|St. Marys U21s 1st XV
|15 – 13
St Mary’s V Clontarf (Friendly) 15-13
This is the type of game that would drive me to drink, if I didn’t drink already and
I must admit I raised a glass or two the night before in celebration of Logie’s 30th birthday. (Happy Birthday Logie by the way!!)
Let’s start with the squad on the day.
Robert Ferris, Tommy Meredith, Neil Murphy, Owen McGill, Ronan Lennon, Wesley Wojnar, Garreth Austen, Darragh Keller, Simon O’Donnell, Daragh Fitzgerald, Ray Crotty, Edourd Nicolay, Richard McMicken, David Barnwell, Ciarán Collins, Claus Lehane, Robbie Field, Sean Tevlin, Francois Guirard, Brian Heavey, Colin Sheridan, Ian O’Neill, Michael Hanrahan.
As expected, Clontarf were tough opposition and if was good to come away with a win on the day. Overall I felt we were the better team but there were holes in our game which will certainly need to be plugged going forward.
On a positive note, our backs ran the ball very well and defended superbly giving Clontarf no opportunity of any note to break our lines. Some excellent running play by Ray Crotty set Ritchie up nicely for a touchline run. David Barnwell supported well and passed to Crotty in support. A well timed inside pass to Ciarán Collins (Ciarzo) who ran in for 5pts. Ray converted well.
Good open field play by Darragh Keller (all day), and Austen in support resulted in a penalty to Mary’s on 20 minutes. Ray again converted.
A penalty to Clontarf for handling on the ground gave them 3 pts on the 30min mark.
In the second half, following an excellent Mary’s lineout, the ball was to the centre of the field (25mtr line). Holding good position, O’Donnell gave an inside pass to Keller who broke three tackles with excellent aggressive running and scored in the corner.
With 15 minutes to go, following good pressure by the Clontarf forwards, they broke away and scored under the posts. (Remember the plugs I mentioned earlier??…well this is one of them).
In the centre of the field Edouard again made his mark with superb tackling but the whole backline performed well in defence. David Barnwell ran well out of defence and Ciarzo’s defensive positioning was good throughout the day. With only minutes to go, Clontarf made an excellent break along the touchline and Ian O’Neill (Nellie) came across from the opposite touchline to make a brilliant saving try. (Where have I seen that before???)
An honest assessment would note that we certainly suffered in the scrums as the match progressed and were often under pressure here to win our own ball. (Some more time required in the weights room for some of the guys I think!). We also gave away too many penalties throughout the day and failed to convert our own penalty opportunities. Practice required here also!!
Overall however, while it was not a pretty match to watch, our defence was very good and our lineouts were above average, allowing us to disrupt the Clontarf lineout more often than not. Our open play running was excellent as was the open play support. Still lots to be positive about. The first J.P Flanagan match is next Sunday (away) so the whole squad have a busy few days ahead of us