Seapoint U-16s go down fighting in Leinster Final
Balbriggan eventually overpower a valiant Seapoint performance
Hopes were high that Seapoint U-16s could finally deliver a victory over Balbriggan on Sunday in the Leinster U-16 Division 1 final, having lost in their previous three encounters this season. Despite conceding significant weight and size, Seapoint were confident that with better rugby skills, they were faster and fitter and that they could overcome Balbriggan's physicality with guile. The Seapoint coaches Tom Kelly and Cian O'Gorman had placed significant focus on defence in training.
And for the first half, despite Balbriggan playing with the advantage of a very strong wind, Seapoint's preparation appeared to have paid dividends. Balbriggan had scored only two tries in the first half, both unfortunate, one from a fairly scrappy cross field kick that simply bounced badly for Paul Jones, and the second an intercept given away by Keith Rice. Seapoint would have gladly taken a 12 point deficit at half time playing against that wind, and when they got a very lucky score just before half time, the Seapoint fans who had travelled in numbers were optimistic that this could be their day. Seapoint had won a penalty just before half time and had opted to kick. Peter Duffy managed an excellent effort which went narrowly wide. However a great chase by John Ascough paid huge dividends when Balbriggan failed to deal with the ball and Ascough managed to touchdown for a try which Peter Duffy converted. This left the score at half time with Balbriggan leading by only 12 points to 7.
Seapoint started brightly in the second half and scored the first try putting together some great handling and Peter Duffy going over in the corner to leave the score tied at 12 all. Shorty after Seapoint were back in Balbriggan territory and they continued to exert pressure. However another careless intercept allowed Balbriggan to lift the siege and after some good handling Balbriggan scored in the corner. Shortly afterwards a scrappy kick through by Balbriggan after Seapoint failed to control a scrum in their own half resulted in another Balbriggan try. Seapoint never gave up for the entire game but when Balbriggan scored one more ry with only 5 minutes to go, even the most optimistic of supporters realised that the game was over. T|he final score was Balbriggan 31 Seapoint 12 which didn't really reflect the competitive Seapoint performance.
This was an excellent all around team effort. The entire pack put in a huge shift and won a lot of good ball. Seapoint's backline defended valiantly from start to finish and never gave up. Man of the match from Seapoint's perspective goes to John Ascough who led from the front, tackled fearlessly and never stopped for the entire 60 minutes. A worthy captains performance.
Next up Metro Cup semi final away to St Marys on Sunday April 22nd kick off at 11:45 am.