29.11.2008 1st XV v Dolphin (A)
Dolphin RFC V St Mary’s College RFC
Musgrave Park 29th November 2008.
Desolate was how bleak Musgrave Park looked to our eyes at 4.00 PM after the game and forlorn and bewildered were the predominant appearances on the faces of the 50 or so loyal Marys fans as they huddled into little groups. The president, Eoin Quinn, who is immersed in his team, was shattered but sporting as ever. In the dressing room the sad pale faces of the players and their dejected downcast eyes told a story of desperate dejection. However this was not the end of a dream but an alarm for arousal. Yes, we have gone from 3rd to 7th but it is after five games out of fifteen. It would have been wonderful to have won, when thirteen past presidents had gone down to Cork the night before to support their team on the Saturday, but they all are Marys men and have known both success and failure and know for what St Marys stands. And it was not only on Saturday this match was lost but over the past few weeks when unremittingly the injury toll grew, with our captain, Phillip Brophy still injured and Stephen Grissing having had his operation (successful) for cruciate ligaments last Tuesday then losing pivotal Matt D’Arcy last week things were deteriorating rapidly , then last Thursday Jack Mc Grath, Kevin Sheahan and Matt Duggan were added to the list and finally at the warm up Conor Mc Phillips was added to the broken brigade.
If we are to feel sorry for any group it should be for Peter Smyth, Kieran Potts and Shaun Mc Carthy, for there is no better more dedicated coaching team in AIL and they have done wonders under the most trying circumstances to plug gaps make switches, innovate and motivate.
There can be no denying that this was a disappointing performance. A strange torpor seemed to envelope the entire team for much of the first half and the expected pace and combative, competitive drive was absent throughout. The backrow laboured honestly with Hugh Hogan to the fore. Eoin Mc Cormack must be mentioned, as he again showed what a great Marys’ man he is and what a talented player he remains, after the very many years of faultless service he has given. He stood in once again at scrumhalf and he was anything but out of place, doing everything asked of him, with intelligence and ability, often under very difficult conditions. Behind the scrum the wingers showed that they could threaten if they could get a decent supply, Darragh Fanning particularly eager for work and making good ground whenever he got the ball.
Dolphin’s scrum was dominant, their lineout which started poorly ended better than ours, they were often faster to the breakdown and their rucking was more urgent and successful, which meant we turned over a lot of ball. Unfortunately, the only area we were ahead on was the penalty count, which did not help our cause.
In the first half Dolphin took penalties on 8 and 24 minutes and we got one on 28 minutes. We had a penalty in front of their posts on 35 minutes but had it reversed for retaliation after one of their forwards connected with an uppercut. However at half time it was, surprisingly, 6 – 3.
Sadly, in the second half we ceded another penalty after five minutes and tries on 18 minutes, another penalty on 23 minutes, a try on 30 minutes, another (clearly offside) on 35 minutes and the bonus one on 42 minutes, they converted all but one. The score ended at 38 – 3.
Next Saturday we have UL Bohemians coming to Templeville Road and you do not need anyone to tell you how important it is. You have all seen what a wonderfully galvanising effect the supporters have had on the team this year, so you just must come along and do your stuff. Forget last Saturday just come along with Marys’ scarves, flags and loud voices.
Team 15 B Lynn, 14 C Hogan, 13 M Sexton (R Hudson), 12 C Donohoe, 11 D Fanning, 10 S Mc Carthy, 9 E Mc Cormack, 8 H Hogan, 7 L Bourke, 6 P Nash (Capt), 5 C Mc Inerney, 4 G Logan (E Keane), 3 R Murphy, 2 Richie Sweeney (D Kilbride) 1 K Carroll (Rob Sweeney).