04.10.2009 U20 Premier XV v Old Belvedere (H)

04/10/20093:00pmFSt. Marys U21s 1st XV45 – 8Old BelvedereHome

St Mary’s U21 V’s Belvedere (45-8)

Now this is what I call a positive start to the season and gives us all heart for the season ahead. While this was only a friendly match and therefore not too much should be read into it, the performance and the attitude of the whole squad was excellent on the day and demonstrated in public the huge amount of work that is being done on the training ground.

The Squad on the day was as follows:

Jamie O’Reilly, Tommy Meredith, Neil Murphy, Robbie Field, Gavin Thornberry, Sean Tevlin, Darragh Duggan, Darragh Keller, Brian Heavy, Colin Sheridan, Ray Crotty, Edourd Nicolay, Steve Toal Lennon, Ian O’Neill, Darragh Hudson, Eoin Walsh, Sean Preston, Ciarán Collins, Daragh Fitzgerald, Conor Gormley, Ronan Lennon, Owen McGill, Ross O’Brien, Simon O’Donnell, Ross Molloy.

Straight from the get-go Robbie set the tone for the day, catching the kick-off and charging 30 meters up the field. Excellent support from Keller followed by good back running led to the first penalty of the day. Ray converted the penalty.

10 Minutes in, an offside ruling allowed ray to kick his second penalty of the day.

The pack was on fire. Excellent rucking and attacking forward pressure was rewarded by a great forwards try. Darragh Duggan grounded the ball.

Belvo resorted to long distance clearances and Nellie retrieved one of these. After an excellent and typically Nellieske run he passed to Steve Toal Lennon on the touch line (10mtr line). Steve showed his blistering pace (and not for the last time) and jinked his way around the defence until the gap opened up. He then sprinted 35 mtrs to score under the posts. Ray converted with ease.

Belvo fought back but there was simply no way past Steve and Edouard (who tackled like a demon all day). A turnover by the forwards and Nellie was off and running again. Excellent support from Keller and Robbie in particular had Belvo panicked. They gave away a penalty in front of their posts. Again Ray converted.

Again Belvo came back but Steve placed an excellent relieving kick. A knock on by Belvo and the resulting scrum allowed the St Mary’s pack to set up an excellent solid platform for the back line. Keller broke right with the ball from the back of the scrum and passed to Hudson. Hudson ran on to his well practiced grubber kick behind the defence and ran in a try from the 25mtr line.

Belvo scored a penalty from the 10yrd line just before the interval.

Time to give the rest of the squad a run out so Ciarzo replaced Nellie, Bisto replaced Murph and Lenzo replaced Gavin.

Following an excellent scrum against the head, the ball was sent out the line from Heavy to Sheridan to Steve (who again injected blistering pace) and off-loaded to Ray who ran in a well constructed and perfectly finished team try in the corner.

Walsh now replaced Tev. McGill replaced Robbie, O’Donnell replaced Heavy, Fitzer replaced Hudson, O’Brien replaced Sheridan and Gorm replaced Merideth (not before he left his mark on the Belvo No 10 with a made a huge tackle).

A disappointing break away (still some work to be done) allowed Belvo in for a try which they failed to convert.

The work rate remained high however from the pack and another good platform was followed by a well practiced back line move which Ray ran over. Ray converted again.

Steve again showed his pace following a good back line move and excellent team support and ran in his second try of the day.

Murph now replaced Jamie who was soon back on after Bisto went down injured.

Belvo’s last attempt to up the pace failed on the St Mary’s line following some excellent defensive work from the pack. A break away by Keller (again) and a clever clearance kick from Cirzo. Now we are back on their 25Mtr again.

Overall, it was an excellent performance from the squad. Obviously there remains a significant amount of work to be done (and the coaches would be in a better position than I to detail this) but the spirit of the team is excellent. The forwards are fit and committed and the back line is very talented.

One swallow…….etc.etc… so let’s see if we can reproduce this performance against Clontarf at the weekend.