Catch up on a busy weekend at Kirwan Park!

Catch up on a busy weekend at Kirwan Park!

(04 Mar 2019)

Peni Try

A year on from the Beast from the East, Storm Freya set up stall at Kirwan Park for the weekend and made her presence felt in no uncertain terms.

DLSP/Tallaght were first up and secured a creditable draw against table-toppers Clontarf on Saturday to lie 2nd in the Metro League 11 table.

The U20s earned a losing bonus point against Bective Rangers on Sunday in the midday kickoff in a game that was played in what would be politely described as "challenging" conditions. Salmo were up against a very big and very physical Bective side, and conceded two early tries to a scrum pushover and a pick and drive forward effort. But they rallied very well, continued to play their fluid ball in hand game throughout, and scored a superb team try finished off by Stephen Meagher.

A penalty attempt to take the lead 13-12 came back off the crossbar and Bective then kicked a penalty to go 15-10 ahead. Salmo tried hard to create an opening but ultimately had to defend their line for the last 5 minutes, which they did through a massive group effort to secure a deserved losing bonus point. With 2 games left, they are well placed to finish in the Top 5 which would be a great achievement for this young group.

The 2nd XV received a walkover as Carlow conceded their fixture and results elsewhere ultimately meant that Salmo finished a well-deserved second in the league, a tremendous achievement and testament to the efforts of the players and management. Well done to all!!

We rounded off the weekend in fine style as the 1st XV racked up a 4-try bonus-point victory, their fourth league win in five since the turn of the year. 

The game was only five minutes old when John O'Brien dived over for Ian Burke to add the extras and give Salmo a 7-0 lead. Carlow established a firm foothold in the contest and pulled one back when Sam Cullen went over to make it 7-5. Peni Taupau, having yet another barnstorming match, powered over for Salmo's second on the half hour with an excellent conversion from Burke making it 14-5. Carlow hit back in short order and we turned around at 14-12 with the game still finely balanced.

Conditions got progressively worse in the second half and handling became a struggle for both sides, leading to a succession of scrums and a very fragmented and disjointed game at times. There was little to choose between the sides until Ronan Merriman splashed over under the posts with the resulting conversion giving Salmo a 21-12 lead and tipping the balance conclusively in the home sides's favour. A good day became a great day when Alejandro LaForga Castro dashed over in the dying minutes to secure the try bonus point with John O'Brien drop-kicking the conversion to take the final score to 28-12 and ensuring the home supporters ended the day with warm hearts at least.

The final Leinster League 1B table shows Salmo in fifth place, just one point behind Carlow in fourth. Eight losing bonus points speaks to how close some of the games this season have been and we look forward to turning those into winning bonus points next season.

DoR Norman Byrne: “The result and more particularly, the performance today in atrocious conditions, was really pleasing and a fitting conclusion to the league campaign. The lads have been very focused and very positive over the past couple of months, and fully deserve to maintain the Division 1B status. My congrats and thanks to all of them for their efforts. We are already building and planning towards next season, and hopefully this time next year we will be celebrating a promotion to 1A - preferably in nicer weather conditions!!”

Next up is a return to Metro Cup action as we eye a semi-final against Old Wesley under the lights on Thursday 14th March (venue TBC). No better way to kickstart the St Patrick's Day festivities than turning out to cheers the lads on in a competition where we have recent good history.

Finally, we say goodbye to Peni who is returning to New Zealand after a fine season with us. He has been a fantastic asset to Salmo and we wish him well in his future endeavours. He can rest assured of a warm welcome at Kirwan Park any time!


Please follow this link to view our match gallery from the 1st XV fixture against Carlow:

https://www.jcsportsphotography.com/dlspcarlow



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