13.11.2010 1st XV v Garryowen (H)
St Mary’s College RFC v Garryowen FC
AIL Division 1 A
And Shay Deering Trophy
Saturday 13th November 2010.
After the cafard of the sluggish and sullen curtain raiser at Lansdowne, it was uplifting to see the glowing lights of Templeville Road and feel the anticipation of the main event, especially when it was a match for the Shay Deering trophy. There was a reasonable crowd to witness, what turned out to be, an entertaining and lively game. Amongst that crowd were several of Shay’s family, including his delightfully amiable and vivacious widow, Ann, there to present the trophy.
The perfectly prepared pitch was resplendent under the floodlights when the game kicked off. With the exceptions of the missing Richard Sweeney and Kevin Sheahan, both injured, we had what must be currently nigh on our best pack and it showed, as they controlled most areas of forward play, with the possible exception of the maul, which had been perfected by Garryowen and they used it to good effect on several occasions during the game. Behind the pack too, we held sway in every position and our vectoral running, passing game had Garryowen stretched most of the time particularly during the first half when it appeared we might lose them. To their credit, they had a sedulous defence, never gave up trying and improved their performance in the second half, which turned out to be a close affair.
Our lineout was secure throughout, with David Kilbride’s accuracy commendable, as was his work rate. The scrum was in control and in the loose we were also in the ascendant. Late in the game, when we did come under intense bombardment, our defence was adamantine, to a man. It is hard to single out anyone in the pack, how hard and well they all played, but Jack Mc Grath must get mention, as he brought shivery power and control to all aspects of his game. It was good to observe that we did not over kick the ball, which meant that we had more possession, put more leverage on them and obviously had a higher kinetic; and so the team gave and got more entertainment from the game. The kicking that was done, by either 10, Ian Mc Kinley, or 15, Gavin Dunne, playing at probably his best position, was sensible and mainly productive. In fact, both of these players were outstanding in all their responsibilities and Gavin was selected as man of the match.
Once again from the kick off, we were in attack mode and Ian Mc Kinley made a dazzling dancing dash through their defence (one of many, in his balanced low centre of gravity style, spread over the game), after only three minutes, and when caught near their own line, in their disarray they were offside; and Gavin put us 3 – 0 in front. With two further minutes passed he made it 6 – 0. When the game was 12 minutes old, we had a scrum on our ten metre line and from it, Ian left the defence on the ground as he veered left then right and lanced through, he swayed past three more defenders, and when held, he got the ball away neatly to Stephen Grissing who beat two on the outside and made great ground, he held on deliciously to exactly the moment and released Daren Hudson, over from the left wing, who hit the turbo, to skate over in the top car park corner. A fine delivery from Gavin saw us advance to 13 – 0 and on 27 minutes the flawless kicking of Gavin brought us to 16 – 0.Garryowen put on a brief spell of pressure and on the half hour, when trying to mount an attack, they gave away an intercept, which came to Mark Sexton, who did his own delicate dance through several prospective tacklers and planted the ball close to the posts, Gavin said thank you and slotted the conversion; it was 23 – 0. Memories of Shannon, ever so briefly entered fevered brains, but on 36 minutes their outhalf, Declan Cusack, took advantage of an offside to make the score 23 – 3 at half time.
The second half commenced after a fashionably (if boring for spectators) long halftime, with Garryowen galvanised into action and they got some respectable possession and tested our fortifications. Good to relate these were found to be adequate in all respects; however, they did convert another penalty through their outhalf, after 5 minutes. Exchanges were then even and we added a penalty on 11 minutes. After a period of strong pressure, Marys were awarded a penalty at 20 minutes and at this critical stage a try was possible, but we secured the penalty, made the score 29 – 6, which ensured victory. We had a number of further attacks and made several substitutions all of which were positive and it was good to see young Tommy Meredith back on the field, after the eye injury, received from an unprovoked punch in a previous match. The game ended a commendable 29 – 6.
President Ronnie Mc Brien introduced Ann Deering, in a neat little address and she graciously presented it to Paul Nash the victorious St Marys captain.
Next Sunday, the final of the LSLC takes place against UCD. This is not only a highly prestigious and important final, but should be an entertaining game, especially with the style of rugby played by both clubs and the companionable history between us. It must not be forgotten that UCD RFC are celebrating their centenary and we wish them every good wish (short of success next Sunday). Many Marys men contributed to the enviable history of UCD RFC and we have very many players who played for both teams; outstanding amongst them Jimmy Kelly, Shay Deering, Tom Grace, Tom Feighery, Henry Murphy, Tony Hickie and later several others, while at present, Stephen Grissing, Richard Sweeney, Ian Mc Kinley, Christopher Lilly, Rhys and Ciaran Ruddock, Daren Hudson, Ray Crotty, Conor Donohue, Robbie Fields, Ian O’Neill all spent time with UCD and are now members of our senior squad.
Several of this year’s squad played a part in last year’s success. In 2005 too, we won the coveted trophy and our current club captain, Paul Nash, led St Marys to victory and was the youngest ever successful captain. We wish him and his admirable team, good fortune next Sunday. This team deserves our support, so let us get there in noisy numbers.
15 G Dunne, 14 P Gillespie, 13 S Grissing, M Sexton, 11 D Hudson, 10 I Mc Kinley, 9 D Campbell, 8 H Hogan, 7 P Nash (Capt), 6 R Ruddock, 5 D Hall, C Ruddock, 3 Rob Sweeney, 2 D Kilbride, 1 J Mc Grath.
Also: - M D’Arcy, G Logan, T Meredith, C Mc Mahon, R Doherty.