Lansdowne 17s got their Leinster U17 Premier league campaign off to a winning start with a 27-15 win over DLSP in Kirwan Park. This was a much anticipated game as both Lansdowne and DLSP topped their respective qualifying groups in the pre-Christmas campaign.
The early exchanges were pretty even but in the 3rd minute some fine handling from inside the Lansdowne 22 saw their captain Oscar O’Brien in open space, he stepped several defenders and ran from inside his own half to touch down under the DLSP posts. Lockhart converted to make it 7-0 to Lansdowne after 4 minutes.
DLSP made several attempts to cross the Lansdowne line but the defence held firm. In fact, Lansdowne’s defence was one of the highlights of the game.
In the 11th minute, O’Brien this time turned provider and a deft pass set up JJ Hession to make it 12-0.
DLSP showed their league topping credentials by scoring a well worked try in the 33rd minute. Converted, the score was narrowed to 12-10. Two minutes later, a converted offside penalty saw Lansdowne’s lead reduced to 2 points.
Lansdowne were to finish the 1st half much the stronger of the two teams.
From a scrum close to halfway, David Hale passed the ball wide to O’Brien who in turn passed to Jack Browne. Browne split the DLSP defence and despite the attention of two DLSP defenders made a sublime over the top pass for Geoff Larkin to score. On the stroke of the 35 minute, Lansdowne were 17-10 up.
Deep into added time, the 4th minute to be exact, Lansdowne scored a decisive try. Working the ball out from their own 22, Lansdowne created space out wide for fullback Mark McGrane to score in the corner.
Halftime whistle – Lansdowne 22 – DLSP 10.
The second half was a much tighter affair with each side managing just one unconverted try each. DLSP were the first to score which brought it back to a one score game but Lansdowne put the game out of DLSP’s reach with a well taken Harry Stone try late in the half.
Must mention Tom O’Donnell’s tackle that probably thwarted a DSLP attack that may well have resulted in a try. Late in the 2nd half DLSP had moved the ball wide and looked like they would have an overlap were it not for O’Donnell’s tackle. Tracking back and providing excellent cover, O’Donnell proved that it’s a team effort that wins games.
The game finished Lansdowne 27 – DLSP 15.