22.11.2014 1st XV v Dolphin (A)
Dolphin RFC v St Mary’s RFC
AIL Division 1 A.
22 November 2014.
Musgrave Park, with a pitch of highest quality and in the midst of an impressive facelift, lost none of its foreboding for most of the supporters who travelled there from Dublin 6W. The little groups of blue and whiters were tremulously speaking in hope and fear before the game,where we have often had a tough time before; and remembering that we lost there,15 – 10,last season.
It is good to relate that a fair number came down to the southern city, and in fact out shouted the Dolphinites during the second half. Needless to say, Pyner was there as ever, to wave out the team, with his well-worn and travelled flag. Joyce and Elaine led the female brigade, and all marvelled at the lovely weather.
Well, it is back to Musgrave Park. This was a game of real pace and it was particularly heartening to see the performance match last week’s one in commitment and bravery. This was repaid with a deserved win. The pitch and weather suited our more mobile team. Although, we do not yet have the lineouts perfect, they continue to improve and most heartening for the coaches will have been the dominant scrummaging, it was recompense for the many hours of practice under expert supervision over the past two weeks. Our maul too, was good; we scored from one.
The open play was fast and ball retention was good; we had several good turnovers. Both sides were frequently penalised at the breakdown and great credit is due to Gavin Dunne,who almost emulated Marshy, as he scored with six from seven kicks, several from a difficult positions. His contribution was highly significant and I believe he deserved to be Marys’ Man of the Match.
There were many good performances, with the captain especially leading from the front. His defence was particularly noteworthy. The front row in particular will be happy with how they worked. Nick Timoney suffered badly from stomach cramps and nausea and so, had restrictedtime on the field; still he bravely played and, while on the field, he made a sound contribution from 6 and capped it with a telling try. Behind the pack Marcus O’Driscoll and Christopher Lilly were extremely active and effective. Chris’s defence was outstanding.
The defence was generally good, especially in the later stages when it was most needed. However, it was from errors in defence, that Dolphin scored their two tries.
Full use was made of the replacement rotation system and it aided greatly the performance. We welcomed young Conor Gilsenan, who fitted in well and made a significant play for the final score. David O’Connor likewise was prominent when he came on.
After only 30 seconds Gavin scored the first penalty and he added another on eight minutes and another on 12, it was 0- 9. Dolphin scored their first try on 18 minutes from a quick tapped free kick due to early engagement. The score was then 7 – 9 and it was still so at halftime
The second half started fast and it was 50 minutes when Dolphin made it 10 – 9. Then we won a penalty on 54 minutes and we drove the ball to the corner, took a maul and after several drives, Richard Sweeney slipped of and under the defence to score a try. Gavin converted and it was 10 – 16. Dolphin made it 13 – 16 on 61 minutes. On 63 minutes it was 13 – 19. Then Dolphin struck on 68 minutes with an un-converted try. One point only separated the sides and it led to a frantic last 12 minutes. On 73 minutes, Gavin gave us alittle breathing space with an excellent penalty and then after some good attack play from Marys, Dolphin cleared their lines and young Conor Gilsenan adventurously took a quickthrow in and the ball went across the line to Nick Timoney who was out on the wing. He took off like a drag racer and seared along the wing, flicking aside two tacklers, to score out wide, so it ended 18 – 27.
We have a respite for a couple of weeks to 6th December when we take on UCD at home. You will remember we had the cruellest of luck, when we opened our campaign in the UCD bowl,back in September. Please do not slack off now you must come and support. There is no doubt if we have good support and the team continues its concentrated high intensity performance level we can be victorious to give a confident build up to visiting Lansdowne on 20th December.
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 R Crotty, 14 C Lilly, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 M O’Driscoll, 11 S Toal-Lennon, 10 G Dunne, 9 R Glynn, 8 K Sheahan (Capt), 7 C Oliver, 6 N Timoney, 5 C Ruddock, 4 S Bradshaw, 3 B McGovern, 2 S McCarthy, 1 T O’Reilly, R O’Donovan, Richard Sweeney, D O’Connor, A Bourke.