J4 - 2011/12
22 - 41
St. Marys J4 XV
Coolmine 22 - St Marys 41
Rumours of the J4’s demise would seem to be premature after a convincing away win to one of the annual title challengers and Winter Cup winners of 2010 in Ashbrook on Saturday. The game had barely begun before flying winger Chi Yuen Hui made a great break before being caught inside the Coolmine 22. A quick recycle and pass to Darragh O’Neill saw him beat two men and go in for the opening try. With the conversion narrowly missed it was 0-5. From the kick off Coolmine gain possession and after some good pressure inside the Marys 22 came close to the line before being turned over. Fullback Paul Whyte sprinted clear of the cover and after chipping ahead won the foot race to touch down for try number 2. The conversion made it 0-12 to Marys.
After Coolmine had slotted a penalty to make it 3-12 Marys attacked using some good kicking and with a penalty advantage pending hooker and coach Eamon Moran threw a speculative pass out to flanker Tim Henderson who juggled the ball before gathering and going over to make the score 3-17. Ted duly converted to make it 3-19. Very shortly afterwards Richie Pyne showed some lovely footwork to race under the posts and ensure an easy conversion for a 3-26 lead. Some rare Coolmine pressure on the line fell just short again and after a break from our own line and a poorly fielded kick by the Coolmine 15, 2nd row John Twomey scampered past the defence to score out wide to make it 3-31. With HT approaching Coolmine pressure eventually paid off and the score at the break was 10-31 to Marys.
While the first half was an all singing, all dancing affair the second half was a much quieter 40 minutes as both sides struggled to keep the pace of the first half up. The first try of the half came after 60 mins and after some good maul play Joe Doddy, not to be outdone by 2nd row partner John Twomey, emerged from the pile up with the ball to claim try number 6 for Marys and with the conversion the score was 10-38. The game was fading as a spectacle when some sustained Coolmine pressure saw them go over to make it 15-38 before Teddy Moran slotted a penalty to leave the score 15-41. Coolmine did score another late consolation try for a final score of Coolmine 22 St Marys 41.
The defence of the league title is up and running and off to a fantastic start with a well earned away win. Next up is old adversaries Blackrock, who are still looking for revenge after the dramatic last play of the game defeat in the Winters Cup two years ago.
Big thanks to the retirees who togged out on Saturday due to injuries and cry-offs….. Ross “you’re out of retirement now” Wynne, Gavin “neckbrace” Rafferty, and Paul “marathon man” Moran. Nods also to new comers William Andreucetti and Mick Dunne who both had very good games.
Team – 1. Gavin Rafferty, 2. William Andreucetti, 3. Eamon Moran, 4. Joe Doddy, 5. John Twomey, 6. Mick Dunne, 7. Tim Henderson, 8. Rory O’Neill (c) 9. Ross Wynne, 10. Teddy Moran, 11. Richie Pyne, 12. Stephen Muldowney, 13. Darragh O’Neill, 14. Chi Yuen Hui, 15. Paul Whyte. Sub – 16. Paul Moran
St. Marys J4 XV
43 - 12
St Marys 43 Blackrock 12
Another tremendous win by the J4’s against an experienced and determined Blackrock side which included Heineken Cup winner Michael Jackson (Ulster) in the backline! The match saw the return of Shane Cunningham to the side after a few years away and he didn’t disappoint scoring two tries and setting up full back Paul Whyte for the opening score. Prior to this try we had endured 20 minutes of sustained Rock pressure on our line but thanks to some valiant defending and over-zealous passes from Blackrock the door to the line remained firmly shut.
After the first try our backline really got moving and allied with the dominance ofthe pack we began to take full control of the game. Further tries followed from wingers Richie Pyne and Shane Cunningham with two of the three being converted by Ted to leave the score at 19-0 at half time.
The second half was more of the same and after a simple penalty from Ted made it 22-0, Rock finally found a way past the Marys defence to make the score 22-5. Not to be hauled back into any sort of dog fight the pack secured the ball and the backs did their thing once again and we were 29-5 up before going 36-5 up through tries from captain Darragh O’Neill and Shane Cunningham. Rock hit back with a converted try before Richie “Robocop” Pyne powered throughseveral tackles before dotting down near the posts. Ted converted to make it 6 from 7 on the day and in his own words “Keep his stats up”. Captain on the day Darragh O’Neill took the man of the match honours with a dazzling display of skills and powerful running.
