Portlaoise U-13’s started their 2014 Leinster League campaign away to a strong Navan side on Saturday and came away with a good win thanks to a late try in very wet weather conditions. The game started at a very fast pace with the Navan boys putting on huge pressure which eventually led to Navan scoring an unconverted try.
On the restart Navan continued to apply the pressure with Portlaoise finding it difficult to adjust to the very wet conditions.Against the run of play Navan failed to find touch and the ball was collected by Alan Connolly who brought Brian Redmond into play and he scored an excellent individual try with a wide arcing run under the posts. which was easily converted by William Reilly.
From the restart Navan continued to remain dominant at the breakdown with Portlaoise forwards too easily turning over first phase possession. This led to another Navan try which again they failed to convert to leave them 10-7 ahead at half-time.
The half time break appeared to benefit Portlaoise as their attitude and aggression greatly improved.
Midway through the second half Navan put themselves in a dominant attacking position inside the Portlaoise 22 , but excellent counter rucking by the Laois forwards created a turnover ball. Tght head prop Paddy Coss provided a perfect pass to Brian Redmond who ran 70 metres and again placed the ball under the sticks for William Reilly to convert to leave the score Portlaoise 14 Navan 10.
Navan continued to stay with their game plan and despite a strong Laois defence scored a good forwards try which they converted to put them three points ahead.
Portlaoise’s forwards continued to apply pressure and dominate at the breakdown and their hard work paid off with a great try by flanker Robbie O’Rourke. Again William Reilly added to the score board with a super conversion.
Portlaoise saw out the remainder of the game with an excellent defence lead by Adam Duffin Donagh Hyland and Eoghan Brennan to name but a few to leave the final score Portlaoise 21 Navan 17. The campaign continues with an away match against Carlow next Saturday.