On a dry February morning, Portlaoise hosted Mullingar in Tougher in the U-13 Leinster Premier League. After a hard fought game, Portlaoise eventually cam away with a six point win.
The game was evenly matched throughout the first ten minutes. Portlaoise made the better start however Mullingar were tight in defence and made Portlaoise work very hard.
Evan Browne broke the deadlock when he made a brilliant individual run from inside his own half before touching down under the posts. PJ Daly stepped up to convert.
Portlaoise tried to extend their lead but Mullingar were resilient. The first half finished with Portlaoise having a narrow 7-0 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half Portlaoise were caught snoozing and Mullingar scored a converted try of their own to level the match setting it up for a tense second half.
Portlaoise attempted to get back into the game and their opportunity came when they were awarded a penalty. PJ Daly took his time and scored the incredibly tough kick to give Portlaoise a three point lead.
This seemed to give Portlaoise an edge over Mullingar as minutes later David Maher made a heroic long run into the corner. Mullingar eventually stopped David who held the ball up well for Mikey Dowling. Mikey reacted quickly and instead of passing back to his out half, he caught the Mullingar forwards out and made a dart for the line. Mikey has a huge amount to do and showed great tenacity to score a super try.
Portlaoise kept plucking away at Mullingar and eventually put the game out of reach when Evan Browne found a gap in the Mullingar defence when he ran from inside his own half and scored yet another great try.
Mullingar showed fantastic spirit and kept their efforts going right ‘til the end. Their spirit was rewarded just before the final whistle when they broke the Portlaoise defence to score a converted try finishing the game 20-14.
Mullingar are a strong side that should not be taken lightly however Portlaoise will have to raise their game if they want to progress further in this tournament.
Portlaoise Team: David Maher, James Phelan, Scot Meaney, Connor Handcock, Jack Kennedy, Shane Buggy, Dan O’Rourke, Luke Rigney, Michael Dowling (1 try), Evan Browne (2 tries), Cormac Rigney, Craig Adams, Dean Brophy, PJ Daly (1 penalty & 1 conversion), William Seale. Replacements: Conor Dwyer, Dylan Kavanagh, Dan Cremin, Buddy Adlam, David Donoghue, Luke Kerr, Michael Nerney, Ben Lynam, Stephen Hunt, Rory Drea
Were you born in 2000, would you like to play rugby? If so contact Roy Glynn on 087-2786584 (all players welcome, no rugby experience required)