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Last minute defeat for Navan

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 28th March, 2012 4:58pm

Last minute defeat for Navan

Navan's Fergal Hennessy tries to evade the attentions of Wanderers' Michael Keavney during Saturday's AIL Div 2B clash.

The concession of a last-gasp try and conversion led to Navan losing out to Wanderers in this All-Ireland League Div 2B encounter at Balreask Old on Saturday.

Wanderers arrived in Navan fired up to achieve a win as they are engaged in a battle to avoid relegation back to the junior ranks.

It's an alarming state of affairs for a club that lists the Aviva Stadium as it's home. Wanderers have also produced a string of players who become internationals including Mike Gibson and Philip Matthews.

A narrow win at home to Boyne had lifted Wanderers into second from bottom in the table so they had plenty to play for when they arrived in Navan in what was near perfect playing conditions.

The teams each scored from a penalty before the game really opened up. The home side almost broke through for a try, but John Davis could not control an errant pass with the try there for the taking.

Shortly afterwards Navan made amends when Leigh Jackson gathered a loose pass just inside his own half and showed great pace to gallop all the way to the Wanderers' line. The conversion was missed by Riaan van der Vyver (pictured).

Wanderers hit back with a try of their own which was not converted. However van der Vyver found his range to slot the ball between the posts to give his side an 11-8 interval advantage.

From the start of the second-half Wanderers started to grow in confidence and they equalised from a penalty kick.

Wanderers looked the more creative at this stage and it was against the run of play that Navan took the lead on 57 minutes when Killian McCourt fly kicked the ball deep into Wanderers' territory and raced ahead to get the touchdown. The conversion was added by van der Vyver and Navan led 18-11.

The visitors came back into the game when they took the ball from off their own line-out, moved the ball quickly and went in under the posts. The conversion was added to level matters once more.

In the final dramatic moments Navan were awarded a penalty 20 metres out. The referee indicated that the next time the ball went dead the game would be over.

The kick by van der Vyver fell short and Wanderers moved the ball downfield, recycling it through the phases, before scoring in the corner. Even though it was academic the conversion was added to seal the win.

Navan - F Hennessy, K McCourt, R van der Vyver, J Davis, M McCauley, J Mullins, D Delahunt; E King, J McGahy, D King; J Duffy, T Boyle, J Sheridan, S Dawson, L Jackson. Subs - D McDonagh for McGahy, C Brady for Dawson, R O'Brien for Delahunt.

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