12.04.2014 1st XV v Garryowen (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V Garryowen FC
AIL Division 1 A
12th April 2014.
Spring is the word to describe the game and the season. Before the game, however, it must be recorded that our president, the estimable Steven Hennessy, now near the end of his superb year, hosted his last pre-match lunch. He gave his valedictory address, a finely painted and entertaining dissertation. He welcomed the Garryowen president, Christy Barry and his committee, and all others present. He had invited his close friend, Peter Horgan, who had helped the club over a number of years, and also a marvellous member and former player of the 50s and 60s, Steve Treacy Snr. He paid fine tribute to both and mentioned how much Steve and all of his family had contributed to the club over many years. Glenn will have been very proud. Steven also welcomed a number of our Leinster players, Darragh Fanning, Jack Mc Grath, Sean Cronin and Tom Denton, who had come along to the lunch. A J4 double winning team of 20 years ago attended and also got a warm welcome.
Steven then paid wonderful tribute to the club administrator Marie Hammond. He explained the inordinate amount of work Marie does and, to an enthusiastic and deserved standing ovation, he made a presentation to her.
On the field, with a sunny afternoon and a strong breeze blowing from the Cabbage Patch end towards the Road end, the game unfolded. Marys played against the breeze in the first half, a strategy that was ultimately fruitful and delivered a most enjoyable and exciting spectacle. St Marys were fully deserving of their win and served up a delightful performance, even if the beta-blockers and valium tablets were in demand on occasions. Of course it takes two teams to make a match and Garryowen played their role handsomely. Both teams chose to move the ball with width, pace and penetration, which stretched defences and drove excitement. Both teams in turn, equally eschewed the strong breeze’s propellant effect to positional advantage; hard to understand. Garryowen have a big, yet mobile, pack and a good quality backline. They probably retained possession better than we did, however we effected good turnover ball.
The St Marys’ pack glowed. The eight were dynamic and industrious. Sadly, big Darragh Frawley was lost to the game early on with a suspected broken arm and he was a loss. Mark Fallon, a Six by persuasion, went to the row and did really well. Two men in that fine pack stood out, Dylan Fawsitt, Perpetuum mobile; he defies the laws of physics. When it seemed he might call for a stretcher he only called for the ball and more and more. He also scored an excellent try. And, Brian Mc Govern, who had a fine game in both tight and loose and near the end (now match fit) he was torpedoing runners out wide with grand relish. Skipper Kevin Sheahan too must not be forgotten, as once again he had a true leader’s game that included scoring a try.
The backline sparkled, full of jewels and gold nuggets. On a day when Darce danced, Marshy minced, the Hudsons hurtled and the two starlets stunned [and graduated with first class honours, with a special award for Stevie Wonder’s try saving tackling], one man had an edge even on all of them; Marcus O’Driscoll. Marcus was magnificent throughout, scoring two tries and constantly bewildering the opposition. For one truly elegant score, he took the most exquisite vector and took a perfectly popped pass on the opposition 22, from magnificent Marshy. He seared through four defenders and patted down the ball under the posts, Wow. He was my man of the match.
This St Marys’ squad has improved steadily all season and, like a classic colt with spring sunshine on its back, they are pulling away and showing their worth. It was a pleasure to watch them today. They played symphonically. There were a number of handling and tackling errors and there were a few gifts accidently presented to Garryowen, but overall it was a commendable performance and promises much.
St Marys: - 9 min try Sheahan, 31 min try O’Driscoll, 48 min try Fawsitt, 56 min try O’Driscoll, 67 min try O’Loughlin, 83 min try Austen. Cons, 5 Marsh, 40.
Garryowen: - 14 min try, 24 min, try, 35 min try, 71 min try. .Cons 3.
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 C Hogan, 14 S Toal-Lennon,, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 Rob Hudson, 11 M O’Driscoll, 10 C Marsh, 9 M D’Arcy, 8 K Sheahan (Capt.), 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 M Fallon., 5 C Ruddock, D Frawley, 3 B Mc Govern, 2 D Fawsitt, 1 C Mc Mahon, S Flanagan, T O’Reilly, G Austen, R Glynn, D Hudson.