Next up is Greystones Away RFC in a mini group top of the table clash on Sat at 3pm in Dr Hickey Park.
Team: 1. Alan Godfrey 2. William Andreucetti 3. Eamon Moran 4. Joe Doddy 5. John Twomey 6. Padriag Lalor 7. Tim Henderson 8. Phil Conway
9. Ross Wynne 10. Ted Moran 11. Richie Pyne 12. Stephen Muldowney 13. Darragh O’Neill 14. Shane Cunningham 15. Paul Whyte
Subs – 16. Dave Williams 17. Nick Cunningham 18. Ronan O’Donnell
St. Marys J4 XV
18 - 13
St Marys 18 Wanderers 13
A nail biting finish saw the J4's desperately defending our line as Wanderers lay siege in search of the try to pull them level and send them through to the Super 6. Wave after wave of pick and goes were somehow kept out and the defence held and then won a crucial turnover to secure the win and a spot in the Premier group of the league.
The game started at a hectic pace, the teams were going at it helter skelter. Wanderers initially had the better of the play but we slowly got a foothold in the game after Ted slotted a penalty to make it 3-0. Not long after we were awarded another penalty which was kicked to the corner. The catch and drive saw second row Joe Doddy emerged from the pile up with ball in hand to claim the first try of the match. It looked like it was going to be easy for the home side but Wanderers had other ideas and came back at us with everything they could muster. Two fine penalties from their 10 and one more from Ted saw the half time score 11-6.
The second half was a total reversal of the first and Wanderers dominated all the play as they pushed hard for scores. Mary's were still in the dressing room as the pressure was piled on and somehow managed to hold the Wanderers attacks to within an inch of the line until the 60th minute when they got the try they richly deserved. A successful conversion saw them take the lead at 13-11 and they still did not relent in their surge for the line. Somehow on 70 minutes, after Teds stats had taken a bashing with three closely missed penalties, Richie Pyne emerged with the ball inside our 22 and broke a tackle to go 60 metres down field before off loading to supporting fullback Paul Whyte who added to last weeks hat trick by providing the pace to finish off the move. Both players had fantastic games and a mention has to go to Whytzer who managed no less than three try saving tackles in the one move underneath our own posts! As far as the match was concerned there was still time for Wanderers to camp out on the Mary's line before the gladiatorial defensive efforts paid off and the ref blew the final whistle.
All in all, a fantastic performance which sees us through to face Wanderers (again), Belvo, Lansdowne and last seasons runners up Barnhall as well as this seasons run away leaders Greystones Away in the Premier Section Super 6.
1. Alan Godfrey 2. Tim D.H. Henderson 3. Eamon Moran 4. Joe Doddy 5. John Twomey 6. Rory O'Neill 7. Richie Pyne 8. Phil Conway 9. Ronan O'Donnell 10. Teddy Moran 11. Andrew Godfrey 12. Darragh O'Neill 13. Stephen Muldowney 14. Shane Cunningham 15. Paul Whyte
Sub -Fionan Henry
12 - 20
St. Marys J4 XV
Lansdowne 12 St Mary’s College 20
A superb victory was fought out against a very good Lansdowne outfit on Saturday afternoon in Ballycorus. Due to work, holiday and wife in labour commitments there were a few desperate phonecalls made on the morning ofthe game to get a few retirees to dust off the boots and give us a dig out. The fact that the starting back row consisted of 2 retired centres and a current winger shows how many players were missing on the day.
The game started at a fierce pace with both teams giving it their all from the off. A Lansdowne infringement gave Ted the chance to improve on his poor stats from the previous week and he made no mistake in difficult windy conditions to make it 3-0. The referee seemed to enjoy blowing the whistle and with more than half of the rucks being blown up for some form of misdemeanor the penalties flowed and soon the scores were level at 6-6 (Teds stats still perfect on the day). Some loose Lansdowne play then afforded us the chance to counter attack and after some beautiful handling Nick Cunningham stepped inside two players before turning on the after burners and racing under the posts for the games first try. Ted kept the stats at 100% with the simple conversion and another Lansdowne penalty left the halftime score at 13-9.
