Portarlington got their Leinster League Division 1B campaign back on course after an encouraging victory against a much improved Carlow side at Lea Road last Sunday.
Leinster League Division 1B
The opening third of the game saw both sides struggling to get into a rhythm as some post Christmas break errors meant that the game broken up by restarts.
Eventually it was the home side who gained the momentum as the half drew to an end with their pack taking responsibility to retain possession as Alex Mihajlovic, Joander Brazon and Declan Hennesy made good gains. Their patience was rewarded by a Kieran Hyland penalty and that score was the difference between the sides at half time although Port went into the break feeling that they were ready to push on in the second half.
That is exactly what they did and within three minutes of the restart, Niall Smith crossed in the corner for a well deserved try which Hyland converted from the tight angle. That lead didn’t last long as a Carlow turnover was worked wide before Jeoff McDermot broke away down the wing and touched down under the posts. The home side protested as the pass to McDermot seemed to be clearly forward but the score stood and Richie White added the extras.
Portarlington continued to work well through the phases in an increasingly physical game and prolonged pressure lead to some poor discipline at the breakdown from Carlow. A well executed Kieran Hyland penalty kick from 35 metres stretched the home side’s lead to six points.
Carlow always seemed dangerous when in possession and their pacey winger Ian Costigan was unlucky not to score. He made two great breaks but put a little too much on his kicks through and the ball went dead on both occasions to the relief of home supporters.
As the game entered the last ten minutes Port looked to put the game beyond the visitors and a well worked back line move saw James Hyland find a gap in the defence thanks to a fine side step and burst of pace. His brother converted and the final few minutes were kept tight by Port as they ensured the victory and deprived the visitors of a losing bonus point.
Port travel to take on Ashbourne next Sunday and a victory would create a much needed gap between them and the lower part of the league table.