Dara Snatch Dramatic Win
Cill Dara get back to winning ways in the Leinster League Div. 1A with dramatic victory over Ashbourne.
Cill Dara got back to winning ways in the Leinster League Div. 1A last Saturday when they snatched a 27-26 victory over Provincial Towns Cup holders, Ashbourne. It was a pulsating contest that kept the spectators in Beechpark enthralled for the entire 80 minutes.
Stung from a hammering away to Enniscorthy the previous week, Cill Dara wasted little time in attempting to whitewash that loss from their memories. From the kick off, the home team attacked Ashbourne and within a minute had posted the first score with Chris Moore touching down in the corner. Jamie Kavanagh missed the difficult conversion but Dara led 5-0.
This should have settled nerves and instilled confidence but Ashbourne struck back through a converted try and penalty; 5-10 after 20 minutes. Cill Dara’s indiscipline and a tardiness to react to the referee’s interpretation of the laws, a blight so far this season, allowed Ashbourne score two more penalty kicks prior to the half-time whistle.
The visitors ended the half with a healthy 16-5 advantage and it looked bleak for the Kildare club. Once again it was time for the Cill Dara coaches to work their half-time magic.
Consistent with every game in the league so far, Cill Dara began the second half seemingly a different team, playing a high tempo, multi-phase game. Ashbourne creaked and finally broke as Cill Dara’s Papua New Guinea centre, Morea Pease, crashed over for the try. Kavanagh missed the conversion but Dara were back in touching distance, 10-16 after 53 minutes.
The Kildare players were buzzing around the pitch now, none more so than club stalwarts, Damian Broughall and Chris Moore. However, it was the effervescent Jack Fullum who deservedly scored Cill Dara’s third try when he ran a lovely support line, taking the final pass from Broughall and strained every sinew to touch down under the posts. Kavanagh kicked the easy conversion and Dara now led 17-16 after 60 minutes.
It was starting to look promising for the home team and Ashbourne, yet to record a win, must have doubted their resolve to come back. Alas, an impetuous act by Kavanagh on an Ashbourne player saw him sent to the sin-bin with only 15 minutes remaining. Ashbourne kicked the resultant penalty and took the lead again, 17-19.
A sin-binning began Cill Dara’s capitulation last week in Enniscorthy and a repeat result looked likely when Ashbourne scored and converted a try in the 70th minute; 17-26.
Nonetheless, Cill Dara dug deep and stayed calm on this occasion. Soon after Kavanagh re-joined the fray, some lovely interplay by the home back line gave full back, Paddy Ryan, the space to touch down Cill Dara’s bonus point try. Kavanagh converted and it was a one score game with minutes remaining; 24-26 to Ashbourne. The tension around the ground was palpable.
Deep into injury time, Cill Dara drove forward, desperate for one last opportunity and it came with a penalty award against Ashbourne for hands in a ruck. It was a tough kick but Kavanagh went from villain to hero, knocking over the penalty in the last act of this enthralling match, giving Dara a 27-26 win. Breathless stuff! It was a vital win which sees Cill Dara climb into third place just as the league takes a three week break until November.
Cill Dara RFC Team: 1. Richie Bond, 2. Con Heavey, 3. Conor McCormack, 4. Chris Moore 5. Darragh Kennedy, 6. Jack Hogan, 7. Jack Fullam, 8. Damian Broughall, 9. Alex Gibney, 10. Jamie Kavanagh, 11. Paudie Wall, 12. Kevin Dingley, 13. Morea Pease, 14. Conor Malone, 15. Paddy Ryan.