J4 - 2010/11
19 - 22
St. Marys J4 XV
St Marys J4 V Tallaght
22 - 19
The match was slightly delayed because of Tallaght being late out of the dressing room. Straight away the extra few pre season games for Tallaght seemed to show. It took Marys a while to get into the game and after 15 minutes of consistent pressure on our line we started making headway. From a scrum 10 yards out it came to the right with a perfectly timed pass from centre Darragh O'Neill drawing two players in the process gave fullback Paul Whyte the first try of the new season. Unfortunately Teddy couldn't convert and it was 5-0. After a few minutes of broken play Tallaght’s centre broke through the line and after getting through a few tackles scored under the posts and it was 5-7. With a clearance kick Ted took there fullback out and in the process dazed himself, the referee awarded them a penalty saying that he hadn't made an effort to wrap his arms around the player. Ted had to go off because of the tackle and the backline had to reshuffle to accommodate Richard Pyne. They ended up missing the penalty and so it went in 5-7 at half time.
The second half couldn't have started better. Ted restarted the game, it was retrieved and was spread wide to Paul "Wally" Moran who went on crash and barged through around six of them scoring within the first minute. Ted converted 12-7. Because of rolling subs Ted had been able to return to play and we were down to the bare bones on the bench after Alan "Boom Boom" Godfrey had been brought on for an injured Eamon Moran. With injury's happening every few minutes we had a makeshift pack with Chi Yuen playing in his old position of flanker. They put on the pressure and after a maul off a line-out scored and converted making it 12-14. They then broke through our line of defence again and with offload from there first centre to second the second centre went over just wide of the posts. The kicker could not convert. 12-19 with 13 men on the Marys side because of a blood injury to captain Phil Conway. With the restart from Teddy, Eamon "Peanut" Moran back on for injured Kenny McArdle made a massive hit on the catcher and the tempo changed for us. After some pressure it came out to the right wing again and O'Neill held his man till the last second just like the first try, putting winger Nick Cunningham to convert from 10m out. Teddy converted making it 19 all. From a massive clearance kick by Teddy the full back tipped it and after winger placed it down thinking it would be a 22 to them the referee ruled it was a 5m scrum to us. With more pressure form us Ross Wynne passed it back to Ted who got the drop goal making it 22-19. It looked like it would end all square when they were awarded a penalty 25m out in front of the posts. The kicker hit the post and falling to Godfrey he kicked it as hard as he could over the posts thus ending the game.
We kick off our league campaign against Parkmore next week and this hard fought victory will hopefully stand to us.
1. Ross Kelly 2. Eamon Moran 3. Muiris Stacks 4. John Twomey 5. Kenny McArdle 6. Seb Conway 7. Niall Conway 8. Phil Conway(c) 9. Ross Wynne 10. Brian Moran 11. Chi Yuen Hui 12.Paul Moran 13. Darragh O'Neill 14. Nick Cunningham 15. Paul Whyte
Richard Pyne, Alan Godfrey
0 - 41
St. Marys J4 XV
St. Marys J4 -v- Lansdowne
Marys travelled to Ballycorus Road on Saturday in ideal weather conditions which were matched by the facilities and pitch conditions. Landsdowne were only able to field 14 players starting the match requiring Marys to drop their numbers to match.
Lansdowne started the match and after some pressure from the home team Marys ended up conceding a penalty within in the first few minutes, fortunately they missed and after Ted restarting from the 22 their out-half went for a drop-goal which he also missed. From considerable pressure from Lansdowne for the first few minutes, Paul Whyte made a break down the right and from the offload put Wally and Nick Cunningham away into the Lansdowne 22. From their line-out Joe Doddy stole it and after a break from Wally he passed to Teddy who handed off the defender and touched down under the posts 5-0 Marys. Teddy converted his own try. Two minutes after the restart the forwards turn the ball over and after a flat pass from Ted, Nick breaks up the line and with a little help and push from Alan "Boom Boom" Godfrey runs for the left corner cuts under the fullbacks arm and scores. Ted converts making it 14-0. After crossing Lansdowne get a try disallowed try and the half time whistle is blown.
After half time Lansdowne found a 15th player and Niall Conway was substituted by John Twomey with Tim Henderson joining the pack.
After receiving a penalty Ted kicks for the corner. The lineout is gathered by Twomey and with a massive maul from Marys Eamon scores. Unfortunately Ted couldn't convert 19-0. From a chip by Ted into the right hand corner Marys ended up stealing the line-out again and much like his first half try Ted went over under the posts 26-0. Teddy got a penalty straight in front of the posts and converted, 29-0. From the restart it was collected by Godfrey and made a break up the right hand side getting tackled he offloaded to Rory O'Neill who eventually got tackled into touch. After getting the lineout again it came out the backline and from a dummy switch on Darragh O'Neill, Ted passed the ball to Richard Pyne who had just come on for Wally, Pyner took a brilliant line to go under Lansdownes posts again to make it 36-0.
