20.02.2010 1st XV v UL Bohemians (H)

20/02/20102.30pmAILSt. Marys 1st XV39 – 12UL BohemiansHome

St Mary’s College RFC V U L Bohemians RFC

39 12

Templeville Road, Saturday 20th February 2010

AIL Division 1 A


The uplifting win in the LSLC final two weeks ago had the desired effect, bringing back urgency and confidence; and all can rejoice in this win and the performance. As the game progressed, the full range of the team’s skills showed and the early profligacy disappeared leading to a five-try bonus point win. There was some lack of concentration and decisiveness evident over the first twenty minutes when chances were discarded and questionable decisions made. UL Bohs contributed handsomely to the game and they also missed some chances but overall we deserved the win and if we can continue with this neoblastic development, we can have very real hopes of league honours. Important for the future, was that this was a squad performance, with every player making a worthwhile contribution. Peter Smyth, Ciaran Potts and Shaun Mc Carthy will be happy with the condition and deserve great credit. Our set pieces were secure and much of the ball obtained from these was well used; and our kicking game is slowly improving. Defence is vital in the modern high tempo game and filing spaces securely and rapidly getting wide is essential, this was done expeditiously today and our backrow worked incessantly, the four backrowers on view made major contributions to the game and Hugh Hogan, the captain played his added leadership role with alacrity. The urgency and ruthlessness of the rucking have returned to a good degree, and will improve further, and after the initial stages the handling and offloading was good. The remainder of the pack played their part with Logie back to his best, Robin starting to regain his artistry and the front row, all five on view, were good, in the loose and tight. Behind the scrum Conor Mc Phillips has taken to his scrumhalf role return effortlessly and put in a mature performance in all respects defending well, giving effective service, probing and varying tactics; he could also be heard guiding the mauls and rucks. It was agreed generally, that he deserved the man of the match accolade. It was pleasure to watch the three quarters working in harmony. Overall, this was an extremely entertaining game and UL Bohs made a substantial contribution to it. The attractiveness of the present league system is the importance of every game, but this can also be a burden on a team and militate against adventure. It is good to relate that this was not the case today and it was a fast flowing game full of enjoyment and endeavour and a credit to both teams.

The first half started on a lovely bright but cool afternoon on a firm pitch, with UL playing towards the road end and running the ball at every opportunity, in fact often during the afternoon the game broke up into very attractive and exciting running phases, with both teams contributing. The high pace continued and Marys started to gain more possession and missed some chances, then on 20 minutes after six phases, and when attacking under the posts, UL Bohs were penalised for killing the ball illegally and had a forward sin binned. We took the opportunity and opted for a scrum; Conor broke wide and slipped the ball inside to number 8, Hugh Hogan, who went over close in. Gavin Dunne, who had a solid game, stroked the ball over and it was 7 – 0. Ten minutes later Conor again made a dart from a ruck, was stopped and Hugh picked drove hard and secured his second try, from this double act; after Gavin’s conversion, it was 14 – 0. On 34 minutes, Gavin Hickie, who had been doing well, took a bang on the head and had to retire, with Richard Sweeney, returning from injury, taking his place at hooker. We continued to press and play attractive rugby for the remainder of the half.

The second half was only two minutes old when, under pressure, UL tried to clear their lines and following up fast we blocked the kick and Richie Sweeney pounced on the ball over the line to score, making the score 19 – 0. Then, only three minutes later, the best try of the game was secured when Ronan Doherty, making good ground down the right touch line, placed the ball on the tackle and it was speedily swept out to the far wing, Darragh Fanning made good ground past defenders, then veered in and slipped the ball to Mark Sexton who accelerated between two defenders and scored close in for Gavin to do his job again and it was 26 – 0. A few minutes later Darragh went off with a hamstring strain, Stuart O’Flanagan replacing him and Jack Mc Grath came on for the very active Kevin (Chunky) Carroll. Later in the half, Barry O’Flanagan came on for Paul Nash, who had run to near drop, and Phillip Brophy made a welcome and impressive return, with Gavin coming up to outhalf and Shaun withdrawing. Bohs scored a good try from winger, Cian Aherne on 12 minutes and Gavin converted a penalty on 13 minutes to bring the score to 29 – 7. He added another penalty on 25 minutes and then on 31 minutes the ball spewed out from the side of a ruck near halfway, Robin on the club house touch line picked it and sprinted along the line leaving defenders in his wake, he then cut in to score close in and again Gavin completed the job with the conversion, now it was 39 – 7. On 38 minutes they got a deserved consolation try from a well worked cross kick, they scored out wide and failed to convert, making the final score 39 – 12. Referee, Alain Rolland, who had a fine game, blew the final whistle exactly on 40 minutes.

It was great fillip to win that game and regain confidence and position and it made a perfect introduction for the club dinner later in the evening. Obviously, Rynner was overjoyed and able to relax and enjoy his big night and the players in his support turned up in big numbers for the most enjoyable dinner. Instead of bunting, Niall organised snow to fall and create a magical maelstrom under the floodlights.

On 6th of March, next Saturday week, we go to Stradbrook Road to face Blackrock in an important engagement. We are in third place with 29 points, ahead of Dolphin with 26 points. Rock have 25 points and a game in hand. They have to play each other yet. So it is clear how important the game against Rock is and for all to make the effort to go and support the team.

D O’Brien

Team :- 15 G Dunne, 14 R Doherty, 13 S Grissing, 12 M Sexton, 11 D Fanning (S O’Flanagan), 10 S Mc Carthy (P Brophy), 9 C Mc Phillips, 8 H Hogan (Capt), 7 P Nash (B O’Flanagan), 6 D Hall, 5 R Copeland, G Logan, 3 K Carroll (J Mc Grath), 2 G Hickie (Richard Sweeney) 1 Robert Sweeney.