26.10.2012 1st XV v Lansdowne (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V Lansdowne FC
AIL Division 1 A
Friday 26th October 2012
From a Marys’ point of view, obviously, it is difficult enough to be too positive about a negative 20 points differential in scores, yet there is quite a bit of good one can take from this game and, maybe being beaten by a substantial margin, helps crystallise thoughts and analyses. It was very good to see a brave approach, in bringing in young talent such as, Gerry Sexton in the pack and Steve Toal Lennon in the mid field. Indubitably, for them being beaten, although chastening, willhave helped their development and from the wider squad perspective this approach engenders hope and ambition and should be wholeheartedly applauded. We must also be cognisant of the fact that several top layer players, Phillip Brophy, Stephen Grissing Steve Bradshaw, Gareth Logan, Darren Hudson and Mark Sexton are all out injured. It also should be realised that for long periods Marys were dominant and were unfortunate, on at least three occasions, not to have scored, however, all long before the game had escaped fromgrasp. That is not to imply that Lansdowne did not deserve to win or were anything but talented and adventurous; indeed they were and in fact for long periods of the game it was a spectacle of Halloween lightening paced sparkle, tricks and treats. All of this was being “streamed live on the WWW”across the world with affable Gordon Black and Mick Quinn,driving and it would have given a fine impression of Irish club rugby.
The game was followed by a seasonal party and a display of the beautiful and the bizarre; a good night was had by all. Our most sporting and agreeable president Michael Fanagan accepted defeat sadly but gracefully and entertained his Lansdowne counterpart, Dermot Mc Carron and entourage,joyfully and generously, as is his wont.
It was, as I have said, a game of helter-skelter and it started at a frenetic pace, with Lansdowne running the ball from almost anywhere on the field and putting pressure on our defence, surprising too, they put pressure on our scrum before it stabilised and held sway. We might have punished their wayward kicking but it was they who benefited and scored two tries by winger Ahern, one coming from what looked like a foolhardy quick break by scrumhalf Cooney, when offered a penalty under our posts so they led 0 -12 (the winger got his hat trick later in the second half). It stayed that way until half time, in spite of our being in almost total command in that period. With only a minute gone in the second half Steve Toal Lennon converted a penalty, after they had a player sin binned for not rolling away after the tackle; he struck again after 10 minutes, but on 16 minutes we were unfortunate to have a kick blocked down to cede a score and they went to 6 – 19. Gavin Dunne, who had come on, returning from injury, made us 9 – 19 with a penalty on 33 minutes and we began a concerted phase of attack, however a turnover gave them the chance and they scored a try and on 45 minutes and the last move of the game they wrapped it all up with a bonus point earning try in the top terrace corner. The score ended 9 – 29 and we lick our wounds. We had some good performances with Ciaran Ruddock, Kevin Sheahan and the Sweeneysespecially prominent in the pack and Matthew D’Arcy and Connor Hogan in the backs.
We have a long trip to Cork next Saturday to face Dolphin, a team we often find difficult to overcome in their home, so will need all the support possible, therefore please remember how much your support means to the team and hop on the train, hitch a lift, take out the car or the Harley and make it; it’s an order!
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 C Hogan, 14 R Crotty, 13 S Toal-Lennon, 12 M O’Driscoll, 11 C Lilly, 10 A Burke, 9 M D’Arcy, 8 K Sheahan, 7 G Austen, 6 D Keller, 5 G Sexton, 4 C Ruddock, 3 J Mc Grath, 2 R Sweeney (Capt), 1 C Mc Mahon. K Haupt, R Sweeney, G Dunne, R O’Loughlin, A Lyons, P Starett.