04.01.2014 1st XV v Garryowen (A)
Garryowen FC V St Mary’s College RFC
AIL Division 1 A
4th January 2014.
Tumbling into the new year, we also tumbled down to Dooradoyle to collect “Deero” and to show the rugby world we are on the move. I hope most of you, who cannot attend the games, will come along with me as I report on your team and keep you up to date with this progress. I intend also to continue our “bit of fun”, slipping in the odd unusual or archaic word for amusement. So, I wish a happy new year to all of you. I continue to enjoy the feedback, of any nature.
Now it is to business. After a Christmas period of high intensity training, the squad went to Garryowen with confidence and concentration, knowing the importance of the mission. The exciting extra boost was having the club Captain, Darragh Fanning, leading his team on the pitch. And what a contribution he made in all respects. I have seldom seen a player so emphatically dictate the course of a game. He was seminally and brilliantly involved in two of the three tries and scored the third himself. Besides his leadership role, he was engaged in almost every aspect of the game from rucking to running. Every time a pass went to him, or he picked up the ball or he fielded a kick, his mighty frame threatened with exultant power and pace. His contribution was breathtaking, a true Man of the Match.
Additionally, to have talented Darren Hudson, who scored two of those tries, available from Leinster was a most valuable bonus for us.
Candidly, St Marys were worthy winners and while in the set pieces and the maul Garryowen did exert pressure, in all other aspects of the game Marys were ascendant. The forwards showed exuberant endeavour, chasing down kicks, rucking fast and effectively, supporting and off-loading sensibly. Brian Mc Govern and Darragh Frawley have now settled in well and were to the fore. Behind the scrum, there was unity and symphony of purpose. Every player involved went to their highest pitch with deserved result. The only stain was the number of penalties conceded by St Marys and three harsh sin bin decisions they received. The preparation and execution proved Newton’s third law.
We now have a rather inconvenient break until we take on Old Belvedere on 25th, the day of our club dinner. However, we shall face that game with added confidence. Although still in eight place, (on 17 points), we are now only one point behind Dolphin and breathing down the necks of those teams above. Clontarf have consolidated their place on the top of the table (35 points), with Belvo (34) second and Young Munster (27) third.
On a good pitch, the game started in lively manner, although from early on it appeared the visiting team was sharper and better controlled. However, on 13 minutes number 10 for Garryowen, James Gavin, kicked a penalty. Darragh Fanning picked up the ball on half way, shuck off two would-be tacklers, scattered another couple before scything through a gap and towards the line. He then timed his pass perfectly to supporting flyer Darren Hudson who went through a gap and swept over the line for a stylish try. This was converted by Gavin Dunne who was another to put in a fine performance. It was 3 -7 on 20 minutes Over the next fifteen minutes the home side added two more James Gavin penalties. Then there was an almost mirror image of our first try. After a series of high pace drives, evolving star, Ryan O’Loughlin, made a neat break and gave the ball to Darragh who cleaved through the defence and delivered to Darren, he finished with élan. Gavin kicked the conversion so it ended the half 9 – 14.
The second half showed increased endeavour by Garryowen and on three minutes, they brought the score to 12 – 14, with another penalty and the first of our yellow cards. Gavin Dunne hit a neat penalty on seven minutes and then on 17 minutes from a scrum, Gavin made a classic outhalf break and with Darragh in support and a well-timed pass, Darragh added five more points and Gavin two. It was now 12 -24. Credit must be given to Garryowen that they never stopped trying and did get another penalty but they could not breach our defence that over the last 15 minutes was admirably adamantine. It had been further fortified by the addition of Marvel Man, Phillip Brophy, who was like a terrible torpedo as he shattered runners wherever he might find them.
D O’Brien. EMAIL HERE
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 Darren Hudson, 14 C Hogan, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 Rob Hudson, 11 D Fanning (Capt), 10 G Dunne, M D’Arcy 8 K Sheahan, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 G Austen, 5 C Ruddock, D Frawley, 3 B Mc Govern, 2 D Fawsitt, 1 C Mc Mahon, A Lyons, P Brophy R O’Donovan, M Fallon, R Glynn.