AIL: Highfield hit Navan for 57 points in Division 1B 

Sam Burns scored three tries and set up another three at Woodleigh Park
AIL: Highfield hit Navan for 57 points in Division 1B 

The Highfield scrum under pressure from Navan in the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B tie at Woodleigh Park. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Highfield 57 Navan 7

HIGHFIELD strengthened their grip on second place in the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B table as they comprehensively defeated Navan 57-7 at Woodleigh Park on Saturday afternoon.

A sensational individual performance from Sam Burns, which saw him score a hat-trick of tries as well as claim a treble of assists, inspired Highfield to a crucial bonus point victory.

They now know that a win next weekend away at St Mary’s College, although they may need another bonus point to make completely sure, will secure a home match in the play-off semi-final against a talented Shannon side.

Highfield also came into this game knowing that they needed a win - preferably a bonus-point win - in order to remain in the top two of this division with Shannon hot on their heels and only a point behind as the season edges towards a conclusion.

Miah Cronin, Highfield, in action against Navan. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Miah Cronin, Highfield, in action against Navan. Picture: Larry Cummins.

They were up against a Navan side that were seemingly there for the taking as they had only won three of their 16 matches to date which ensured they came into this clash sitting bottom of the table.

And that proved to be the case as the home side raced out of the traps and led by the excellent Sam Burns, they scored two tries - both converted by Shane O’Riordan - with the talismanic number 15 skillfully getting them both.

There were only two blips on the day for the Field. The first came midway through the first period when a slip in the defence allowed Navan’s Paddy Fox to race clear for an easy score which Ben Daly duly converted.

And the second came late in proceedings when substitute David O’Sullivan was shown two yellow cards in quick succession, meaning his side had to finish with 14.

But the match was well and truly won by that juncture as tries from Luke Kingston and Miah Cronin secured Highfield’s bonus point by the half-time break.

They refused to rest on their laurels though and they quickly tallied their fifth try of the afternoon when Travis Coomey charged home, allowing O’Riordan to fire over the conversion.

O’Riordan would notch six conversions on the day but that was out of nine as Kingston and Coomey would complete their braces, Dave O’Connell would also get on the scoresheet while Sam Burns scored a sensational solo effort to complete his hat-trick.

Scorers for Highfield: Tries: S Burns (3), T Cooney and L Kingston (2 each), D O’Connell and M Cronin. Cons: S O’Riordan (6).

Navan: Tries: P Fox. Cons: B Daly.

HIGHFIELD: S Burns, C O’Neill, P O’Toole, M Dorgan, L Kingston, S O’Riordan, C Bannon; J Rochford, T Coomey, D Fitzgerald, D O’Connell, F O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan, C Gallagher, M Cronin.

Replacements: R Murphy, M Dillane, E Keating, E Earle, D O’Sullivan, I O’Donoghue.

NAVAN: P Fox, R Gordon, E Dixon, R Van Der Vyver, S McEntaggart, B Daly, K Kavanagh; L Carroll, D Clarke, E King, E Noonan, L Jackson, C Reilly, B McEntaggart, C Ryan.

Replacements: E O’Reilly, C Johnson, A Beggy, E Gordon, C O’Reilly, W McAleese.

Referee: Daniel Carson.

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