After the restart Ted cleared it well into their 22, their fullback cleared it but didn't make touch, collected around the half way by Doddy he made a run for the right hand corner. The fullback hadn't followed up and so they were all offside. Bemused by the amount of space he was given he put a perfect chip into the far right corner and Nick beat the covering back defenders to jump on it to get his second try of the game. 41-0 final score.
1.Rossy Kelly 2.Eamon Moran 3.Alan Godfrey 4.Joe Doddy 5.Niall Conway 6.Rory O'Neill 8.Padraig Nestor 9.Ross Wynne 10.Brian Moran 11.Chi Yuen Hui 12.Paul Moran 13.Darragh O'Neill 14.Nick Cunningham 15.Paul Whyte.
Subs: Tim Henderson, Tony Flynn, Stacks, Richard Pynne, John Twomey
St. Marys J4 XV
6 - 3
The J4's played Clontarf in Templeville Road on Saturday and eked out a win in our second league match of the season.
Clontarf started strongly with their line-out maul proving an effective tool that kept them deep in the Mary's half for much of the opening 25 minutes. They were unable to convert this territory and possession into points however, with the Mary's on top in the scrums and some fantastic defence to hold up Clontarf men over the line on two occasions. All Clontarf had to show for the early pressure was a missed penalty.
Mary's fought their way back into the game towards the end of the half and looked threatening every time the ball went wide but the last pass just wouldn't go to hand. Clontarf kicked a penalty on 33 minutes and Mary's were firmly back in the game with Teddy narrowly missing a penalty to level things. Clontarf went in to the break 3-0 up.
Mary's started the second half strongly and earned another shot at goal which again was narrowly missed, but Teddy made no mistake from just inside the 10 metre line ten minutes into the second half to level the scores at 3-3.
Mary's enjoyed a healthy amount of possession in the second half with the referee beginning to penalise the Clontarf side for persistent offside and infringing at the breakdown - offences which had remained unpunished in the first half. Teddy kicked another penalty to make it 6-3 to Mary's but we were unable to convert our try-scoring chances with too many final passes being forced. A little more composure and the score would have been more in the blues favour, but the lads were happy to take the win.
Final score 6-3 to Mary's.
15. P. Whyte 14. N. Cunningham 13. D. Carpenter 12. P. Moran 11. C. Hui 10. B. Moran 9. R. Wynne 8. P. Nestor 7. T. Henderson 6. P. Conway (c) 5. N. Conway 4. J. Twomey 3. A. Godfrey 2. E. Moran 1. R. Kelly
5 - 15
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's travelled to Dr. Hickey Park to take on Greystones on Saturday afternoon. The rain on Friday had softened up the pitch but conditions were perfect.
After an even opening ten minutes, Mary's lineout started to dominate and the maul was gaining good ground inside the 'Stones 22. A steady stream of possession to our backs exposed weaknesses in the home team's backline defence with centre David Carpenter consistently breaking tackles and making ground. Carpo's centre partner Wally Moran ran a good support line off one of these breaks and broke deep into Greystones territory. The ball was recycled quickly and taken on by skipper Phil Conway. Quick hands from out-half Teddy Moran and Carpo gave winger Nick Cunningham a chance in the corner and he showed good strength to break a covering tackle and score. Teddy couldn't convert the tricky kick from the touchline. 20 minutes in, Mary's 5-0 Greystones.
Mary's continued to pile on the pressure and just a couple of minutes later, after another midfield line break from Carpo and Wally and some great continuity, we got a penalty inside the 22. After a break for injury, Ted tapped quickly and passed to Nick on the wing who managed to squeeze in at the corner again. Despite never indicating that he was taking a shot at goal, Greystones complained that the kicking tee had been on the pitch. The ref agreed and awarded them a scrum back.
Mary's didn't allow this to disrupt their momentum and after another Carpo break, this time supported by second row Joe Doddy, Greystones killed the ball close to their line and the ref duly produced the yellow card.
After successive penalties on the Greystones 5 metre line, Wally crashed over to score by the posts. Teddy converted to give Mary's a 12-0 lead at half time.
Unfortunately, the second half never really delivered on the promise of the first. Teddy converted and early penalty chance for 15-0 but after that Greystones played the ball in close to their pack. Greystones managed to get a score out wide very late on to make it 15-5, but Mary's made it 3 wins from 3 in the first stage of the league and are in a good position to finish in the top 3 and qualify for the Super 6 stage in a few weeks time.
15. Darragh O'Neill 14. Nick Cunningham 13. David Carpenter 12. Paul Moran 11. Paul Whyte 10. Teddy Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway (c) 6. Rory O'Neill 5. Joe Doddy 4. John Twomey 3. Ross Kelly 2. Eamon Moran 1. Alan Godfrey
St. Marys J4 XV
43 - 13
The J4's played Athy in Templeville on Saturday in the penultimate match of Phase 1 of the new look J4 league.