The second half was again a hard fought battle between two very evenly matched teams. The ref again insisted on blowing up for infringements against both sides and a great long range effort from the hosts saw them cut the score to 13-12. With both sets of players and supporters perplexed by the refereeing calls it was inevitable that one of our lads would follow theLansdowne hooker (first half) to a spell in the bin and on cue up stepped Pyner! As he violently and dangerously picked himself off the ground within two feet of an opposition player the ref had no choice but to bin him for “starting it all off”! A lengthy ban will surely follow……….. Back to the action and after holding Lansdowne off the line for a spell we went down the other end and some lovely shortside breaks eventually saw Tim Henderson come steaming onto a popped inside ball and hold his footing despite an imaginary ankle tap to cross the line. Ted added the extras for a 20-12 lead going into the final 15 minutes and keep those stats up. A huge and inspired defensive effort from 1-15 was produced to hold the Lansdowne pack back from the try line and after yet another penalty was awarded by the ref the ball was hoofed into touch to end the game.
A tremendous win under the circumstances and it moves us to second behind the Greystones Away dream team. A massive thank you to the lads who came out at the last minute to make sure we could field a team…… Wally, Carpo, Caolan, Seb and Karl. Next up Belvo away on Saturday (although this may change to midweek).
Finally, on behalf of the entire J4 squad, congratulations to Rory O’Neill and his wife who had a baby boy on Saturday morning!
16 - 22
St. Marys J4 XV
Old Belvedere 16 St Marys 22
On a bitterly cold day out in Anglesea road the J4’s came through another tough battle to beat Belvo and remain hot on the heels of Greystones J2s who still top the J4 Super Six table.
The game started with a sustained period of pressure from the Belvo team and we were stretched at times to hold the line and keep them scoreless. With what seemed like our first attack of the match a lovely flowing move down the right led to Ted putting Wally in the clear and he galloped over the line to make it 0-5. Ted, feeling somewhat delicate from the night before, never looked at ease and his stats suffered when he hit the post with the conversion. Belvo came straight back at us and after huge pressure and some unusual calls from the referee they crossed the line for an unconverted try to leave the half time scores at 5-5. The game itself was more entertaining than the score suggests and with two men in the bin (Pyner again!!) the start of the second half was going to be tough.
Even with the 2 men in the bin we came out with a determination and drive to bring the game to Belvo. Again, we used our backs and after dragging the very physical Belvo pack across the park a few times the space out wide was exploited beautifully to put young Bam Bam in the clear and he showed electric pace to score in the corner. A difficult conversion from the touchline was nailed by Wally (Ted had decided it was not a day to risk the stats) and we found ourselves 12-5 up. Almost immediately from the kick off in a carbon copy move Bam Bam again got the ball in space and took off for the corner. He appeared to be bundled into touch just before grounding the ball but the ref was happy to award the try and another perfect kick from the touchline saw us move 19-5 clear and seemingly the game was sown up. However, Belvo got two cheap penalties and a try to leave the score at 19- 16 with fifteen minutes left. Some further heroic defending kept them from taking the lead and eventually we got a kickable penalty to make sure they would need a converted try to win the game. Relief came at last as the ref blew up and ended the game with a score of 16-22 to Marys.
A big thank you again to the guys who gave us a dig out due to injuries and other commitments. That’s it for 2011 and the defending champions are in a strong position to challenge for the title again. With Greystones stacking up the points it is a very hard task ahead of us, however the lads are confident that, in a fair fight, we can turn the tables on them.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the club members from the entire J4 squad!
St. Marys J4 XV
17 - 5
J4’s 17 Lansdowne 5
An early KO for the J4’s and clearly a few players on both sides were still in bed! The game started off in a sloppy manor with silly mistakes from both teams. Not much of note had happened in the game when a lovely break from Pyner led to him putting the returning Shane Cunningham in the clear and with one man to beat to the corner there was only ever going to be one winner and Cunno duly turned on the gas to score the opening try. Ted added the conversion to make it 7-0. There wasn’t long to wait before our second try, some lovely back play saw Nick race clear and with one man to beat passed outside to Bam Bam who was up in support and he was never going to be caught as he ran, unaccompanied, under the posts to make the conversion easy for Ted to slot over. 14-0 up and there was a real chance this could turn into a rout. Fair play to Lansdowne however, they fought back into the game and only for some determined defence would have had more than their one try right on half time scored by their giant no. 8.
The second half was a dull affair as the ground became tacky and the match became a slog with neither team being able to put away the sparse chances which presented themselves. Some good pressure from Lansdowne meant the lads needed to give themselves a few reminders and gradually took control of the game despite creating few chances. The only score of the half came from a penalty from Ted to make up for the “perfect stat” ruining earlier penalty miss. A mention to Chi Yuen who despite showing a shocking loss of pace after too many nights out over Christmas managed to dump the Lansdowne 8 as he attacked our line toward the end of the game. No mean feat!
