|07/03/2014||8:00pm||F||DLSP||10 – 5||St. Marys J5 XV||Away|
J5 XV 5-10 DLSP
With no league game last weekend it was a much changed J5 side that took to the field in Stepaside on Friday night for what was billed as a friendly against De La Salle Palmerstown. The conditions were cold but otherwise perfect for rugby and Mary’s got off to a good start, putting pressure on the opposition from the kick off. With an agreement in place to contest scrums No. 8 Tony Flynn decided to show what the Mary’s pack was made of by knocking the ball forward several times in the opening minutes. After being pushed all over the park Mary’s decided to switch to uncontested scrums and spent the remainder of the first half battering the DLSP line. A lapse in concentration led to an unconverted DLSP try which they followed shortly afterwards with two missed penalties. Towards the tail end of the first half, prop Maurice Davin found himself under a high ball just inside the DSLP half and having trained only once in the past 2 years (he left after half an hour) nobody expected what came next; a catch Lee Halfpenny would have been proud of, followed by a monster skip pass missing out three players landed in the hands of wing Shane Levins (his quick feet are the result of years spent running around a yacht in his dubarrys) who promptly beat five defenders and touched down. With Andrew Fitzpatrick not on kicking duties it looked like Mary’s would take the lead but James Bourke’s missed conversion meant it was all square at the interval. It seems just having Fitzpatrick on the same pitch meant the kick was guaranteed to sail wide.
Starting the second half at 5-5 and with a number of changes in the backline, Mary’s found themselves hammering the DLSP line once more. However an incident involving second half substitute Owen Clery and new hooker Alan Moughty led to a lengthy stoppage as a DLSP flanker took a break from fighting with his own players to punch some of the opposition. A folicly challenged DLSP winger got in on the act and landed several blows on a defenceless Owen Clery (who reacted with his usual calm and composure) before the ref intervened and sent nobody off. Maurice Davin proceeded to explain to anyone who was listening that he was the team manager and such fisticuffs were unacceptable, all the while cowering behind J5 coach Colin Burkley. A game of rugby broke out soon after and DLSP were in the ascendency, their previously mentioned flanker taking on all comers (regardless of what jersey they were wearing). With the entire Mary’s bench emptied there was bound to be some structure problems and DLSP found themselves with an overlap touching down on the far right of the posts, missing the conversion. A late rally wasn’t enough and DLSP held firm, aided in part by replacement Mary’s scrumhalf Andrew Doran shouting “pick 8, go” just before the Mary’s No. 8 picked off the base of the scrum, allowing the DLSP backrow and defence to get themselves organised. 10-5 to DLSP the final score but a good showing over 80mins and a trademark moral victory for Mary’s J5.