Portlaoise forced to dig deep to grind out win over Navan

Rugby Boys U-15 Leinster League

Portlaoise U-15s entertained Navan in the Leinster premiere league at Tougher on Saturday.

After the Christmas break Portlaoise needed all points to maintain their status on the table. The game started at a blistering place, with no quarter asked or given. Following great pressure by the forwards Brian Redmond received the ball and cut through the Navan defence to touch down under the posts. The try was converted by Portlaoise out half William Reilly.

In truth it was a battle royal for the rest of the first half and at the break the home side lead 7-0. Having lost their open side wing-forward Billy McEvoy, it was going to take hard work and endeavour to secure the four points.

The second half continued with a battle between both sets of forwards following sustained pressure with about 10 minutes remaining Navan crossed in the corner but failed to convert, leaving the score 7-5 in favour of the home team.

For the rest of the game the Portlaoise team defended valiantly and with try saving tackles from Robert Laffan, Robbie O’Rourke and Allan Connelly, Navan were going to have to come up with something special to cross the line. Portlaoise held out for a well fought victory to retain their winning sequence.

It was a terrific team with outstanding performances from Portlaoise substitute Alex Boetang and Brandon Nolan, who has just returned from a serious injury. If Portlaoise continue to maintain their strong work ethic they should reap the rewards at the end of the of the season.

The next outing for the team is away to Wexford on Saturday January 16th.

Portlaoise: John Startin, John Keogh, Eoghan Fitzpatrick ,Paddy Coss, Fionn McWey, Ben Conroy, Billy McEvoy, Sam Bolton, Ben Conroy , William Reilly , Brandon Nolan, Brian Redmond, Robbie O Rouke, Peter Carroll , Adam Dunne , Tom Walsh, Jordan Radcliff, Daniel Whelan, Cillian Duff, Rossa O Dufaigh.