Next up Greystones and their all conquering J, ahem, 4 team.
St. Marys J4 XV
6 - 17
St Marys 6 - Greystones 17
The J4’s had been waiting for this game since the 54-0 drubbing we took to an exceptionally strong Stones J4 outfit at the start of the league campaign. While revenge was on the minds, the main aim was to show Stones that we could put it up to them and to prove to ourselves that this self titled Greystones “Galacticos” team could be beaten.
The game started with early pressure from both sides in equal measure. Eventually Stones got the first break and slotted a penalty for 3-0. Within a few minutes disaster struck and after some unusually poor defence from us, Greystones scored in the corner and converted to leave the score at 10-0. While Stones may have expected a collapse, and “Looks like trouble” could be heard from the sidelines, the lads decided to up the intensity again and after Eamon was held up over the line, Ted kicked the penalty advantage to make it 3-10. While we piled on the pressure and drove a physically superior pack back time and time again, a breakaway hoof down the pitch saw their winger up against No.8 Padraig Nestor and uimhir a ceathair Joe Doddy in a long run to the line. Nestor judged the bounce of the ball perfectly and deliberately slowed his pace to ensure the wingers hack kick would fall his way!
Having survived this scare we managed to get into the Stones 22 again and Ted utilized his new tee to good effect and made it 6-10 at half time.
The second half was a mixed bag, with both sides having periods of pressure, Stones just edging it on territorial advantage. As the game began to get sloppy due to the heavy ground and a string of yellow cards for both sides we were forced into running from deep. It was off one of these attempts that there No.6 intercepted and trotted in under the posts for the match winning score. Despite huge further pressure from Stones the defence held firm and the score remained 6-17.
All in all the J4’s proved they were more than capable of holding their own against the “galacticos”. With the league a lost cause we can concentrate on getting the lads ready for the cup campaign. On the evidence of today, we have no team to fear and hopefully can regain the cup last won two years ago.
17 - 21
St. Marys J4 XV
Wanderers J4 17 St Marys J4 21
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Never have the famous words been more apt than after Saturdays display of courage and steel from the men in blue. Due to injuries, late cry off’s and one no show the J4’s were forced to take to the field with only 13 players against a Wanderers side who ran us close in Templeville, came within 4 points of toppling the Greystones Galacticos a few weeks back and sat above us in the table!
Right from the off the brave 13 tore into Wanderers and despite the numerical advantage we more than held our own in the early exchanges. After only 5 minutes it seemed the impossible could yet be achieved and after a lovely set play move, Muller (centre by trade, back row by necessity) ran a lovely line to cut straight through the Wanderers defence and canter in under the posts. Ted added the conversion to make it 7-0. The pressure began to mount from Wanderers and, after a penalty to make it 7-3, a crooked throw from our lineout allowed them to scoop up the ball and skip through two tackles to score and take the lead 10-7. The pressure didn’t stop and only immense last gasp defending kept Wanderers at bay. As the half drew to a close and with still no sign of the cavalry arriving a long kick up the park led to a Wanderers scrum under their posts. Oddly, they chose to run the ball out and “retired” Paul Moran showed he still has an eye for a half chance as he tipped their pass up in the air before catching the ball over the line and securing our second try. Ted slotted the kick to leave the half time score 14-10.
Some desperate phone calls from the sideline as the first half began meant we would be up to 15 by the end of the game but as the second half kicked off the first “sub” arrived. With 14 v 15 it was meant to get easier. However the lads had used up a lot of energy in the first half and it began to tell as Wanderers began to dictate the pace of the game. On a surface better suited to Laytown, the J4’s continued to hold fast. Some inspiring defence at times meant the score remained the same until 15 minutes into the second half outhalf Teddy Moran threw one of his trade mark dummies and galloped for the line. Rather than being selfish he drew the full back and popped the scoring pass to his brother Paul, who touched down for a giant score! The simple conversion made it 21-10 and suddenly the reality set in that this game was ours to lose. Our number four, Joe Doddy, arrived shortly afterward to allow us the full compliment of 15 men for the final 20 mins. And boy did we need him! The previous 60 minutes had taken its toll and weary legs were beginning to show. The grand cru was put back on ice as Wanderers scored another try from fatigue induced mistakes by us. As the clock ticked closer to the end the time seemed to slow down and after what seemed like a third half of defending right on our own line the ref blew for a penalty against the home side and Ted gratefully kicked the ball dead to cue richly deserved celebrations. A truly epic performance from St Marys.
