07.12.2013 1st XV v Cork Constitution (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V Cork Constitution FC
AIL Division 1 A
Saturday 7th December 2013.
It may be difficult for those of you who have not been to games recently to appreciate, butplease accept that St Marys are playing really well. They are within a score of the top teams on every occasion but cannot as yet tip the balance. They will. Cork Constitution did just deserve their victory as they too played excellent rugby and decisively took theiropportunities. They also defended exceptionally well. St Marys worked the ball in an all-outassault for exactly four minutes at the end of the game but just could not break down the Conbarriers. This Marys’ team is a young one, in reformation with many of the players polishing their game. They have true ability and skills and are growing in maturity. As their confidence grows so too will their win count. They deserve a paean not obloquy. I do not wish to vaticinate, however I feel confident that, henceforth, we shall be successfully competitive.
It must not be forgotten that we deservedly led, 15 – 3 against the wind, at half time and had fortune so favoured, victory could easily have been ours. Again, it has to be said that we remain without several senior players and lost Darren Hudson and Cathal Marsh to a Leinster A game. Once again, Phillip Brophy came in at short notice. It was good to see Kevin (Shiner) Sheahan deservedly lead the team. There were some good performances, with the backrow particularly competing positively and Darragh Frawley also stood out. Our lineout was not as sharp as the Con one, our scrum held sway early on; however, there was an equalisation as the game progressed. The second half Con pace and their rucking were ahead of ours, and their adamantine defence was finally decisive. I must repeat that there were some periods of sparkling and scintillating rugby played by both sides, in a game that was of high standard and enjoyable to watch.
We have a recuperative break now until after Christmas. Our next men’s AIL endeavour involves a trip to Garryowen on 4th January 2014. St Marys remains in eight place in Division 1A and Clontarf and Old Belvedere stay first and second; the movement was in mid table.
The game started once again at exciting high tempo. Playing against the wind and up field towards the Cabbage Patch end, we ran the ball wide and with pace. After seven minutes a fine run by Stevie Wonder Toal-Lennon was halted and then the ball was taken on from the ruck by Skipper Sheahan, Barry O’Flanagan carried it on, and then Stevie sashayed in for a nice try, converted by Gavin Dunne. Con converted a penalty on 15 minutes and we added a penalty from Gavin on 17 minutes; so 10 – 3. On 24 minutes, Matt D’Arcy who worked incessantly all game, exhorting and probing, made an electric break, incising through the defence and when blocked near the line, the two modern mighty props were up in support. Brian Mc Govern, firstly and then Colm Mc Mahon took it on and he went over for a lovelytry. It left the score at 15 – 3 and so it remained until half time.
The second half was only six minutes old when a Con scrum near the halfway line saw their number Eight break, the ball went to the Con left winger, Ryan, who routed the wide defence and ran in a good try. The score went to 15 – 10. On 15 minutes, it went to 15 – 17 whenafter some strong forward pressure on the Marys’ line; their eight broke to the scrum half Hurley, who dashed over. On 20 minutes, the score went to 15 – 22 after a try by Jermyn. Stevie knocked over a penalty on 32 minutes and that led to a frantic a finish, with a greatcontinuity play by the blue brigade. They attacked incessantly and powerfully to the end and,as mentioned, for the final four minutes mounted an unfaltering blitzkrieg on the Con Line,which stood firm, and so it was 18 – 22 at the final whistle.
With one more game to go to complete the first half of the league campaign, we have had a lot of entertainment, if not total success. We must thank the squad, the coaches andmanagement for this marvellous entertainment and for their for unstinting hard work.
Finally, may I wish you all a great Christmas.
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 G Dunne 14 S Toal- Lennon, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 Rob Hudson, 11 C Hogan, 10 P Brophy, M D’Arcy (Capt) 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, S Flanagan, M Fallon. C Lilly, R Glynn.