Match Centre - November 9, 2019 - 2:30 pm

All Ireland League 

Banbridge RFCBanbridge RFC 1sts XV
Naas RFC

@ Rifle Park

Match Details


Banbridge picked up their second win of the Energia All-Ireland League season, following up their bonus point tanking of Shannon with another home success and leaving visitors Naas still looking for their first win after five outings.
While Bann had been running in five tries the previous Saturday, Naas had been picking up a try-scoring bonus point from their home defeat to Malone. But last Saturday’s encounter, played at a wet and bitterly cold Rifle Park, never looked likely to produce a feast of tries.
True, Bann got off to another whirlwind start, with Ryan Hughes racing in for a try after just eight minutes play. But that was to prove the only try of the game as both defences were unyielding in the 72 minutes that followed.
An early penalty gave Bann a lineout just inside the Naas “22” and ten phases later, after Conor Field and Adam Doherty had made penetrating carries, Hughes picked up from the base of a ruck and touched down at the posts for Doherty to add the conversion.
Naas rejected a penalty opportunity in the 15th minute but the maul they set up from a lineout was shunted back by the home forwards and Bann prop Callum Reid ripped the ball out to relieve the pressure.
Naas scrum-half Peter Osborne missed with a shot at goal on 25 minutes before finding the target five minutes later for a 7-3 scoreline. Doherty’s attempt two minutes later to restore the seven point advantage drifted wide and Naas winger Fionn Higgins just failed to collect a cross-field kick for a try that would have put his side in front at the interval.
Higgins picked up a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on early in the second half as Bann stretched the Naas defence again. A penalty infringement allowed Naas to clear the immediate danger but Bann began to dominate territorially, exerting a stranglehold on the game that would keep the Kildare side out of the home “22” until the closing minutes of the match.
Joe Finnegan’s kick and chase saw the ball touched down by a defender but as play continued to centre in the Naas half, David McCann’s run after ball popped out of the side of a Naas scrum gave Bann good field position. When the ball was moved wide a high tackle saw Naas replacement Mark Sutton yellow-carded for a high tackle and Doherty exacted further punishment by slotting over the kick.
Finnegan linked with Jonny Stewart to send the scrum-off sprinting towards the Naas line only to be tackled just short. But when Bruce Houston put in a testing ‘garryowen’, Naas knocked on and were penalised for off-side. Doherty’s third successful kick left Naas needing two scores.
Two successive penalties, the first of which followed Robin Sinton’s yellow card for a high tackle, gave Naas a set piece in the home “22” for the first time in the second half. But Bann were able to neutralise the attempted maul and the referee blew the final whistle.
Bann team v Naas:- Adam Doherty, Joe Finnegan, Andrew Morrison, Josh Cromie, Bruce Houston, Jonny Stewart, Callum Reid, Peter Cromie, Michael Cromie (Capt), Matthew Laird, David O’Connor, Ryan Hughes, David McCann, Greg Jones. Replacements:- Ross Haughey, Stuart Cromie, Robin Sinton, Neil Kilpatrick, Ross Cartmill.