Highfield 38 Naas 3
HIGHFIELD recovered from the early loss of injured out-half James Taylor to register a six-try energia All-Ireland League Division 1B victory over Naas at Woodleigh Park on Saturday.
He was replaced by Sam Burns after only 10 minutes, when trying to stop rampaging number 8 Paulie Tolofua.
The visitors led through to a Peter Osborne penalty but Field eventually developed a head of steam as the experienced Paddy O’Toole moved to 10 and brought all his skills to the tie.
Powerful carriers James Rochford, Fintan O’Sullivan, Miah Cronin and Ryan Murphy ran at Naas, who had no answer and tries flowed.
Burns bagged the first after 25 minutes following sustained pressure and Field mauled their way over for a second, eight minutes later, after referee Kieran Barry reversed a penalty with Rob Murphy touching down. O’Toole converted for 12-3 at the interval.
The pattern continued on the resumption, when the Cork side claimed their third try in the opening minute, Ronan O’Sullivan scoring for the third game running with O’Toole converting, 19-3.
Naas sensed a way back into the contest after home hooker Murphy saw yellow, but Highfield’s defence stood firm and kept their line intact.
A long relieving clearance kick by O’Toole knocked the heart out of the Naas challenge and Highfield went in search of the fourth try for the bonus point.
It duly arrived in the 57th minute, when wing Paul Stack crossed in the corner with O’Toole adding the extras and try number five followed six minutes later.
Yellow cards impacted on Naas, too, as Travis Coomey crashed over for a converted try and a 33-3 lead.
The visitors were reduced to 13 players for the closing stages and Highfield profited with a sixth try, wing Ben Murphy availing of space out wide to crown another impressive outing for the league leaders, who are now three from three.
Scorers for Highfield: Tries: S Burns, R Murphy, R O’Sullivan, P Stack, T Coomey, B Murphy Cons: P O’Toole (4).
Scorer for Naas: Pen: P Osbourne.
HIGHFIELD: L Kingston; B Murphy, P O’Toole, M Dorgan, P Stack; J Taylor, C Bannon, captain; J Rochford, R Murphy, D Fitzgerald; E Keating, F O’Sullivan; D O’Connell, M Cronin, R Murphy.
Subs: T Coomey, M Dillane, R O’Sullivan, E Earle, S Burns, G O’Leary.
NAAS: P Osbourne; D Conroy, G Kavanagh, C Rondaldson, S Cahill; B Croke, C Halpenny; A Coyle, J Sutton, P King; P Monohan, D Benn; R Casey, P Tolofua, W O’Brien.
Subs: C Johnson, Conor Doyle, K Dempsey, T Murphy, M Stapleton, Colm Doyle.
Referee: K Barry (IRFU).