29.12.2011 1st XV v Terenure (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V Terenure College RFC
The Dr Mick Smith Memorial Trophy
And Friendly Challenge Match
Thursday 29th December 2011.
The year was running out as the players were running out for this Dual-Duel between two clubs, which have grown ever closer over the past 50 years, from days of emphatic, enthusiastic rivalry, salted with venom, both on and off the pitch, to mature, yet enduring, intense competitiveness embedded in companionship and respect.
Whenever Marys and Nure players, alickadoos and supporters mingle there is a warmth and affection shared and a great social event is guaranteed; (there might even be a few jars involved) and so it was again. There was an unofficial pre match meal, excellently organised by the ubiquitous Marie Hammond, well aided by David Mowlds which allowed the greetings and slagging begin, to be followed, after the game, by happy imbibers, jammed in together solving the problems of existence. Needles to say, to the fore were Pat Heslin, Chairman, Terenure College RFC and John Gilsenan, President, St Mary’s College RFC. Afterwards, who wore the bigger smile I cannot say. John had also invited Terenure’s ever popular and respected LB. IRFU Rep, Des Lamont and Michael Smith (no relation to the late Dr Mick).
The game was not favoured by benign weather, with a cold strong wind and the pitch not perfect, nor indeed was the game, however it was a much-needed exercise; thoughmore, running the pudding rather than knocking the stuffing, out of each other.
There was free movement of replacement players throughout the game and several players in need of game time were facilitated. It is always difficult to beat Terenure and so it was tonight. We did have the edge in most areas and our set pieces were superior, particularly the scrum, which won two pushover tries (converted), one in each half. However, the nature of the game and the conditions militated against good running rugby and indeed, when we ran the ball, there was a tendency to laterality and the handling was not always exact. Only three passes reached the Marys’ wings and most dangerous moves arose from broken play, including the sparkle of the night, when Ian (Nelly) O’Neill, having just come on for the last five minutes, picked up a loosely cleared ball on the Nure 22, ran in field, switched direction and slalomed through seven or eight Nure players along the touchline to score a fine individual try (not converted). Final score, 19 – 0.
Although, most will admit that it was not the most exciting or closest game ever played between the two sides none the less the match is a very important part of both clubs’ seasons and it will have sharpened senses and reactions for up and coming AIL games, including our vital top of the table meeting with Young Munster, in Limerick on 7th January.
Team (Rolling substitutions) 15 C Hogan, 14 C Lilly, 13 S Grissing, 12 M Sexton, 11 M O’Driscoll, 10 P Brophy, 9 M D’Arcy, 8 H Hogan (Capt), 7 G Austen, 6 B O’Flanagan, 5 S Bradshaw, 4 GLogan, 3 Robert Sweeney, 2 D Kilbride, 1 C Mc Mahon. T O’Reilly, D Hall, D Keller, R Field, I O’Neill.