Athy arrived having, like Mary's, won their opening 3 games, and looking very likely to finish in the top 3 and progress to the 'Super 6' phase. As results between teams qualifying carry over to the Super 6, this was an important game for us.
The 1.00 kick-off ensured that the match was played in good conditions and Athy began well, converting a penalty on the 10m line after only 2 minutes.
The lads had worked hard on a particular game plan at training and put this into effect as soon as they got their hands on the ball. Some great continuity play by both forwards and backs, followed by a Teddy dummy and then pass to the supporting Joe Doddy, led to Mary's opening try after 8 minutes. Joe could have had the try himself, but unselfishly passed to his great friend and mentor, Darragh O'Neill to score the try. Teddy slotted the easy conversion for 7-3.
Mary's off-loading and continuity let them work through the phases, gaining territory and penalties. After one of these penalties led to a lineout 5 metres out from the Athy line, coach and hooker Eamon Moran got a try after a well worked maul. A great conversion from Ted made it 14-3 after 15 minutes.
A similar lineout maul should have led to another try 5 minutes later, but birthday boy John Twomey knocked on as he went to score.
Some indiscipline in our own half, in being penalised for tugging back an Athy player let them add another 3 points for 14-6, but Mary's extended their lead further 5 minutes from half time with a well worked move from a 5 metre scrum. No. 8 Padraig Nestor picked at the base, made good ground and then popped to Teddy on the burst to score by the posts. He converted his own try for a 21-6 lead at half time.
Just 3 minutes into the second half, Teddy kicked a penalty from the Athy 22 to make it 24-6. Athy responded by kicking for territory deep into the Mary's 22 but winger Paul Whyte collected the ball and countered well, bringing play into the Athy 22. We quickly recycled the ball and after good play by centre Wally Moran and skipper Phil Conway, winger Nick Cunningham got in for the try. Teddy converted for 31-6.
Mary's took the foot off the pedal for a period after that and after a mistake at the fringe of a ruck, managed to score a try in the corner to make it 31-13.
Mary's finished strongly however, and replacement flanker Tim Henderson spotted a gap in the Athy backline in our own 22 and raced through it as fast as his little legs would carry him. He made it nearly all the way to the Athy line before delivering a basketball pass to centre David Carpenter, just as he was tackled. Carpo applied the simple finish to make it 36-13.
With the last play of the game, scrum half Ross Wynne made a blind side break from a scrum, passed to full-back Darragh who raced 40 metres to score in the corner. Ted slotted the conversion to make the final score 43-13 to Mary's.
15. D. O'Neill 14. N. Cunningham 13. D. Carpenter 12. P. Moran 11. P. Whyte 10. B. Moran 9. R. Wynne 8. P. Nestor 7. P. Conway 6. R. O'Neill 5. J. Doddy 4. J. Twomey 3. R. Kelly 2. E. Moran 1. A. Godfrey
St. Marys J4 XV
13 - 10
The J4's hosted Blackrock in the last match of the first stage of the J4 league on Saturday.
Rock needed a result to maintain their chances of qualifying for the next stage and put out a strong side accordingly. They opened well, earning a shot at goal inside the Mary's half after only 2 minutes, but the kick was wide.
Mary's drew first blood after 7 minutes with a penalty from Teddy after a high tackle on scrum-half Ross Wynne on the Blackrock 22. 3-0 to Mary's.
The two sides were well matched and the score remained the same until the 30th minute when Rock won a turnover and brought play down into the Mary's 22. After a period of pressure about 5 metres out from our line, they earned a penalty, tapped quickly and managed to score. 3-7 to Blackrock.
With 3 minutes left in the half, Rock let Mary's back into it, conceding a careless penalty for offside while trying to keep a Mary's touch finder in play. Ted slotted the points for 6-7.
There was still time for Mary's to earn another shot at goal with the last play of the game but Teddy couldn't convert the difficult kick and Rock maintained their one point lead at half-time.
The second half remained very close, with few scoring chances. Rock kicked a penalty to extend their lead to 6-10, but increased pressure from Mary's led to Rock having a man yellow carded for killing the ball in the 22.
Mary's pushed hard but it looked like the scoring opportunity might not come. Our luck changed in the 75th minute however, when good pressure on a Rock lineout in their own 22 led to a tap down which their scrum-half managed to clean up, only to turn and pass to the loitering Mary's out-half, Teddy Moran. Teddy only had a few metres to run to score the try under the posts. He added the extras and Mary's were back in front, 13-10.
We failed to deal with the Rock kick-off and conceded a penalty and a yellow card with skipper Phil Conway adjudged to have deliberately played the ball from an offside position to prevent Rock capitalising. Rock opted for the posts to level the scores but the kick went wide and Mary's closed out the remaining 2 minutes to maintain our unbeaten record in the first group stage.
