Cinderford centre Jack Adams performs in England Counties 30-20 defeat against Ireland Club XV in Cork
CINDERFORD centre Jack Adams was unable to stop England Counties losing 30-20 against Ireland Club XV in Cork last night.
The former Gloucester, Bristol and Moseley man was a constant threat with the ball in hand all night with a second-half comeback nearly securing England’s first win on Irish soil.
Adams’ club-mate Ben West came on for Richmond’s Will Warden after 42 minutes with former Forester Rory Teague booting a penalty and a conversion.
Tries from Matt Heeks and Will Hurrell brought England to within three points after the visitors paid for their mistakes with a 20-8 half time deficit.
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Storming runs from Sam Shires, elusive running by full-back Peter Hodgkinson and Adams kept momentum for England but Ireland took their chances, playing a quick offloading game in attack.
The home side were the first to cross the whitewash when they ran the length of the pitch following an intercept.
Seven minutes later England put points on the board when they earned a penalty within range following a strong carry from Shires and chip through from Heeks.
Roles soon reversed however and it was Ireland who twice capitalised on England’s ill-discipline to extend their lead to 13-3.
Against the run of play, quick feet by Adams set England on the offensive.
The centre gained ground before popped the ball back inside to Shires and interlinking play from Adams and Matt Hall released Neville Edwards to burst down the wing.
England’s following passage of play had urgency and a confidence which it had been lacking but it was Ireland who took the final points of the half, driving over the line despite the best efforts of the wall of white.
A yellow card for scrum-half Heeks reduced England to 14 men moments into the second half and England soon found themselves gifting Ireland another three points.
After serving his time Heeks put England back in the game.
The driving pack earned England three penalties in quick succession before a scrum on the five-metre line set the ball to go wide to Scott Barrow who forced himself through the Irish defence only to come just short.
A quick pick and go by the scrum-half took the ball over the line and Teague added the extras.
The momentum was now with the men in white and a second try soon followed. Adams fixed his defender before throwing a miss pass to super sub Hurrell who crossed in the corner taking the score to 23-20.
With 20 minutes to play, Teague missed the chance to equalise when he pulled a penalty wide.
Ireland had the last say driving over the line to take the final points of the match.
Head Coach Jan Bonney said: “It’s disappointing that our unforced errors cost us the game.
“We put ourselves in a good position to bring it back in the second half but credit to Ireland for the way they closed it out.
“There was an impressive crowd and good conditions, it just didn’t come off as we had hoped.
“We’ll build on this and look forward now to the match against France on the 22nd February.”