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Naas 5 - U.C.C. 13   10/10/2017

After suffering their first defeat of the league campaign at the hands of Banbridge, Naas aimed to get back on track by defeating U.C.C. at home last Saturday. Alas it was not to be, as victory went to the Cork side and deservedly so.

Despite the counter attraction of the Leinster v Munster game, there was a decent crowd in attendance for this fixture. With that recent defeat fresh in the memory, Naas started brightly in their atonement bid. They looked sharp and determined in the early exchanges, and this brightness was rewarded with a try after ten minutes. The move was started by Johne Murphy who showed great strength to beat two tacklers before he was hauled down near the posts. The ball was quickly recycled out the backline, and lock Stephen Kinneavy was on hand to score. Peter Osborne has the misfortune to strike the post with his conversion attempt, but Naas led 5-0. Amazingly that was to be the last score for them for the afternoon.

A lovely blind side break by Fionn Higgins nearly led to another score for Naas after 27 minutes, but just before half-time U.C.C. took the lead. From a line-out the Cork side drove at the Naas line, and appeared to have scored but the referee Nigel Correll adjudged that the ball was held up and awarded them a five yard scrum. Ryan Murphy picked up from the base of the scrum, and when he was stopped, John Hodnett was on hand to take the pass and crash over the Naas line. With John Taylor converting U.C.C. led 7-5, and the half-time whistle was blown soon afterwards.

That lead was extended after 49 minutes. Naas were penalised for hands in a ruck, and Taylor made no mistake with the subsequent penalty.The expected Naas revival never materialised. With their scrum and line-out working well the Cork side confidently defended the lead, and were the better side.Indeed they had chances to go further in front, when within sixty seconds Shane McAuliffe nearly scored in the corner, and then Taylor was wide with a drop goal attempt. However Taylor was successful with a penalty on 79 minutes to extend the lead to 13-5.

Naas threw everything at Cork in the final moments in a desperate effort to gain a losing bonus point. But it was not to be, a U.C.C deservedly left Naas with the victory.

There was no complaints from Naas afterwards, as they acknowledged they got what they deserved from the game. They now have a three week break before they next play in the league. That is a home fixture against Ballymena on Saturday, October 28th with a 2.30pm kick-off.

Naas: Peter Osborne, Fionn Higgins, Fionn Carr, Ross Bailey Kearney, Peter Howard, Johne Murphy, Max Whittingham, Jordan Duggan, Graham Reynolds, Jason Harney, David Benn, Stephen Kinneavy, Andrew Kearney, Will O'Brien, Paulie Tolofua. 

Replacements: Cathal Duff, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Shane Reilly, Michael Skelton, Philip Jordan.

U.C.C.: Alex Molloy, Kevin Slater, Cian Bohane, Murray Linn, Shane McAuliffe, James Taylor, John Poland, Shane O'Hanlon, Tadgh McCarthy, Rob O'Donovan, Cian Barry, Ben Mitchell, John Hodnett, Daire Feeney, Ryan Murphy. 

Replacements: James French, Brian O'Mahony, Cian Fitzgerald, James Kiernan, Richard Walsh.



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