|08/11/2009||2.30pm||J.P. Fanagan League||Dublin University||16 – 23||St. Marys U21s 1st XV||Away|
St Mary’s U21’s JP Fanagan Vs Trinity
23 – 16
This was always going to be a very difficult match. As expected, Trinity fielded a strong squad and were obviously out to seek revenge for their defeat to St Mary’s in the Tomsie Byrne Cup (Newbridge) earlier in the season.
The match was however dominated by the poor condition of the pitch which was very slippery under foot and made it difficult for either team to show their true potential.
That said, it was the same for both teams and the first half was nip and tuck all the way.
Trinity’s kicker was an obvious danger as he converted and early penalty from distance. Gareth Austin chased down the restart ball and put in an excellent tackle. This resulted in a penalty to St Mary’s (for not releasing) and Ray converted well.
Again the St Mary’s weakness showed itself too often throughout the first half where we were turned over time and time again. It is difficult for the players who make the hard yards to see the ball stolen and the advantage lost.
One such turnover on the half way line was well worked by Trinity, breaking down the blind side and running in a try under the posts. Game on!!!
Sean Preston (Bisto), Robert Ferris (Wheel) and Rory O’Donovan (Rocky) in the front row took control of the scrums and time and time again turned the Trinity scrum. Our lineouts, while still needing some work, were much improved and this platform is all the back line need to show their class.
Following a well worked scrum on the opposition 10yrd line, Chris Lilly broke the defensive line (and not for the first time today) and his well timed pass almost put Steve Toal-Lennon in under the posts. Robbie Field in support was not about to be denied and he collected the ruck ball and drove over for a well deserved try.
There after followed a penalty for Trinity and one for St Mary’s.
It was always going to take a moment of brilliance to break the deadlock and the quys were not found wanting. Not surprisingly this moment began with Darragh Keller who was immense throughout the day. His break from the back of a defensive scrum (our 25yrd line) was perfectly timed. He offloaded to Nellie, who in turn displayed is hand-off skills and pace, breaking two tackles and then offloading to Chris Lilly in support. Chris was stopped just short of the line by an excellent tackle for the Trinity no 7. What was almost as impressive as the individual skills of the backs was the arrival at pace (1st on the scene) of Bisto, Wheel and Rocky who secured the ball for Darrah Fitzgerald to pick and dive under the posts. What a moment!!!
Ciaran Collins was brought on at Full Back and Darren Hudson (who played a very solid defensive and attacking game all day) was moved to Out Half.
Neil Murphy replaced Robert Ferris.
Ray converted an excellent penalty from the 10yrd line and was unfortunate not to get his 100% record on the day with a difficult miss in the last minutes.
Trinity elected to kick a penalty with 5 minutes to go rather than attempt a try and in doing so secured a bonus point from the day.
All in all a very good day at the office by the lads and one they should take great pride from. When they work together and “believe”, they are a force to be reckoned with and the talent is certainly in this squad to go all the way.
Terenure next week at home is a crucial match and all are welcome. See you there!