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U17s Leinster Premier League Champions

Wicklow U17’s – Leinster League Champions 2016 / 17

Wicklow Under 17’s were crowned Leinster League Champions last Saturday, 29-April, when they defeated Gorey 28 – 7 in the replay of the Premier Division Final in Dr Hickey Park, Greystones. Having let a healthy lead slip in Donnybrook three weeks ago, the Wicklow lads were determined to make sure they put things right in Greystones RFC and in front of a large crowd Wicklow put on a magnificent display to outplay their Wexford opponents & thereby secure back-to-back League titles for this squad of players.

 

 

Wicklow lost the toss & Gorey opted to play into the strong breeze that remained for the duration of the game. With the wind on their backs Wicklow made a slow start & found it difficult to get into the game, however then defended well, never giving any space to the Gorey team.

 

However, after around 10 minutes Wicklow settled & were starting to dominate proceedings. Their strong forward pack, with Brian Short, Sam Porter, Mark Nicholson & the magnificent Luke Thompson to the fore, were making big inroads into the Gorey defence & after 15 minutes, scrum half Scott Burleigh fed out half Paddy McKenzie, who made a fantastic break from just outside the 22 & despite the frantic efforts of the Gorey defence made it over the line for Wicklow’s opening try, which he also converted.   This try settled the Wicklow lads & they were now starting to play some great rugby. The Wicklow back row of Luke Thompson, Jack Gibney & Dylan Byrne were dominating proceedings in the loose and this allowed Wicklow to take control of the game. Some strong running from centres Cian Reynolds & Cormac Murray put Gorey on the back foot & Wicklow were soon awarded a penalty at a ruck following a good beak from winger Paddy O’Keane. McKenzie put over the difficult lick to take the score to 10 – 0 in favour of Wicklow.

 

With 5 minutes remaining to half time, Wicklow increased their lead to 15 – 0, when second row forward Brian Short crashed over the line for a try, following some great work by captain Mark Nicholson, Dylan Delamere & Cian O’Sullivan. The try went unconverted; however Wicklow went into the break with a 15 point advantage.  

The second half began with Wicklow now playing into a strong breeze. There was some concern as to whether Wicklow would have enough points on the board playing into the wind, however these worries were soon abated as the Wicklow lads were superb for the entire second half, taking complete control of the game. The forward pack as a unit were magnificent, with Luke Thompson making some fantastic surges up the pitch, supported brilliantly by his captain Mark Nicholson, Brian Short, Cian O’Sullivan, Dylan Delamere, Sam Porter, Dylan Byrne and Jack Gibney.

Behind the pack, half backs Scott Burleigh & Paddy McKenzie marshalled the team around the pitch with great composure & they were well supported by centres Cian O’Sullivan & Cormac Murray. They back three of Cormac Doyle, Paddy O’Keane and Jack Farmer were superb all day long, never putting a foot wrong.

10 minutes into the second half, captain and hooker Mark Nicholson crashed over for Wicklow’s third try of the afternoon, following great work by Dylan Byrne, Sam Porter & Luke Thompson. Shortly after that try, Wicklow further extend the lead to 23 – 0, when Paddy McKenzie converted a penalty following an infringement from the Gorey pack at a ruck.

 

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