01.11.2014 1st XV v Ballynahinch (A)

Ballynahinch RFC V St Mary’s College RFC

33 13

UB AIL Division 1 A

Ballymacarn Park

1st November 2014.


Ironically, having played the most positive and adventurous rugby for a long part of this game St Marys ended up with the largest defeat so far. For straight away, it must be said that this team did not deserve to leave Ballynahinch with such a deficit.

The first half, while playing with a strong wind and in heavy rain this young team moved the ball with pace, precision and confidence. In attack there was innovation, direction and accuracy and in defence organisation, width and execution. During this period the team, lost hard working Keelan Mc Kenna to injury.

In fact, under the conditions, it was an attractive, fast game between two disciplined and skilful teams. Marys scored first with a try from Ray Crotty following an adventurous andeffective quick tap and go, after a penalty awarded in front of the posts on the 10-metre line, from scrumhalf David Fanagan, who had a fine game. A quick recycle from the breakdown close to the Hinch line, saw the ball pass along the backline and Mark Sexton (good to have him back) sent a perfect pass to Ray who burst through two defenders to score out wide. In fact, we deservedly led all the way to the hour mark and scored another try early in the second half, through Sean Mc Carthy, from a mauled lineout. Although we did lose four lineouts, overall, this area too improved under difficult conditions.

So what went wrong? The second half Marys played into a grey, opaque curtain of rain and a swirling, unkind wind andwhen Ballynahinch raised their game in the last quarter, theirgreater avoirdupois, the lack of mature power and experiencein the Marys’ team proved fatal. Additionally, under pressure, the defence became a little narrower leaving space out wide. We must not be begrudging, Hinch deserved their win and worked hard for it. They will be very grateful to have received a generously awarded penalty try, which being the fourth try, gave them a bonus point. We too will have gained from this experience.

Smythy, Broph and Jonny have worked very hard and the work they have put in was evident today. They deserved a better return, but it will come. There are many very talented young players in the squad and they will shine under the tutelage of these coaches. We also have a commendable,committed and talented captain in Kevin Sheahan, returning from injury. Together they will lift the spirit of the squad andthe club. We must do our part and support them in all respects.

Friday looms and Lansdowne visit us at Templeville Road under lights. Bring your friends, your neighbours even the budgerigar and really get behind this young team and they will lift your spirits and bring you joy; but do come.

D O’Brien.

The Team (Rolling substitutions)

15 R Crotty, 14 C Toolan, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 M Sexton, 11 M O’Driscoll, 10 C Marsh, 9 D Fanagan, 8 N Timoney, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 Richard Sweeney, 5 D O’Connor, 4 K McKenna, 3 Robert Sweeney, 2 S McCarthy, 1 B McGovern.R O’Donovan, T O’Reilly, K Sheahan, S Bradshaw, R Glynn