The Super 6 awaits in 2 weeks time with our wins over the 2 teams going through with us carrying over to that stage.
15. D. O'Neill 14. N. Cunningham 13. D. Carpenter 12. P. Moran 11. C. Hui 10. B. Moran 9. R. Wynne 8. P. Nestor 7. T. Henderson 6. R. O'Neill 5. P. Conway 4. J. Twomey 3. R. Kelly 2. E. Moran 1. A. Godfrey
10 - 9
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's began the Super 6 Phase of the league on Saturday with a trip to Parsonstown to play NUIM Barnhall.
Barnhall started the brighter of the two sides but Mary's drew first blood with a penalty after Barnhall players failed to retreat from an offside position when chasing a kick. Teddy slotted the kick for a 3-0 lead.
Barnhall were capitalising on some rusty tackling from Mary's and offloading well. They had 3 very kickable penalties in the first half but could only convert one of them to even the scores at 3-3.
Despite Barnhall having the better of the territory in the first half, a strong run from winger Nick Cunningham brought us into the Barnhall 22, and after Barnhall infringed, Ted kicked the points to give us a half-time lead, 6-3.
Mary's upped their game in the second half and spent far more time in the Barnhall half than our own, but it was still a very close game with few chances. Ted extended our lead to 9-3 from a penalty within 2 minutes of the restart.
That's how it remained until the 77th minute, when the referee penalised Mary's at the breakdown. Strangely, he deemed the offence worthy of a yellow card for centre Darragh O'Neill, even though it took place well inside the Barnhall half. Barnhall kicked to touch inside the Mary's half and when Mary's conceded a free kick for an early lift at the subsequent lineout, they went quickly and managed to breach the Mary's line to score. They nailed the conversion to take a one point lead at 10-9.
With a minute on the clock, Mary's had time for one more attack. Barnhall immediately infringed at the next breakdown and conceded a further 10 metres for backchat. The penalty was out near the touchline but with light failing and a strong crosswind against us, we opted to scrum. Unfortunately, Barnhall managed to get the strike against the head, kicked to touch and the match was over.
The dressing room was a quiet place in the aftermath, with the clear sense that we had let this match slip away from us.
The Super 6 is a tough league, but there is a firm belief in the team that we can push on from this when taking on Coolmine at home in 2 weeks.
15. Darragh O'Neill 14. Nick Cunningham 13. David Carpenter 12. Paul Moran 11. Paul Whyte 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Phil Conway 7. Tim Henderson 6. Rory O'Neill 5. John Twomey 4. Joe Doddy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly.
18 - 30
St. Marys J4 XV
Mary's made the trip to Athy for only our 2nd game of the super six competition because of games being postponed due to bad weather over the last few months.
Mary's started the brighter of the two sides getting good forward momentum from fast and direct phases, Athy were on the backfoot and after some great work from the backs in the Athy 22 the ball was turned over after a quick recycle. This left the Athy defence stretched and outhalf Ted drew two men and passed to Henderson who went in for a try under the posts. Ted converted to give Mary's a 7 point lead.
The pressure from Mary's continued and after a number of infringements and talk back to the ref an Athy player was yellow carded. Shortly after, a knock on stopped short an easy walk in for the backs.
It was around the 30 minute mark where Mary's lost the grip on the game,with an extra man and confident after a fine start Mary's got a bit over confident trying to score from first phase, this resulted in a number of handling errors and turnovers handing control over to Athy who got down into the Mary's 22 a few times and after infringements penalties followed giving a 14 man Athy an easy 6 points, half time score 6-7 to Mary's.
Mary's looked to get back into the form of the first 20 minutes but found this hard as Athy had a renewed confidence after their good spell at the end of the first half.
Control of the game continued to swing with a number of handling errors from both sides, there were glimpses of what Mary's could do, after some good possession the Athy winger showed Cunningham to much space and Cunningham used his pace to finish a fine 40 metre try in the corner. The kick missed but Mary's still in the lead 6-12.
It was Athy who had the majority of possession for the next while and whilst good try line defence held them out they eventually went over for the try.
Mary's hit straight back with some good play that eventually saw Whyte break through and power over with men hanging off him to score a good try in the corner, the kick missed Mary's were 11-17 up.
Another swing in control saw Mary's give away a number of penalites letting Athy kick deep into the Mary's 22, the next 7 to 8 minutes saw Mary's defending on the try line repeated infringement saw McCarthy binned and unfortunately all the hard work was for nothing as Athy eventually squeezed in for a try and converted to go a point up 18-17 with two minutes left.
Mary's heads dropped behind the posts but only for a second before the lads picked themselves up, believing as a team they could still win.
From the kick off Athy regained the ball but the clearance kick failed to make touch giving Mary's possession the next 5 minutes saw a huge team effort with phase after phase taking Mary's further into the 22, Athy's defence remained strong but eventually a penalty came and a yellow card was given.