Wanderers had been second and with both of us having played runaway leaders Greystones twice this effectively was the decider for second spot. Not a bad result with 13 players!
A huge thanks to Ciaran, Joe and Wally for giving us a hand. Ciaran dropped his Saturday plans to come at extreme short notice (the match had kicked off when he got the call!), Joe cut short his wedding planning and Wally yet again answered the call so we could field a team. He’s played more matches since he retired than some of our main players! He won’t be put out to pasture just yet!
On a separate note, congratulations to Greystones RFC on winning the J4 league. Without doubt the strongest team in the competition.
St. Marys J4 XV
20 - 0
St Marys 7 Belvo 13
While the history books will record the match as a 20-0 win for Marys due to Belvo having to go uncontested in the scrums, the game itself finished in a disappointing loss.
We got out of the stalls quickly and where soon exerting pressure on the Belvo line. Within the first few phases of play and within a head of the line Ciaran dug a pass out of the ruck and Ted threw a dummy and found a gap to squeeze himself through before crashing over the line. With the conversion scrapping inside the post it was 7-0 and we were off and running.
Unfortunately that was our lot for the match and Belvo soon discovered that their physical pack was the way to do most damage. A forwards game ensued and soon they crashed over for a try. Conversion missed but it was 7-5 and a further try and penalty saw them stretch their lead to 13-7. We fought valiantly and try as we might we couldn’t get the winning try. The team were brave in calling some daring backline moves that very nearly paid off but on a cold day and with most of them playing together for the first time some uncharacteristic handling errors meant the final scoreline was 7-13.
It’s a glowing testament to the club spirit that so many lads were willing to come out and help us get a squad for the day when we were in such dire need. A huge thanks to Ciaran, George, Carl, the two Steves, Ryan, the two Daves, DB, Mick and Hugh. Without guys like this the junior side of club rugby would be a poorer place.
Thanks also to Belvo who despite starting with no front row and 14 players for the first ten minutes still made the journey across town to fulfil the fixture. An enjoyable game even if it wasn’t the prettiest to watch!
Next up Barnhall away in the final league game before the quest to bring the Colonel home begins on the 10th March.
18 - 22
St. Marys J4 XV
Parkmore 18 St Marys 22
Right from the start this was a tense, hard fought affair. Parkmore were champing at the bit to tear into us and they did just that and some good early pressure saw them take the lead, 3-0, with a simple penalty after indiscipline from the away side. Shortly after this the J4 prodigal son marked his return with a trademark skip and dance down the pitch and Cunno was just stopped short of a dream comeback try. Some quick recycling got the ball to Brian “twofives” Moran who threw the dummy and cantered over to make it 3-5 with the conversion duly added pushing us to a 3-7 lead.
Parkmore where never giving up easily though and retook the lead with a soft try that we really should have dealt with, 8-7. We then scored another well worked try when quick hands in the midfield allowed winger Bam Bam to show his pace and he powered home from 40 metres out, running like a sprinter, sacrificing any regard for himself as the defence bore down on him. No one could catch him however and with the conversion from out wide just missing the target the half time score was 12-8 to Marys.
The second half was messier than the first half, indiscipline from both sides seeing the ref warning both teams after a number of handbags were thrown. Parkmore seemed to be getting a slight advantage in the decisions and a penalty and converted try saw them lead 18-11 with only 15 minutes remaining. It was time for calm heads and clear thinking as the J4’s faced their own personal hill! Ted slotted a penalty and as he lined up an equalising shot at the posts checks were being made on the rules surrounding a draw and extra time. However, the stats were not to be improved and the kick drifted agonisingly wide.
With time almost up we needed a moment of inspiration. Take a bow Ted and Bam Bam. As the ball came to twofives out wide on the 22, Ted looked up and delivered a pin point cross field kick to the waiting Bam Bam who’d ran with the intensity of a hurricane, flying onto the ball and crashing over to much celebration. The conversion was vital and meant Parkmore needed a try to win it. Try as they might the Marys defence held strong and while another ref may have given a try as they seemed to cross the line toward the end it was not to be on this occasion and we held on for the victory. A win is a win and whether it’s by 100 points or 1 point it doesn’t matter in the cup so we take it and move on to face Terenure J4’s in Lakelands on the 24th March.