Portumna 7 Nuig 21
Portumna was reflected by a grey canvas of ubiquitous cloud and mist for this fixture and the rugby played was equally uninspiring.
NUIG got off to the perfect start with Gabriel Alonso touching down within the first few minutes. Fullback Cillian Waldron scored the conversion. Nuig continued to pressure the hosts after the restart, dominating territory and possession. They were eventually rewarded with a penalty just outside the 22 which Waldron slotted.
Portumna, not content to lie down to their higher placed opponents, fought their way back into the match capitalising on the handling errors and indiscipline that was becoming a feature of college’s game.
The slippery conditions were hampering the emergence of fluidity in either team’s play but the hardy Portumna forwards ostensibly stuffed it up the jumper and began to make ground. One 40 yard pick and drive effort on the stroke of half time resulted in a try under the posts and a yellow card for Nuig player Seán Óg Higgins.
NUIG went in to the second half a man down and aggrieved to have let Portumna into the game.
Like the first half they dominated the opening exchanges but indiscipline and errors continued to give the play a scrappy aesthetic. Second row, Ronan Mulloy was ever present for the college team in attack, breaking the Portumna line on several occasions.
Nuig’s veteran outhalf, Tony Hall, demonstrated some astute tactical kicking to give his team the upper hand and another penalty for Waldron to dispatch with ease. Portumna on the other hand were clearly limited in the backs and their lack of alternatives to the pick and go began to tell. When their outside centre was yellow carded for dissent the game was effectively ended as a contest as another 3 points was added from the boot of Waldron.
Nuig player John Delaney was given a yellow card late on for a high tackle but it was of little consequence as Winger David Ryan dashed home for a last minute try. Captain Gabriel Alonso narrowly missed the conversion but it was a deserved finish for the team who espoused the more positive rugby on the day.
Knocket:Dogged Portumna fail to stop NUIG’s rise to the top
Portumna 7 Nuig 21