31.10.2009 J2 XV v Old Belvedere (H)

31/10/20093:00pmLeagueSt. Marys J2 XV18 – 10Old BelvedereHome

St Marys 18 Old Belvedre 10

This was a hard fought victory played in dreadful conditions against a well drilled and previously unbeaten Belvo team. The team were under no illusions that it was going to be a tough game as Belvo had beaten us in a pre season friendly.

Just as the game kicked off the heavens opened and the first half was played under a deluge of rain, which got so bad, at one point the ref took both teams off the pitch for a few minutes due to thunder and lightening! We seemed to be unsettled by this and for the majority of the first half, Belvo had the upper hand, playing the conditions smarter than we did. But through great defence and some good turnovers we held them out and coming up to half time we managed to kick a penalty through James Dunne and went in at half time 3-0 up which gave the team a good boost.

The pitch and the conditions made running rugby a near impossibility. We knew for the second half we had to step up the physicality up front and to win the game we would have to dominate up front. This is what we did for the first 25 minutes of the second half where we produced our best team performance of the year as we battered away at the opposition. Dunne added another penalty soon after the restart to put us 6-0 up. Then a few minutes later after some good work by Keaner Foran and Collins, Mickey Houlihan playing a captains part, forced his way over for a well deserved try. The try was converted by Dunne to put us 13-0, a big lead given the conditions and seemed to knock some of the fight out of Belvo. We didn’t let up and awhile later, Joey Connolly went through a gap where there didn’t look one and finished very well for another try which Dunne was unlucky not to convert from far out hitting the post. In fairness to Belvo, they didn’t give up and came back strong at us and scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to make the final score 18-10.

Overall it was the first 25 minutes of the second half which won us the game and the team will be aiming to produce that type of performance for the full 80 minutes in games going forward.