The penalty was the last kick fo the game and 15 metre's out to the right of the posts, Teddy stepped and slotted the penalty to win the game 18-20 and keep us in 2nd place of the super six with a game in hand.
The game was a mixed bag with some good phase play but also some poor decision making and handling letting Athy into the game, the last two minutes showed the determination and drive needed to win the league. Next week is Terenure away.
1.Stacks 2.Eamon Moran 3.Alan Godfrey 4.Joe Doddy 5.Niall Conway 6.Tim Henderson 7.Phil Conway 8.Padraig Nestor 9.Ross Wynne 10.Brian Moran 11.Chi Yuen Hui 12.Paul Moran 13.David Carpenter 14.Nick Cunningham 15.Paul Whyte
16.Andrew McCarthy 17.Richard Pyne
13 - 38
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's took on Terenure in Lakelands on Saturday in the latest round of the Super 6.
The pitch had taken a lot of rain and was a bit of a mudbath, but Mary's started well with out-half Teddy kicking a penalty after 5 minutes following some early pressure.
The good start continued when, after 7 minutes, excellent continuity play and some good, quick hands put winger Chi-Yuen Hui over in the left corner. Ted missed the difficult conversion. 8-0 to Mary's.
Terenure cut the deficit to 8-3 with a penalty but Mary's forwards were in the ascendency and making good yards with every surge. This go-forward ball led to a further penalty chance for Teddy on 18 minutes, which he converted for 11-3.
The pressure on Terenure continued and just after the half hour mark, a series of scrums in the Terenure 22 and some quick hands after good recycling put centre Darragh O'Neill over in the corner. Again, the extra points eluded us but we had a 16-3 lead.
The first half display was our best of the season so far, with the lads showing what we had only seen in glimpses in our previous games. Things got even better on 38 minutes, when centre Wally Moran made a good break into Terenure territory and gave the ball inside to his supporting centre partner, Darragh to score his second try by the posts. Teddy added the extras for a 23-3 lead.
There was still just enough time in the first half for a Terenure player to be sin-binned for foot-tripping our No. 8, Padraig Nestor on the half way line.
The second half seemed to start well, with Terenure knocking on from our kick-off, but the referee missed it as he was still checking his watch! Terenure capitalised, went through a number of phases and managed to score in the corner to make it 23-8.
Soon after, they capitalised on some sloppy defending as they managed to go from their own line and again, score in the corner. The score now was 23-13, and far closer than it should have been.
Mary's though soon put a fairer slant on the score, when Teddy dummied, made a break and passed to Darragh to score again, completing his hat-trick. The conversion was missed and Mary's led 28-13.
It was Mary's turn to have a man sent to the bin on 29 minutes, when full-back Paul Whyte saw yellow for side-entry at a ruck just in front of the posts. Terenure, however, couldn't capitalise and Mary's scored again on 34 minutes, when No. 8 Padraig Nestor broke from the back of a scrum close to the line and popped to Teddy who burst through the tackles to score. Kicking duties passed to Hooker, Eamon Moran who couldn't add the extras. 33-13 to Mary's.
The missed kicks meant that our points tally wasn't as large as it should have been but a nice gloss was put on the score when winger Chi-Yuen gathered an attempted chip over him and galloped to the line.
Final score, Terenure 13-38 St. Mary's
Gavin Rafferty, Manager
15. Paul Whyte 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill (Hat-Trick Hero) 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway 6. Andy McCarthy 5. John Twomey 4. Joe Doddy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly
15 - 20
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's travelled to Stradbrook to take on Blackrock on Saturday. The teams seemed well matched in the opening exchanges and there were no scores until the 16th minute when Blackrock were penalised for pulling down a very effective Mary's lineout maul. Mary's went down the line and again mauled the lineout ball very effectively all the way to the Rock line where hooker, Eamon Moran got the touchdown. Teddy couldn't convert from out wide but Mary's had a 5-0 lead.
Rock fought back and after 22 minutes, won a scrum against the head and scored close to the posts from the turnover. Their kicker missed the easy conversion however and the scores were level at 5-5.
Mary's quickly earned a penalty at a breakdown halfway between the Rock 10 and 22 and Teddy slotted the kick to make it 8-5.
With 8 minutes to go until half-time, it was Blackrock's turn to use the lineout maul. With many of their backs lending their weight, they got over for an unconverted try to lead 10-8 at half-time.
Mary's were unlucky to be down at the break, having edged the first half performance-wise, and were determined to turn things around. From the kick-off, Mary's attacked down the left wing and after some good phases, diminutive winger Chi-Yuen picked up the ball and darted for the line, managing to get the touch down despite a last-ditch tap tackle by Rock. Teddy slotted the conversion to make it 15-10.
