U15’s Win Leinster Plate

Balbriggan 26 v Barnhall 20

Much anticipation and expectation surrounded Balbriggan’s achievement on reaching the Leinster U15 Plate Final against Barnhall in Donnybrook Stadium.
The 2 teams hadn’t met each other before Sunday’s match and Barnhall made a storming start scoring an unconverted try in the opening 2 minutes.
Balbriggan weren’t ready for such an organised team like Barnhall and were punished again a few moments later when Barnhall spun the ball out wide and touched down to make it 10-0.
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Balbriggan, however through great desire and determination they started to get on top of Barnhall at the breakdown and a pick and go from a ruck in the middle of the park, unleashed the powerful Balbriggan no.8, Keanu, who beat several of the opposition’s players and touched down in the corner.
An amazing conversation by Aitzol King closed the gap to three points and the game was back on for Balbriggan.
Barnhall continued to pressure the Balbriggan defence and much of the game was been played in the Balbriggan half but then after great defensive pressure by Balbriggan, they forced Barnhall into a wide pass which was expertly intercepted by Luke Mitchell in centre and his blistering pace from within his own half took him to touch down under the posts with an easy conversion for Aitzol King.
The first half concluded with both sides tackling tough and rucking with the intensity a final should have with a scoreline of 14-10 to Balbriggan.
After a much needed water break on this glorious sunny day, the two teams returned to the field for the last half hour of the season with all to play for.
And it was now Balbriggan’s turn to catch Barnhall on the back foot and within minutes of the restart Keanu the Balbriggan No.8 cut a strong direct line through the opposition and burst over the line to make it a 9 point game at 19-10
Great defensive work from the Balbriggan back line and powerful rucking from their forwards gave Balbriggan huge momentum going forward again in the early period of the second half.
It was through this endeavour that they reached the Barnhall line and after several attempts by backs and forwards, the two locks combined to force their way over the line with the industrious Iker King claiming the five points.
Aitzol King converted again to make the score 26-10.
Barnhall showed their class and determination by not letting their heads drop and eventually worked their way back into the match.
They scored two fine back line tries, however these were in the corners where their outhalf had trouble converting.
The score was now 26-20 and an intense last 5 mins awaited us.
However, with some elusive back line running, fabulous clearance kicks and never say die attitude, Balbriggan hung on to claim a wonderful victory, especially for an all inclusive team who had a lot of rookie players taking to Rugby during the course of the year.
A bright future awaits this ever burgeoning club and congratulations to Balbriggan on fantastic win and a performance that did their coaches Victor, Andrew, Paddy, Cathal and Tony proud.


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