Dundalk’s slim chances of winning the Seconds League were extinguished in Tullow last Saturday despite a remarkable recovery to come from 27-10 down with 10 minutes to go to earn a draw.
Dundalk started the game off strongly and went ahead early when Darren McGuinness made it to the tryline after a 40 metre sprint.
Tullow’s direct approach yielded an unconverted try to level but Dundalk were dangerous when they moved the ball out wide which helped fullback Robert Shields got in in the corner to make the score 10-5.
Dundalk handed the intitative back to Tullow when a wild pass by Robert Williams was picked off by the Tullow centre and he raced away for a converted try to make the score 12-10 which remained the score at halftime.
Tullow continued to dominate the opening exchanges of the second half and some poor tackling let them in for a converted try and a harsh penalty soon afterwards made it 22-10 in their favour.
Another try making it 27-10 with 15 minutes remaining looked to have put the game to bed but Dundalk then played some outstanding rugby and excellent offloading got Dundalk down to the Tullow 22 and outhalf Williams picked a gap and dived over to make it 27-15.
Williams then picked yet another gap in the tiring defence to score under the posts and converted to make it 27-22 with two minutes left. From the kick off number eight Enda Murphy broke through three tackles and offloaded to Will Lauaki and from the resultant ruck the ball was spread wide to Lawless who raced away to touch down and level the game.
An outstanding comeback by the Seconds was made even more remarkable by the fact this was their first game in nearly two months but not enough to maintain their title ambitions.
DUNDALK 2NDS: Robert Shields, Micheal Crawley, Chris McGeady, Robert Williams, Pearce Campbell, Jonathan Williams, Simon Byrne, Connor Willaims, Sean Arrowsmith, Will Lauaki, Connor Kane, Gavin Mullen, Diarmuid Sloane, Darren McGuinness, Enda Murphy. Subs: John Kerr, Dermot Laide, Mike Doyle, Gerard Lawless, Daniel McGuinness.