Dundalk RFC opened their Leinster League Division 1A campaign - and head coach Adam Doyle’s era - with a defeat by derby rivals Ashbourne on Mill Road on Saturday afternoon. (Pic: Aidan Dullaghan)
Leinster League Division 1A
Dundalk RFC 7-26 Ashbourne RFC
Dundalk RFC opened their Leinster League Division 1A campaign - and head coach Adam Doyle’s era - with a defeat by derby rivals Ashbourne on Mill Road on Saturday afternoon.
Albeit the 26-7 scoreline was an accurate reflection of the divide between the sides on the day, a fairly inexperienced Dundalk team did quite well, although it was acknowledged that there were set-piece issues.
The local side next travel to Donnybrook to face Bective Rangers, who lost their opener 12-10 against Gorey.
UP AGAINST IT
Having fallen behind to an early converted try, Dundalk levelled midway through the first half when, following their best period of phase play of the encounter, winger Ronan Greene beat his man past halfway and raced over the line. Conor Hennessy sent over the extras to draw the match at seven apiece.
But another seven points from Ashbourne saw them lead 14-7 at the interval and they registered another maximum towards the end of the third quarter to give Dundalk a mountain to climb.
The Meath side’s bonus point try followed and while they missed the conversion attempt, their 19-point lead was too much for Dundalk to consider pegging back.
Doyle’s team’s task wasn’t helped by the enforced departures of James McConnon and Andrew Williams. Although, on the side of optimism, captain Jonathan Williams featured and Belgian Gauthier Petit made his debut at scrum-half.
Dundalk RFC: Conor Williams, Seán Arrowsmith, Robert Farrell; Enda Murphy, Caoilin Traynor; Alistar McCormack, James McConnon, Tiernan Gonnelly; Gauthier Petit, Conor Hennessy; Jonathan Williams, Jack Connolly; Ronan Greene, James Shields, Andrew Williams
Reps: Ciarán Lennon, John Smyth, Oisín Duff, Derek Williams
Dundalk’s seconds began their campaign with a 22-22 draw at home to Ashbourne in Saturday’s curtain-raiser.