17.10.2010 U20 Premier XV v Old Belvedere (H)

17/10/20103:00pmJ.P. Fanagan LeagueSt. Marys U21s 1st XV16 – 25Old BelvedereHome

                        St. Mary’s V Old Belvedere (16-25)

“Effort and Courage are not enough without purpose and direction”

The Squad:

1.      Shane Kearney 2. Rory O’Donovan 3. Robert Ferris 4. Julien Cazabet 5. Ronan Lennon 6. Gavin Thornberry 7. Thomas Lamboley 8. Mark Fallon 9. Chris Lilly 10. Colin Sheridan 11. Owen Moriarty 12. Maurice Walsh 13. Steve Toal Lennon 14.Richie McMicken 15. Ciaran Collins

Subs: Ros Wynne, David Callanan, Darragh Devlin, Tom O’Reilly, Simon O’Donnell, Hugh McGovern, Daire Horgan.

What is most frustrating about this loss (apart, of course, from it being the fourth loss in a row) is the fact that the squad is actually a very talented group of guys and also the players certainly cannot be sanctioned for lack of effort on the training ground or at game time. So where is it coming apart?

A number of the squad remain from last season and have been added to by very talented new arrivals from far and wide. I would venture to suggest that it is the new arrivals who have, to date, had the more positive performances this season.

It is obvious to anyone who has watched any of our performances this year that we are very dangerous in attack and have run in some fabulous tries from all over the pitch. A perfect example of this was against Old Belvo when Richie Mc Micken collected a defensive kick from on his 10mtr line. He immediately opened the ball cross the line to Ciaran Collins who off loaded to Maurice Walsh , Steve Toal Lennon and finally Owen Moriarty who ran in almost under the posts. Unfortunately we missed the easy conversion. Later in the game the dynamic combination of Wallie, Steve and Hugh McGovern gained us another 5 points. (again the conversion was missed).

Unfortunately these moments of brilliance were sporadic. As with the Trinity game last week (where again there were excellent performances from Crotty and Walsh and Moriarty, Ferris, Kearney and O’Donovan), the gains from the huge efforts of the group were wiped out by fundamental lapses in concentration. At these times our defence around the rucks is poor, our passing indiscriminate and some our decision making very disappointing. In each of the last four games, easy points have been given to the surprised but thankful opposition and games we should have won have been lost!

We have a very difficult task now to make it out of the group and we certainly have to win the remaining three games if we are to have any change. There is however the All Ireland and McCorry cup to look forward to.

A club member asked me after the Old Belvo game “how are you going to fix it?”  I do not however believe that anything is actually broken. For me it is simply that the purpose and direction, extra motivation and heightened performance that comes from a strong team spirit is simply not yet evident in this squad. To my mind, the individual players are equally as talented as those from last year’s successful squad but they are missing the team spirit that dug us out of trouble on several occasions last year.

Without it, this will be remembered as a good team with some very good individual performances. With it however, they will surprise many and deliver results.

No one said it would be easy!!!