Six in row for Newry
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
NEWRY welcomed Virginia to Telford Park, both sides showing great form entering the encounter, a spectacle of a match was guaranteed, writes Fearghal Lewis.
Having lost to Virginia in a pre-season fixture Newry were always going to up their game against the Cavan side, from the kick off the intensity from the Newry side was evident, with no quarter given, from a lineout, backrow Johnathan Graham found the gaps putting Virginia on the back foot, as Paul Haughey made the yards for Cathal McNally to smash his way through the nervous awaiting Virginia backline to give Newry their first score 7-0.
Newry had caught Virginia cold footed following their travels, following the restart the Cavan side were now asking questions of the Newry defence, following a multitude of a phases, Newry found themselves defending a kick and chase from no where, which caught Newry out, bringing them game level with 30 minutes gone.
While Newry's first try was of forward making, the second was the work on the backs, a fine loop pass from the inside three, allowed David Kelly a two on one in attack, side stepping the tackle and bringing play to his opposite full-back, a precise cross field kick to chasing Gerard Murtagh bounced perfectly for him to collect and score under the post 14-7 at half time.
Virginia were shocked at the tenacity of the Newry squad, the relentless barrage of tackles around the pitch took its toll in the second half as both sides continued to cancel each other out.
As tiredness hit in the later stages it was Newry who controlled what was left of the game, with plenty of penalty offences by the Virginia pack Newry pressed for the jugular kicking into the corner.
From the lineout Virginia held strong as Kieran McKevitt pressed for the a try, at first Virginia held strong, that is until Mark Murtagh was allowed a running start and the Cavan men had a no answer to his strength and determination, 21-7.
As the game entered its final moments Newry continued their search for the bonus point which the large crowd on the sidelines appreciated.
Despite being held up Newry were unable to get that fourth try, but as coach Jonathan Brown expressed, he is happy with Newry's development and shows how far the team have come from, where they are now searching for bonus points. On Saturday, Newry are at home to PSNI, with a 2.30pm kick-off.
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