Mary's extended this lead further when, 8 minutes into the second half, Teddy kicked a penalty to touch deep in the opposition half. The lineout maul was again used to great effect, with Eamon scoring his second try in the corner. Teddy couldn't convert but the lead stood at 20-10 and Mary's looked comfortable.
Rock were right back in it 3 minutes later though, when they managed to block down a clearing kick in our 22. Mary's defended the line for their lives as Rock tried a series of pick & go's. They eventually went to the winger on the short side who managed to touch down. The ref awarded a try despite the wingers foot drifting into touch before going back into the field of play for the touch down. The conversion was wide and the scores stood at 20-15 to Mary's.
Rock had another spell of pressure in the Mary's half but the blues managed to defend well, picking off a Rock lineout or two, and soon found themselves back in the Rock half. Rock were conceding a lot of penalties at the breakdown (as they had in the first half) and after 25 minutes, Teddy had a penalty shot from out wide which went close but just across the face of goal.
Mary's upped the pressure and from a ruck out on the left, prop Alan Godfrey made a great break down the touchline, managing to hold off the Rock tackler long enough to get the offload inside to winger Chi-Yuen who made it to the line but the ref (from a long way back) judged that the ball had been held up and went back for a penalty against Rock, from which Teddy was also just held up over the Rock line.
With 9 minutes left, the pressure being exerted by Mary's at the breakdown got the better of Rock and one of their forwards was shown a straight red card for 2 punches thrown straight in front of the ref.
Mary's failed to capitalise on the possession and territory that followed, with one overlap on the short side going to waste as the ball was spilled forward.
There was still time for Rock to get back into the Mary's half but the blues had enough to withstand the pressure and to close out a deserved but hard-earned win, 20-15.
Next up for Mary's is a home fixture against Coolmine on Saturday - our game in hand on leaders Barnhall.
15. Paul Whyte 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui (Richard Pyne) 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway (C) 6. Tim Henderson 5. John Twomey 4. Joe Doddy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly
St. Marys J4 XV
16 - 12
The J4s (2nd in table with a game in hand) hosted NUIM Barnhall (1st) in Templeville Road on Saturday afternoon in what may turn out to be the league decider.
The first clash between the teams in Barnhall earlier in the season was a very tight affair with Barnhall edging it 10-9 so we expected another close contest and weren't disappointed.
Mary's started well with the pack handling well and going through the phases. Early pressure and territory were rewarded when good quick passing on the blind side put prop Alan Godfrey over in the corner. The angle was too tight for the conversion but Mary's had an early 5-0 lead.
With both sides evenly matched, this game was always going to come down to possession and discipline. After our early spell of possession had yielded points, it was Barnhall's turn. They managed a sustained period of possession and took play into our half. Their lineout maul was proving very effective and a rumble up to our line gave them the chance to break from the back and get the try after 22 minutes. They missed the conversion and the scores were level at 5-5.
Mary's then showed effective use of possession after 30 minutes. Barnhall were conceding penalties at the breakdown and Teddy brought us down into their half. From a good lineout, play went wide for wing David Carpenter to make good ground. Scrum-Half Ross Wynne made a trademark darting break from the breakdown and nearly made the line but couldn't free his arms for the touch-down. Support was there in numbers though and No. 8 Padraig Nestor picked the ball and got the score from close range. Again the angle was against Teddy and the scores stood at 10-5 to Mary's.
Barnhall's indiscipline gave Teddy a kickable penalty on the Barnhall 22 on the stroke of half-time and our 10 made no mistake to give Mary's a 13-5 lead at half-time.
We knew that Barnhall would come back into the game and there was still a lot of rugby to be played and sure enough, 11 minutes into the second half, Barnhall scored a converted try to make it 13-12.
Mary's came right back into it and some sustained pressure in the Barnhall 22 led to more indiscipline with their 10 committing a professional foul at the breakdown and seeing yellow for 10 minutes. At this stage our small squad had been hit with injuries with out-half Teddy departing with a groin injury and second-row Joe Doddy suffering a rib injury.
We ran the penalty close to the Barnhall line but after a succession of surges we hadn't gotten the try so opted to kick another penalty in front of the posts, with Carpo doing the honours to extend the lead to 16-12 with less than 20 minutes to go.
Barnhall came at us strongly for the remainder of the match, kicking penalties deep into our half and using their lineout maul, but the Mary's team and especially the pack put in a huge effort to hold them out and claim the victory.
That was Barnhall's last game and Mary's have their final game in hand to claim the title against old rivals Terenure in Templeville next Saturday 12th at 1.00.
Barnhall's small number of supporters outnumbered Mary's in our own club on Saturday so we'd like to ask your help in changing that next week. If you are free and want to see a local derby with the team in blue aiming to win to clinch the J4 Premier League title, please come down and make your voices heard.
Gavin Rafferty, Manager
15. Paul Whyte 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. David Carpenter 10. Brian Moran (Stephen Hicks) 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway 6. Tim Henderson 5. Joe Doddy (Kenny McArdle) 4. John Twomey 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly.
