Murley Silver Band @ Coolmine RFC for ALL Ireland Cup Final CLogher Valley RFC I XVII 9 v Enniscorthy RFC I XVII 10 REPORT HERE WHAT A GAME!

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Valley come up just short in All Ireland Final losing by one point.
by Bob Beatty

With strong wind and at times driving rain the weather conditions did not allow a flowing game of rugby though both teams adapted well. Enniscorthy started the better and turned over Valleys first two drives. It was to be a feature of the game as Enniscorthys dogged aggressive defence kept Valley at bay. Space throughout the game was at a premium as both sides found it difficult to break any tackles.
Enniscorthy missed an early penalty but Valley responded to the miss by driving into the Enniscorthy 22. When they won a scrum 5 the Valley faithfully expected a score but Enniscorthy scrum won the ball and cleared to touch. Valley had anticipated that the scrum would have been a potent attack weapon for them but throughout the game Enniscorthy were able to nullify the threat. In the lineouts Valley were always under pressure and struggled to get any reasonable possession. Where Valley were better was in rucks and mauls where their trademark pick and go made good yardage. Valley had the majority of possession but could not find a way through the defensive wall. Valley continued to attack and had another 5 metre scrum but were penalised for collapsing by the referee. However two penalties from Holme gave them a 6-0 advantage at half time. Having played with the wind this was scant reward for their possession.
The second half was more of the same. Enniscorthy offered little attacking threat and Valley continued to have possession but could not find a way through. After 60 minutes Enniscorthy had their first attack into Valley 22. Twice Valley repulsed attacks close to their line. In the third their defence seemed to have stopped the Enniscorthy drive when the ball broke loose. Unfortunately for Valley it was snapped up by the Enniscorthy scrum half and before Valley could reorganise their defence he had scored under the posts for a converted try and an Enniscorthy lead for the first time.
Valley returned to the attack and drove deep into the Enniscorthy 22. They recycled the ball at least 10 times but could not find a way through. However a Holme penalty had them just back in front 9-7 and with ten minutes left Valley would have been expected to close the game out. Unfortunately they fumbled the restart and gave Enniscorthy another penalty. This was missed but from the 22 drop out a Valley player was yellow carded for a high tackle and the resultant penalty in front of the posts gave Enniscorthy a slender one point lead going into the final minutes.
In the frenetic end to the game Valley continually attacked but a series of penalties against them saw them having to attack from ever deeper in their own half as Enniscorthy kickers used the wind to their advantage. The final whistle came and Valleys huge travelling support was dismayed to have lost by the narrowest of margins.
Valley will now return to their league campaign knowing that but for two or three small mistakes at crucial times they should have won the game. In the end despite the possession they could not break down a dogged Enniscorthy defence.

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