07.11.2014 1st XV Lansdowne (H)
St Mary’s College RFC V Lansdowne FC
AIL Division 1 A
Friday 7th November 2014
The deep dejection that descended over Templeville Road tonight pertinently portrayed the feelings of all Marys’ people present. It is difficult to relate the story that unfolded during a game that need not have ended as it did. However, it did, and I will deal with the game in a few moments but, firstly I must ask all Marys’ members and supporters to reflect on their feelings for the club. If we care for our club, we must not sit and moan nor blame; this is vital. We have an enviable set up and wonderful volunteers running the club for us. All of us have made life long friends and the club gives much to our lives, We also have undoubtedlythe best coaching team, Smythy, Broph and Jonny, in the club game. We have a fine team management and a young squad with ability and potential. We have also and a captain, Kevin Sheahan, coming back from injury and full of belief, deep passion and love for hisclub and his team.
Remember, after so many player losses, it takes time to build a winning squad no matter howcapable are the coaches; patience is vital. We must have it too.
It is time now for us to give something back. What all of us must do is, be willing to do what others are doing, actively and positively make a contribution. Get out of the warm chair on a Saturday or Sunday or Friday and come to the games wherever and actively support the team. Many of us call ourselves Marys but seldom visit our club, support the teams or events, We must change that, get up and turn up, make an effort. Things that are worthwhile are notoften easy. So, it may take some effort and even cost a little on occasions, but if you, in conscience call yourself Marys, ask yourself is that worth anything, then prove it to yourselfand if it is, do it
Now the game, it was one of contrasting phases and at one stage, it looked as though we would get ahead and prevail, for we were 13 – 14 from early in the second half to over half way through it; and playing with verve and pace. Mistakes were our downfall to a largeextent, also the field kicking was generally weak and when there was a good kick, the followup was poor, giving the fielders time to make good ground or position their well-guided replies. Our lineout was again fallible. Lansdowne are a very well coached team and play to good patterns, they have a strong scrum and a good lineout, and they have pace in the back three. And like many other AIL teams they have greater bulk than us.
That said, when we played our fast rucking, back up game we more than matched them and the defence was unbending for long periods when under pressure. Early on, a slip when fielding gave Lansdowne a foothold in our 22 which ended up with a try on six minutes and so we were fighting back, but fight back we did and on 15 minutes a David Fanagan break led to a Timoney try out wide and Gavin did, as he does so well, from the corner converted to draw us level. It was 10 – 14 at half time and after 12 minutes of the second half, we were,due to heavy pressure and continuous exhilarating, fast play and a successful penalty from Gavin, at 13 – 14. Unfortunate errors gave them the opportunity to draw away then until, atthe very end, Cathal Marsh scored a fine individual try. So, it ended 20 – 38.
Yes, there is progress and there are some outstanding young players in the squad. Once again, David Fanagan showed his class and one break led ultimately to a try from another prominent young player, Nick Timoney; and David O’Connor worked unrelentingly and intelligently. He was my Marys’ man of the match. We welcomed too, another young Tyro, openside, Conor Olliver who showed good promise for the future.
Okay, we are one from the bottom, but we have been there before and come back. Remember we have not even completed the full first round of matches. Our next game is against an old sporting rival, Young Munster RFC, at Templeville Road, and then Dolphin away. If we play our full pace game, correct our errors and get back our injured players wewill get the train rolling again.
Remember, it is easy to follow the yahoo, exultant crowd, to stand fast and support when times are tough is hard, but the satisfaction gained as we progress, which we shall, will be so much more satisfying.
When Rynner and the gang start “Marys, Marys, Marys” on the terrace next Saturday, make sure you are part of it.
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 G Dunne, 14 C Toolan, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 M Sexton, 11 M O’Driscoll, 10 C Marsh, 9 D Fanagan, 8 N Timoney, 7 C Olliver, 6 Richard Sweeney, 5 D O’Connor, 4 S Bradshaw, 3 B McGovern, 2 S McCarthy, 1 T O’Reilly, R O’Donovan, K Sheahan, C Ruddock, N Murphy, C Lilly.