19/04/20142:30pmAILCork Constitution30 – 30St. Marys 1st XVAway
Cork Constitution FC V St Mary’s College RFC
Temple Hill AIL Division
1A Saturday 19th April 2014
All singing all dancing– all swinging all lancing. It was worth the Easter traffic turmoil to take the tiring trip to Cork, for this was an exposition of all that is good about the club game. It showed that two teams in the league safety zone could give their every molecule to win. Both fought to the last whistle for the pride of their clubs and their teammates. The Marys’ team and supporters will be more disappointed, for all through they had the edge with sweeping moves and fast follow-ups. They came from behind having let in three tries against the run of play and a dacoitagic penalty. It was difficult for the team, having shown exemplary application and flamboyantly swept past Con only to see victory stolen at the final knell. That is not to say Con did not contribute to the quality and intensity of the game, oh yes they did. As you would expect from a team of Con’s heritage and quality they played with directness and skill.
The two clubs’ mini rugby squads added to the vernal vigour as they chanted on their respective sets of heroes.
As of last week the sun was shining with a lively breeze zipping down the pitch. It was perfect for fast rugby and the two teams played to the theme exactly. From the start Marys set the pace, making incisive runs, and holding possession well, however, when Con got to the strike area they showed precision and power. Our close defence was caught out on a couple of occasions. Credit to
Marys, against the wind, they stayed in touch with hard running, rucking and astute defensive kicking.
Marys faced a daunting target in the second half. They exploded into exhilarating action, playing at a pace that dazzled in the sun. They flew at the Con defence and built up the positives in all aspects of the game and then came the tries. They reached 25 – 30, with minutes to go only to see compelling appeals for penalties ignored and Con scoring in the corner. Breaths were held while the conversion effort fell away.
Since this was the last game of the current AIL campaign it might be better not to select players for match mention, except to say that Robbie Hudson, with a momentous performance, was man of the match.
Some heroes of the last number of years are either retiring or moving away for a period. They will no longer be involved at St Marys. These are in addition to those whom we mentioned earlier in the season and to whom we paid tribute previously. These included Rob and Richie Sweeney and Marvel Man Phillip Brophy.
We must thank Matthew D’Arcy for the wonderful contribution he has made over many years. He was ever instinctive and refreshing in his play and showed total dedication to St Marys. He will be greatly missed. Daren Hudson is going to further his rugby prowess and will be another great loss, having, with his brother Rob, been at the club since leaving school. Colm Mc Mahon has been with us since U20s and he has gonefrom strength to strength. He has been capped for the Ireland club team and has become a pillar of the p ack. His dad Pat has followed Colm from the start. He has been a marvellous supporter of the team, driving over from Skerries, even for training, when Colm was a non-driver. Young Conor Hogan is another who has climbed the ladder to the top from the U20s. He has been a superb performer at both wing and full back. Conor’s first instinct is to run, (rather than kick), and how he can run, a perfect attitude for a back three player. The special thing to be able to say about each one is that they are commendable young men affable, bright, and dependable.
With the end of the senior season it is time to reflect momentarily upon it. Notable wasthe steady improvement as the season progressed due to the hard work of irreplaceable Peter Smyth. He was greatly aided in having astute and dedicated Jonathan Garth as a colleague. In the latter part of the season Phillip Brophy joined the coaching team and the backs started truly skimming along. Phillip, as Marvel Man, was a signal player and leader. He has been equally impressive, as backs and defence coach. How lucky we are to have that trio. Additionally, having sagacious and prudent Paudge MC Gill has made everything smoother and more efficient, He has been fortunate too in having Peter O’Kelly to help and behind all has been Rob Sweeney, doing a lot of unseen work.
We should recall that personable and talented Club Captain Darragh Fanning. He was needed at Leinster and so could seldom play for us. However let us not forget that he performed all his other functions with alacrity. He was ever in support of his team and his club.
In the absence of Darragh, great recognition should be accorded Kevin Sheahan, who led the team on the field and acted as team captain. He led brilliantly and produced fine performances from his team and himself.
Thanks are due to all those. They have left us with a strong squad, requiring just a few new selected recruits to make us very real challengers for the league title next season.
Finally, big praise must go to Steven Hennessy our president. He has lived every aspect of the season, from entertainment, to administration, to rugby at all levels. With the haul of junior trophies mounting, he will feel most fulfilled. He positions the club in a remarkably healthy state rugby-wise, administratively and financially. He missed no meeting, no match at any level, when clashes were not involved. Steven has been ever, readily available, to all at the club. A great year for Steven and for the club.
St Marys: pens C Marsh, 3 and 75 mins; cons 43, 59, try 59 min. M O’Driscoll try 44min, B O’Flanagan try. 50 min, Ruddock try 65 min.
Cork Con. Tries: Michael Keyes, Conor Desmond, DarraghLyons, Eoin O’Donnell; Cons: Johnny Holland 2; Pens: Johnny Holland 2
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 C Hogan, 14 S Toal-Lennon,, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 Rob Hudson, 11 M O’Driscoll, 10 C Marsh, 9 M D’Arcy, 8 K Sheahan (Capt.), 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 M Fallon., 5 C Ruddock, 4 S Bradshaw, 3 B Mc Govern, 2 D Fawsitt, 1 C Mc Mahon, S Flanagan, T O’Reilly, G Austen, R Glynn, H Mc Donnell.