St. Marys J4 XV
5 - 5
The J4's entertained local rivals Terenure on the main pitch in Templeville on Saturday, for a lunchtime kick-off. After a hard-fought victory over table-topping Barnhall last week, Mary's were only a point behind in the table with Barnhall having completed all of their fixtures, so a draw or victory would clinch the league for the Blues.
The first half was good, with Mary's playing reasonably well against a committed Terenure team. Mary's were making good ground through forward runners and centre Wally Moran also made good yards every time he took the ball on. On 13 minutes, out-half Teddy Moran (Wally's brother, who played carrying an injury picked up last week), popped an inside ball to the youngest Moran brother, hooker Eamon who carried well. Off the breakdown, scrum-half Ross Wynne went blind to Wally who broke into the Terenure half and passed to his centre partner, Darragh O'Neill who looked like he was going to go all the way to the corner but a last-ditch cover tackle from Terenure stopped him just short. Darragh managed to off-load to supporting winger David Carpenter who scored the try in the corner. Ross took the tricky conversion due to Teddy's injured leg but couldn't add the extra points.
Chances in the rest of the half were few and far between, the best coming when No. 8 Padraig Nestor broke from a 5 metre scrum but his pop to Teddy on the crash was read and intercepted by the Terenure scrum-half.
One minute into injury time, Mary's narrow lead was wiped out when Terenure kicked a penalty to touch deep into the Mary's 22. The lineout was overthrown but the Terenure man at the back gathered cleanly and crossed for the score. 5-5 at half-time.
The second half became a war of attrition with Mary's incurring the referee's wrath at the breakdown and having second row John Twomey and No. 8 Nestor both sent to the sin bin for hands in the ruck in quick succession. For a period of about 6 minutes, Mary's had to play with 13 men to Terenure's 15. While it wasn't pretty to watch, the Mary's team, especially the pack showed great character to hold Terenure scoreless during this period.
Once Mary's were back up to 15, we had some good possession in the Terenure half but couldn't get the winning score. The referee yellow carded a Terenure player on 71 minutes to give Mary's the numerical advantage until the final whistle, when the 2 points for the draw confirmed us as J4 League Section A Premier Division champions.
Many thanks to the supporters who turned out on the day and those family and friends who have been attending our games and supporting us for the last 4 years. Finally, congratulations to the players, many of whom have worked so hard over the last few years to win this league.
Gavin Rafferty, Manager.
15. Paul Whyte 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. David Carpenter 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway (C) 6. Tim Henderson 5. John Twomey 4. Joe Doddy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly
St. Marys J4 XV
16 - 13
Fresh from celebrating the J4 League title, St. Mary's started their campaign to win back the Winters Cup, which they clinched dramatically in 2009, against Tallaght in Templeville Road on Saturday.
It was an injury-hit Mary's team which took to the pitch, with 7 players missing from our regular starting line-up, it was a chance for some lads in the squad to get well-earned game time and to remind certain members of the management why exactly they retired in the first place!
As always, Tallaght arrived with a large, physical side and gave us a tough game, but a try from winger Nick Cunningham in the first half and 11 points from the boot of stand-in out-half, David Carpenter, was enough to see us through to the second round, despite a converted try from Tallaght with the last play of the game.
Final score: St. Mary's 16-13 Tallaght.
15. Stephen Hicks 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill 12. Steve Muldowney 11. Richard Pyne 10. David Carpenter 9. Ross Wynne 8. Eamon Moran 7. Phil Conway 6. Rory O'Neill 5. Padraig Nestor 4. Andy McCarthy 3. Gavin Rafferty 2. Alan Godfrey 1. Ross Kelly
7 - 34
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's took on Monkstown in Sydney Parade on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Winters Cup.
Mary's made a bright start and thought they had opened the scoring after 2 minutes but the try was disallowed for a forward pass. Out-half David Carpenter soon slotted a penalty to make it 3-0 though.
The good weather and hard pitch made for some running rugby, as well as some bumps, bruises and dislocated fingers. Mary's soon extended their lead to 8-0 when second row Andy McCarthy got the touchdown after the pack mauled a lineout deep in the Monkstown 22.
Carpo took advantage of some poor tackling to set off on a slaloming run from inside his own half to score the next try and make it 13-0.
Prop Alan Godfrey got over for a well-worked try to make it 20-0 to Mary's at half time.
The second half was a scrappy affair with the ref's whistle providing the soundtrack to the whole half. Mary's scored two further tries - another lineout maul giving Andy his second score and some wondrous hands by replacement Gavin Rafferty sending Tim Henderson scuttling down the wing, avoiding two tackles and scoring the try.
Monkstown managed to pull a score back but Mary's progress to the next round, where they will face Coolmine.
