09.10.2010 1st XV v Young Munster (A)
Young Munster RFC V St Mary’s College RFC
AIL Division 1A
Tom Clifford Park
Saturday 9th October 2010.
For ten minutes after the game the St Marys players clustered around the centre of the pitch in deep analysis, for there was appreciation that corrections are required. It would be wrong in every way to whine and the players are not about to do that either, rather are they resolute in their determination to make the adjustments necessary to turn close losses into wins. The fine squad has not changed, so it is only a matter of getting certain aspects right. All that said, it has to be admitted that we did not play as well as we can, not that any player ever goes out to play less well or not give his all. It was just one of those days and we did lose Jack Mc Grath and Phillip Brophy, between last training and the game. Clearly, Young Munster have a useful team, with a disciplined pack, hardly losing a set piece, they have a composed pair of halves, the Nine (Kingsley) being a particularly impressive performer and kicker [he kicked all their points, 4 penalties and a drop-goal] a structured backline and excellent defence. They used the ragged wind better than we and played with confidence.
A losing bonus point is all we took home (it might well come in handy) with us from the visit and cannot complain, we could have stolen it near the end, when they were down to 13 men, with two in the bin, but we could not make use of the space nor get the required tempo or width to stretch them and so failed to get over, after some pressure on their line. We must now put it behind us and look forward with confidence. It was heartening to hear both the captain and head coach, two men who have invested their total existences into their roles, being gracious and realistic but having resolute determination and firm belief. On the positive side too, Hugh Hogan, Kevin (Chunky) Carroll and Gavin Dunne all got back, to have some game time.
On a bright, mild and breezy day, only ten supporters were on the coach, with a dozen or so cars to augment our group; was that apathetic or prophetic? The pitch was in good condition and they had a strong local supporting crowd, amongst them was a great St Mary’s man of other years, Mick Hoctor (1958 LSC winner), looking fit and relaxed.
At the start of the first half, YM were into the attack more quickly and pressed for the first ten minutes, gaining a penalty on eight minutes, 3 - 0. They were playing into a strong wind but keeping the ball low with well-placed, stabbing, ground kicking, they were playing close in and we were finding it hard to get or regain possession, however after 27 minutes the promising Ian Mc Kinley, making his first AIL start, secured a balancing penalty and later, on 38 minutes, a good attack, involving Darragh Keller and Logie, was just foiled. The half ended 3 – 3.
Again in the second half, YM got off to a good start and using the strong wind, now in their backs, ensured that a considerable part of the game was played in our half and after only two minutes they made it 6 – 3 but Gavin Dunne, who had come on at half time, evened the score to 6 – 6, on 16 minutes and we then came more into the game, although they increased the score line with drop-goal on 28 minutes, a penalty on 30 minutes and a further penalty on 31 minutes. The Marys tempo increased, as Nasher tried to urge his men forward and we did strive impavidly, but to no avail. With some four minutes added time to play, they got hold of the ball and although they might have taken a drop goal chance they chose the careful option, to hold possession and play out time and so it ended 15 – 9.
There is a break from AIL next Saturday, when we take on Belvedere in the LSLC semi-final, another important game and one where we can assess options, then we are home on 23rd October in the AIL to Shannon.
15 P Gillespie, 14 D Hudson, 13 S Grissing, 12 M Sexton, 11 C Hogan (R Crotty), 10 I Mc Kinley (G Dunne), 9 D Campbell, 8 D Hall, 7 P Nash (Capt), 6 D Keller (H Hogan), 5 C Ruddock, 4 G Logan, 3 C Mc Mahon, 2 Richie Sweeney, J Molloy (K Carroll).