16 Apr 2018
The men's 1XV weren't the only ones seeking a much needed win in Spollanstown this weekend - the u20 men's team welcomed old rivals UCD on Sunday afternoon in the 2nd round of the Harry Gale Cup. Still bitter from last season's league final defeat at the hands of UCD, this bunch of lads were vying for more than just victory.
It was very much a one sided affair from the get go, with Tullamore enjoying the vast majority of possession. Despite several members of the squad lining out for the seniors just 24 hours before, they put in performances that would make any pundit proud to recall.
The back row combination of Rigney and Bracken were immense in every aspect of the game - from ball carrying to rucking and tackling, they left no stone unturned. Meanwhile sprightly winger, Sean McCabe was reminiscent of a young Tommy Bowe or Rob Kearney under the high ball. He did however blunder a certain try about 50 minutes in, much to the bemusement of the crowd, losing control after he had crossed the white wash and under no pressure from the defence.
Scrum half Colm McGuiness controlled the game well and demonstrated some great distributive passes out to his back line, where the likes of Eoin Farrell and Jamie Lynam ran rings around the opposition.
As mentioned previously, back row giant Rigney was in top form, and bagged himself a brace of tries, using his height to full advantage on both occasions as he wiggled over the try line. Hooker Steven Pyke showed a real burst of pace on numerous occasions and got a well deserved try around the hour mark, running in from the half way mark. The agile Eoin Farrell adding to this tally, along with the ever impressive Barry Bracken to complete the bill. Bracken linking up well with Ennis at an attacking line-out maul 15 metres out, which UCD opted not to contest. As the opposition stood back, it offered Ennis the perfect opportunity to make some serious attacking ground. As the defence eventually copped onto his tactic, he offloaded to the oncoming Bracken who lept onto the target and ran in from the left of the posts.
A convincing team performance from the young Tullamore team who now move to the semi-finals of the competition.