Last week saw two teams in action at home – Railway’s “Jolly Thirds” and the Under 21’s – and both teams sought victories to improve their position on their respective league tables.
Friday night saw the Under 21s take on a typically strong Wanderers side. Conditions were better than last week and the boys had a focussed training session during the week. The match started off tight with neither side managing to score early. Railway made many breaks but unfortunately handling errors prevented the side from finishing anything. Further injuries to the side in Mark Beakey and young Ciaran Crowe, both who started sharply, didn’t help the side. Strong ‘pick-and-go’s after a break from Barry Kiely finally led James Fisher to ‘smash’ over the line, smashing his head of the uprights in the process.
In the second half Railway began to tire, but nonetheless, gave their utmost and rallied hard. Another strong forwards try by Kevin Beakey kept Railway in the game however Wanderers matched the side try for try, with their advantage being able to convert their tries. With Railway subject to so many injuries, this is where they fell short in the end. This was a good platform for the team to build upon for upcoming matches.
Final score: Railway 12 – Wanderers 12
The 3rd XV welcomed Bective to Park Avenue on Saturday afternoon in the much anticipated rematch between the two clubs. Bective, top of the league and undefeated all season, are flying high at the moment but it was Railway who were desperately unlucky not have come away with a win in Donnybrook in the previous fixture in November having been 10-0 up in the final minutes only to concede two late tries at the end of the game.
The contest was played out in muddy conditions with Bective eager to keep the ball within their monster pack while Railway were looking to move the ball wide to utilise their exciting backs. This resulted in a frantic battle with plenty of big tackles and barnstorming runs from both sets of players.
Bective broke the deadlock in the opening quarter by keeping the ball in the Railway half. Bective’s pack took control and barged over after a number of phases. Railway instantly responded and replied with a try after 4 phases which stretched the Bective defence. Numerous pairs in hands were utilised before Railway broke through the line and dotted down in the corner.
The Bective pack began to target the smaller lightweight Railway forwards around the fringes and made good ground, however a malfunctioning line out resulted in turnover ball for Bective to continuously batter the Railway defensive line. The pack having lost influential flanker Po in the opening minute through injury battled on. Bective managed two well worked tries before halftime to leave Railway trailing by 12 at the break.
The second half continued much the same, with Railway repelling numerous Bective attacks. The backs were making headway while the Railway forwards manfully gained parity throughout the second half through Captain and Walsh and Bosco, which resulted in 2 tries. The best coming from Tommy Maloney who raced over having been sprung from the bench. Bective however managed another try of their own along with a penalty to put the game too far beyond reach for Railway.
A solid performance from the 3rd XV who have proved to be a stern test for the table toppers twice this season.
Final score: Railway 17 – Bective 26