29.09.2012 1st XV UL Bohemians (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V UL Bohemians RFC
AIL Division 1 A
Saturday 29th September 2012.
Well hello again and welcome, we are back together after a stunning summer. So please wake from stunned and enjoy the all new AIL campaign. We have a sparkling new president,a new super senior coach and a new charismatic club captain. They are Michael Fanagan, who will keep us all in order, Hugh Hogan who has led us, as skipper, to the Promised Land and will keep us there and Richard Sweeney who will inspire all to be the best, as did his dad, JB in his time. So we are ready for action and we got it today with a bright opening game, a deserved victory with a few hiccups. Sadly, Richard could not take the field today to lead his team in the first AIL game, due to injury (expected to be okay next week) which was desperate disappointment to him and all the Marys supporters.
We spent the greater part of the game in attack and had most of the possession and the fact that we did not score more points was due to UL Bohs’ well organised and determined defence and possibly our own lack of high paced game time before AIL. UL Bohs are a young high-paced side who have adventure and quality in their side.
It is easy to see the great potential of this St Marys team, with most of the victorious AIL side available and several high quality newcomers to call upon; so when the players adjust to combinations and improve the organisation and timing marginally, this will be a most formidable cohort. All in all Hugh, James and Steven will be pleased to have negotiated this dangerous obstacle and to have four points in the store.
Being a sunny if somewhat breezy day, it encouraged adventurous play and both sides tried to achieve this. The stiff breeze was into Carvill corner, once again however, neither side made use of it, when this gambit might well have bought dividends.
The rucking was intense on both sides, the St Marys’ lineout was not always completely reliable but the scrum was excellentand both props were dominant in every way, with Jack Mc Grath being alarminglyimpressive, taking on ball and being an abrasive boulder in defence. Kevin Sheahan caught the eye with an intelligent and industrious performanceand was, to my mind, probably the most effective forward on the day, likewisein the backs Phillip Brophy was, a sever, marvellous to watch as he hunted downbreakers, followed up and took on ball well, Marcus O’Driscoll, who replacedStephen Grissing, unfortunately injured early on, also looked hungry and sharpand took his try well
It was good to welcome Kevin Croke, erstwhile UCD stalwart, at Eight, who showed good potential and took his try well from the back of the scrum. The two newly recruited hookers who replaced the injured skipper, Dylan Fawsitt and Kurt Haupt, were active and combatant and will prosper when calls and throws progress. Peter Starratt also got a run in the row and also showed potential.
Behind the scrum, at Ten, we welcomed another newcomer, Andrew Burke, who joined from Young Munster RFC and he showed fine hands, solid tackling and good intent, so, an interesting afternoon was in train. AIL medal winners, Colm Mc Mahon and Christopher Lilly showed up well too, when introduced.
From the kick off, we went on the offensive and used power and pace to gain good territory, although we failed to score. We did have a number of opportunities but the final pass or switch did not effect and so we remained level until UL Bohs went ahead on 18 minutes through a Hanrahan penalty but on 26 minutes we were in their 22 due to good work by Phillip Brophy and we took a UL scrum and the quick ball reached Marcus O’Driscoll who cut though three men to force his way over, Ray Crotty converted well and he added a penalty from 50 metres, on 35 minutes and so we ended the half 10 – 3.
The second half saw UL go on the attack and after 4 minutes they added three points from Hanrahan, but a scrum under their posts gave Kevin Croke the opportunity to pick and go over for a well taken try; Ray again converted and so it was 17 –6.
Kevin Sheahan was unfortunate to be sin binned when defending close in and with an extra man UL worked hard and set up a fast blindside counterattack, slipped a tackle and scored a deserved converted try. Champions never like to concede anything so Marys worked really hard in defence and repelled all efforts by UL and indeed were unfortunate not to score themselves.
So it ended 17 – 13.
A good afternoon’s rugby and a worthwhile start to the defence of the AIL Division 1 A trophy. A beaming president was testament to that.
Next weekend we go to the Green Fields to our friends and great rivals Young Munster RFC and I know that the team deserve a strong travelling contingent so please make the effort, shake off the rustiness and get a few friends to join you for an exciting trip. Their result on Friday indicates that we will need to be back to our best to come home with four points.
Once again, this season I would appreciate comments, ideas, contention or complaints. In this time of interactive, it makes it worthwhile.
Team (Rolling Substitutions) 15 C Hogan, 14 RCrotty, 13 S Grissing, 12 P Brophy, 11 D Hudson, 10 A Burke, 9 M D'Arcy (Capt),8 K Croke, 7 G Austen, 6 K Sheahan, 5 C Ruddock, 4 G Logan, 3 Robert Sweeney, 2 D Fawsitt, 1 J Mc Grath, K Haupt, C Mc Mahon, C Lilly, M O'Driscoll, P Starratt.