Final score: Monkstown 7-34 St. Mary's
7 - 28
St. Marys J4 XV
The J4's took on Coolmine in Ashbrook on Saturday afternoon in the quarter final of the Winters Cup. The weather was perfect for rugby and Mary's were looking forward to finally taking on Coolmine after they had to pull out of the J4 League.
The first 15 minutes were fairly even with Coolmine taking Mary's on up front and their 10 using his big boot to test the Mary's back 3. Mary's were dealing well with the pressure, with the back row making turnovers and the back 3 looking to run possession back at Coolmine. It was from one of these counter attacks by wing Nick Cunningham that Mary's scored after 20 minutes. Nick ran the ball back deep into the Coolmine half, Mary's recycled quickly and spread the ball wide. Coolmine were very short of numbers and one of their backs running back from an offside position stood in the Mary's backline trying to prevent the pass but despite getting a touch, captain Phil Conway's pass made it over his head and into the hands of flanker Rory O'Neill to score the try. Ted added the simple conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Coolmine came right back into the game and when one of their forwards ran a hard line off a ruck, a missed tackle from Mary's allowed him to break into our 22 and then offload to his supporting runner for the try. They added the conversion to make it 7-7.
Mary's regained the lead after 34 minutes when Rory showed good pace to outflank the Coolmine cover in their 22 and score his second try. Teddy slotted the difficult touchline conversion to make it 14-7.
Coolmine were wide with a drop goal attempt before half time so Mary's took their 7 point lead into the break.
In the second half Coolmine struggled to stay on the right side of the ref in the second half and Mary's took advantage. 16 minutes in, Ted made a small break and freed his hands to offload to elder brother Wally, who took play well into Coolmine territory. From the recycle, scrum half Ross Wynne made a break and managed to stretch to the line to score. Ted added the extras to make it 21-7.
Mary's had 3 shots on goal in the second half, from Coolmine conceding penalties but couldn't extend their lead to reflect the second half dominance.
As the game slipped away from Coolmine, they began running from deep and taking more chances. With the last play of the game, their 10 tried a little chip but only managed to put it straight into Teddy's hands and he had a clear run to the posts to make the final score 28-7.
15. Paul Whyte 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O'Neill 12. David Carpenter 11. Richie Pyne 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway 6. Rory O'Neill 5. John Twomey 4. Andy McCarthy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly
St. Marys J4 XV
17 - 33
Marys played Barnhall on Saturday in the semi final of the J4 Col. Winters Cup. Having beaten Barnhall to the league title by one point we knew we would be facing a hungry side desperate for revenge and the chance to gain some silverware of their own.
Marys started the game strongly and early pressure resulted in a penalty which was kicked by outhalf, Teddy Moran. Barnhall replied in kind and after 15 minutes the score stood at 3-3. A quick 22 drop out resulted in a breakaway by centre Darragh O'Neill who passed to the supporting but deceptively slow Wally Moran. He was tackled on the half way line. The ball was recycled quickly and spread wide. Unfortunately, we couldn't take advantage of the overlap and spilled possession led to an interception by the Barnhall winger and a 10 - 3 lead for Barnhall approaching half time. With five minutes of the half remaining we pushed for a score to end the half positively. However, with possession turned over, poor tackling allowed Barnhall grab a late unconverted try to take a 15 - 3 lead into the break.
At halftime we were still positive and believed that we could turnaround the half time deficit. We upped the tempo of the game and started moving the big barnhall side around the pitch. Eventually after sustained pressure and a number of phases our waif like number 10, squeezed through a gap and dotted down to the right of the posts. 15 -10 and the game was back on.
In what was a recurring problem all day we then lost concentration and allowed Barnhall to gain field position and our usually solid defence allowed them in for a try which extended their lead back to 12 points. Back we came and after holding onto position for more than one or two phases (which we failed to do for most of the day) space developed and a long skip pass by Teddy left Nick Cunningham with what was for him a simple run in. He did well to get as close to the posts as possible and Teddy converted to leave us 22 -17 down with about 10 minutes. Despite not playing to our ability we were in with a shout.
Unluckily we didn't gather the kick off and Barnhall again were given cheap field position. Their scrum half eventually got in for a score that finished off the game. Fair play to Barnhall who on the day deserved their win and they head to the final with our best wishes.
It was a disappointing performance by us to finish the season. However, it is important to remember the positives. We set out at the start of the season to win the league a goal we have chased as a group for the past 5 years. The J4 league is very competitive with over 30 J4 sides turning out every Saturday This season is the first time that Marys have won the J4 league since the mid 90's. We won or drew 5 one score games during the season that allowed us to win the league by one point. This illustrates the spirit of this side.
A big thanks and congratulations to skipper Phil Conway who led by example all year and to coaches Eamon Moran and Tim Henderson who kept us going all year and had us playing a game that allowed us to compete with and beat physically bigger sides on a regular basis. Also thanks to manager Gavin Rafferty who did all the "thankless" tasks, he will be difficult to replace next year.