J2 - 2012/13
St. Marys J2 XV
27 - 0
St. Mary’s College RFC J2 27 Lansdowne FC J2 0
The J2s had an excellent win over great rivals and current J2 Double Champions Lansdowne on Saturday. A dominant performance from the pack laid the groundwork for this win with the lineout, scrum and maul particularly impressive. The backline used the steady stream of quality ball to good effect with two tries in either half. The first try was made by Eoin McCormack who dummied and ran down the blindside after a series of carries and rucks by the pack. Mucker then expertly off-loaded to Crawford who ran in a great try. The second try was a flowing move along the backline which reached Jack Buggy on the right wing. With very little space to work with, Jack side-stepped his man brilliantly and dived over at the corner flag. Lansdowne came back strongly in the second half and it required some great discipline and heart to keep them out. Towards the end of the second half we re-established our territorial advantage and inevitably this led to Joey Connolly doing a ‘Joey’ and making a break from first receiver, side-stepping and powering through to score under the posts. Very late on we got the bonus point try when the recently introduced Alan Shirley ran a scissors move off Joey from a scrum and got over the line to crown one of our best performances in recent seasons. A long way to go this season but we can now enjoy the Christmas break.
15. Richie McMickan 14. Jack Buggy (1 try) 13. Kieran Lewis 12. Jason Verdon 11. Graham Crawford (1 try) 10. Joey Connolly (1 try, 1 pen, 2 cons) 9. E McCormack 8. David Wilson 7. Colm Barry 6. Rob Timmons 5. Graeme McInerney (Capt) 4. Gavin Thornbury 3. Kenny McInerney 2. Brian Moran 1. Peter Barrett. Subs (all used) 16. Alan Shirley (1 try) 17. Louis Burke 18. Simon O’Donnell 19. Brendan Short 20. JJ Clarke.
St. Marys J2 XV
26 - 8
St. Mary’s College RFC J2 26 Stillorgan RFC 8
The scoreline flatters us. We spent the entire second half in our 22 defending against a powerful Stillorgan side. Heroic defence and the odd infringement saw us reduced to 13 men at one point but we battled on and only conceded one score to the giant Stillorgan pack who got a good try from a maul. In the last play of the game Joey saw there was ‘nobody at home’ and kicked down field for Kieran Lewis to gather and expertly off load to Harry Norton to get the very important bonus point try.
The game was won in the first half where we scored three good tries. Captain McInerney bravely tapped a penalty under their posts and fed his rampaging brother Kenny to smash through and stretch out for the try. All, including me, were happy the decision to tap paid off... The second try saw some great passing and running from the backs which put Harry Norton away for his first try of the day. The third score was by Graham Crawford who ran a great switch line off first receiver to crash in under the posts. Crawford also did the defensive play of the day - the Stillorgan out-half kicked a ball from a penalty into our corner. As it was heading into touch for a dangerous 5 metre lineout to them, Crawford jumped up and batted the ball back into play just around the try line. He then picked it up and booted it into touch - on the halfway line. An amazing clearance.
15. Harry Norton (2 tries) 14.Richie McMickan 13. Kieran Lewis 12. Jason Verdon 11. Graham Crawford (1 try) 10. Joey Connolly 9. E McCormack 8. Brendan Short 7. Louis Burke 6. Rob Timmons 5. Graeme McInerney (Capt) 4. Gavin Thornbury 3. Kenny McInerney (one try) 2. Brian Moran 1. Peter Barrett. Subs: 16. Alan Shirley 17. Paddy Morris 18. Simon Gibney 19. Colm Barry 20. JJ Clarke
3:00pm - KIRWAN PARK, DLSP
St. Marys J2 XV
37 - 11
J2 Cup Final
St. Mary’s College RFC 37 Stillorgan RFC 11
The J2s completed the League and Cup double on Saturday after beating Stillorgan in Kilternan. The cup win rounded off an excellent year for Captain Graeme McInerney and his team who were only beaten once in a total of 17 competitive games. We needed an extended squad to achieve this and many players contributed hugely over the course of the season, not just the 20 who played in the final. To be able to cope with the loss of Alan Shirley, Jason Verdon and Jack Buggy and still be able to field the backline below indicates the great strength in depth that we are lucky to possess. In the forwards, compared to last season we also had to deal with the loss of such club stalwarts as Rob Ryan, Eoin Keane, The Foran brothers, Mark McKay and Marc Aboud. The guys who came in this year really added to the squad and we developed a good brand of fast, expansive and aggressive rugby.
We needed all of these qualities to beat a very powerful and motivated Stillorgan team. This was their highest ever final and they beat Lansdowne, Clontarf and Malahide en route to the final. Stillorgan have become a force at J2 level and a real welcome addition to the J2 ranks – particularly when so many of the older senior clubs struggle to field at this level.
We expected an early on-slaught from the massive Stillorgan forwards and we got it. Using their big maul, strong ball carriers and expert ‘choke’ tackle they dominated the first half. Only in the last few minutes did we get going and scored two vital tries before the break. Both tries came after great phase play and rucking from Mary’s with Harry Norton going over in the right corner but unfortunately breaking his nose in the process. He had to retire and was replaced by Hugh McGovern. The second try was finished brilliantly in the left corner by Barry Cahill. Despite these scores Stillorgan still led 11-10 after 10 minutes of the second half.
Under real pressure we managed to produce our best 30 minutes of the season. Our forwards decided they were tired of being pushed around and began to dominate. Lower body angles in contact and at ruck time generated faster ball, ball which the backs began to use in the wider channels resulting in tries for Ronan O’Doherty and Hugh McGovern who intercepted brilliantly to score. The pack spotted weakness at the tail of the opposition lineout and created two excellent mauls at 6 resulting in scores for Rob Timmons and Brian Moran - some achievement given the opposition. Overall, it was an excellent performance that the lads can be proud of.
A big thank you to all the players and management for a great year. Graeme was a superb captain and fully deserved to lift both Leinster trophies. Player coaches Alan Shirley and Colm Barry were ever present, strong influences all year. Derek Gately managed the team brilliantly and provided great video analysis. Sarah Gately did a great job as physiotherapist and her support was really valued by all the players. Thanks to the J3s under Jack Ebbs, Philip Lynch and Ian Kelly – both squads worked well together and won trophies.
Thanks to Kevin Conboy and the Rugby Council for all the help during the year. Thanks to Niall Rynne for his constant encouragement. We were all delighted to have added some silverware to the mantlepiece in the year of Michael Fanagan’s presidency and we would like to thank him sincerely for his support all year. Finally, thanks to all the parents, relatives, wives and girlfriends for coming out to support us all year long.
15. Harry Norton 14. Barry Cahill 13. Kieran Lewis 12. Graham Crawford 11. Ronan O’Doherty 10. Joey Connolly 9. Eoin McCormack 8. David Wilson 7. Colm Barry 6. Rob Timmons 5. Graeme McInerney (Captain) 4. Gavin Thornberry 3. Peter Barrett 2. Brian Moran 1. Kenny McInerney.
Subs (all used): 16. Louis Burke 17. Mikey Houlihan 18. Ger Somers 19. Simon Gibney 20. Hugh McGovern