07.11.2009 1st XV v Garryowen (A)
Garryowen FC V St Mary’s College RFC
AIB All Ireland Cup
7th November 2009.
The conditions were even worse on this visit than on the last, with strong curling winds and long outbursts of rain drenching the surface and it was a credit to the Garryowen ground staff and volunteers that the game was played at all. Our president Niall Rynne was cordially welcomed by president Killian Slattery and his committee, when he brought a couple of dozen hardy St Marys supporters to Dooradoyle.
Garryowen adapted better to the conditions, played with more urgency and were worthy winners, although we could have scored tries in the first half and should have scored one in the second. Their set pieces were generally more reliable, they made fewer mistakes than Marys and their defence was sound. It is sad to have exited the AIB cup, particularly as most of you will remember losing in the same competition, in the semis, at the same venue a couple of seasons ago.
Paul Nash, who captained the side today, could not have done more and was outstanding, while behind the scrum, promising Robbie Hudson stood out and was well supported by Ronan Doherty and Stuart O’Flanagan. In fact the backs looked as though they could have been productive had they got more quick, quality ball.
The game which started at a high pace in slippery difficult conditions was only four minutes old when they were awarded a penalty for offside and Gerry Hurley put them 3 – 0 ahead; he made it 6 – 0 on 16 minutes. On 19 minutes, not rolling away gave us the chance to bring it to 6 – 3, which we took courtesy of Gavin Dunne, and from that point for 15 minutes, we increased the intensity and crafted some good moves and put on a lot of pressure. At one stage we had nine fine phases, during which we retrieved lost ball twice, however, we found ourselves obvallate and failed to score. After a knock on we played the ball in an offside position and Hurley converted the ensuing penalty and it was 9 – 3 with 37 minutes played. They continued to attack and having put considerable pressure on our scrum on our line they were awarded a somewhat harsh penalty try, which they converted on 40 minutes; so 16 – 3 it was at half time.
The second half was 12 minutes old before they scored another penalty and it was now 19 – 3, a score line at which it stayed for the rest of the game. Mark Sexton came on at centre, Cormac Quinn at scrumhalf and Robin Copeland at second row. We did put on pressure intermittently and mid half had an opportunity, involving a really good movement by Stuart and Ronan but, when the ball came back to the forwards a few metres from the line, it foundered and so did our hopes. It ended 19 – 3.
We return to Limerick next week with an even more important mission, an AIL game V UL Bohemians and it is imperative that we give the same support as on previous AIL games this season, so make a note, then come Saturday hop on the bus and lend a hand, you are needed.
Team: - 15 S O’Flanagan, 14 Conor Quinn, 13 S Grissing, 12 R Hudson (M Sexton), 11 R Doherty, 10 G Dunne, 9 J Burns (Cormac Quinn), 8 D Hall, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 P Nash (Capt.), 5 S Bradshaw, G Logan (R Copeland), 3 K Carroll, 2 D Kilbride, 1 C Mc Mahon.