04.02.2011 U20 Premier XV v Terenure (H)

04/02/20117:30pmJ.P. Fanagan LeagueSt. Marys U21s 1st XV32 – 0TerenureHome

St. Mary’s V Terenure (32-0)

The Squad:
1.Shane Kearney 2. Rory O’Donovan 3. Robert Ferris 4. Stephen Maguire 5. Gavin Thornberry 6. Mark Fallon 7.Thomas Lamboley, 8. Darragh Keller 9. Chris Lilly 10. Darragh Fitzgerald 11. Owen Mariarty 12. Hugh McGovern 13. Ryan O’Loughlin 14., Ciaran Collins 15. Ray Crotty 

Subs: Tom O’Reilly, Domhaill Drumm, Ronan Lennon, JJ Clarke, Simon O’Donnell, Colin Sheridan, Steve Toal Lennon.

Once again we faced our local rivals in the worst of weather conditions. To say the game was played in gale force winds would not be unreasonable as the rain travelled horizontally down the pitch from the score board end to the road. Under lights in Templeville last Friday evening, St Mary’s played against the wind in the first half and one would rightly have expected us to spend the first half running backwards.

This was not to be the case and what ensued contained some of the best performances I have seen from an U21 squad. Our pack was totally dominant from the start with the front row now well settled in. While the wind made line outs particularly difficult, we managed to hold our own in this also, allowing for good platform for the backs to run at Terenure. What was most impressive for me however was the new found patience demonstrated by this squad. This is difficult to teach and is only really achieved when a squad know that they are good enough to win, are confident in their abilities and trust fully the game plan on the coaches.

After 10 minutes and following a controlled episode of 10 phases, Chris Lilly produced an excellent pass to Darragh Fitz who timed a perfect pass to Ryan O’Loughlin (on the crash ball). Ryan’s momentum carried him through the first tackle and he then raced in from the 22mtr to score under the posts.

Over the next 10 minutes, St Mary’s broke the defensive line on several occasions, only to have the wind carry the attempted passes to ground. On a dry day these would certainly have resulted in scores.

On 20 minutes, Darragh Keller once again delivered. Breaking from the back of a solid scrum, he raced / dummied / skipped his way to the Terenure 22mtr line where he delivered a well timed pass to Chris in support who went over for another excellent try. (Looks like Chris’s lucky penny is paying dividends … must get myself one!)

On 30 minutes, again following a patient and consistent attack, Robert Ferris crashed over from 22 mtrs out (or was it 2mtrs?) I’m not too sure and neither is he, Robert having sustained a mild concussion some minutes earlier. He was pleased however when I told him at half time that he had scored. Needless to say he was replaced by Tom O’Reilly for the second half and Tom continued the dominance by the front row over Terenure, fitting in very well to the pack.

Little changed in the second half as St Mary’s continued to patiently dominate the opposition. Keller again displayed excellent vision and speed, this time crashing over himself from 5mtrs to score the fourth try of the day.

Minutes later, following an excellent passage of play and good hands by the back line, Ryan jinked his way past the defence again and delivered an excellent pass to Hugh McGovern in support (all day!) who then raced over in the corner.

Our last try of the day came from a push over scrum from the 5mtr line which Keller controlled well and touched down. (Darragh asked me to remind the readers that this is his 7th try in four games but I told him that would be boasting!!!).

All in all this was an excellent performance and the breakdown of tries (3 for the forwards and 3 for the backs) demonstrates that it was a team effort.

This performance not only puts us in an excellent position to re-enter the All Ireland competition but also demonstrates that we are now a real contender for the competition.

Thanks to those dedicated parents who braved the awful conditions on the night.