
March 15, 2015 12:00 am client
It took a try from Ian Rickard two minutes from time to put to bed this intriguing Bank of Ireland Under-19 Youths Premier League final at Donnybrook on Sunday.
It was the Meath club’s capacity to start and finish well that served them best. Number eight Colm Carpenter was quick into his stride. He wasn’t the only one. Openside Conor Farrell seized on a loose lineout and got back up in time to take a switch ball over for the first try in the sixth minute.
Skerries looked to move the ball through out-half Ciaran Frawley with number eight Andrew Davies an able ally up the middle.
Navan were more direct, Farrell rampaging through the middle, his pace taking him away from support. They were foiled by going off their feet in the shadow of the posts.
The technical expertise of Davies was readily available to Skerries at the breakdown and Frawley’s boot took them into Navan territory where wing Kevin Joyce was prone to popping up on the shoulder of his fly-half.
Their openside Peter O’Neill brilliantly rescued a spilled ball on the grass to set up a penalty which Frawley nailed from 40 metres to make it 5-3 in the 22nd minute.
Then, Skerries exploded from deep. Wing Joyce’s outside break was a thing of beauty. Frawley’s cross-field kick was controlled by wing Lorcan Jones and turned into five points with a sudden burst of evasion and speed for a timely try, converted by Frawley for 10-5 in the 25th minute.
They came forward again for Frawley to pull a drop goal left and find the target with a penalty from wide on the right.
It took Farrell’s glue-like attraction to the ball to put Navan back on the frontfoot, out-half Christian Byrne breaking the gain line and lock Ronan Scott pumping his legs for the line to make it 13-10 at the break.
On return, the physicality was ramped up, Skerries Joyce hitting hard and Navan blindside Conor Hand imposing himself.
Unsurprisingly, Farrell turned up on the shoulder of Byrne to eat up the metres, finding wing Rickard free and Farrell stayed in the game to take the ball home for 15-13 in the 43rd minute.
Although Byrne had missed all three conversions, the out-half had the confidence to step up and drive a penalty over from 40 metres for 18-15 in the 47th minute.
This is when tempers boiled and discipline slipped for one from each side to be binned before Rickard showed immense strength to get in at the left corner in the 68th minute.
NAVAN 23 SKERRIES 13
At Donnybrook – NAVAN 23 (C Farrell 2 tries; R Scott, I Rickard try each; C Byrne pen); SKERRIES 13 (L Jones try; C Frawley 2 pens, con)
Skerries: C Ronayne; K Joyce, D Lowndes, B Mulcahy, L Jones; C Frawley, C McMahon; O Dunne, A Reen, C Boyle, T Mulvaney, C O’Leary, G Harrington, P O’Neill (capt), A Davies.
Replacements: R Woods for McMahon, R McKey for Ronayne both ht; D McGuinness for Mulvaney 52 mins; L Thornton for Davis 62 mins.
Navan: S Walshe; N McGrane, E Burke B McEntaggart, I Rickard; C Byrne, C Farrell (capt); D Hoare, O Lavin-Kelly, L Farrell, R Scott, R Meegan, C Hand, C Farrell, C Carpenter.
Replacements: D Meegan for L Farrell 22 mins;
Referee: T Tuohy, Leinster Branch.