03.01.2009 J4 XV v Barnhall (H)

03/01/20092.00pmLeagueSt. Marys J4 XV15 – 13NUIM BarnhallHome

J4’s Win Again! The J4’s maintained their position at the top of Pool 1 of the J4 league with a hard-fought win against a more than full-strength Barnhall side in the rescheduled fixture.

The timing meant Mary’s were missing a few lads who had scheduled trips for the free weekend and a panel of 17 had to take on what seemed like 26 Barnhall players who togged out.

Barnhall had the size advantage in both backs and forwards and set about using it with their runners coming from deep and seeking to break tackles. Mary’s were understandably rusty with no training since Christmas and no match since an easy win over the Emerald Warriors at the end of November. Barnhall took advantage and scored a try and a penalty for an 8-0 lead. This led to a reaction form the Mary’s team who pressurised Barnhall into conceding on their own line. Ted slotted the penalty for a half-time score of 8-3.

The second half saw Mary’s start sluggishly again and Barnhall scored under the sticks for 13-3 but crucially their outhalf who ran everything for them, missed the simple conversion.

Mary’s went through the phases and engineered a one-on-one between winger Nick Cunningham and his opposite number who Nick beat to score in the corner. Ted missed the tricky conversion but Mary’s seemed to have run the turkey out of the legs. 13-8.

Some more neat work just inside the Barnhall half set full-back Richie Pyne free on an overlap and he finished under the sticks. Ted did what his opposite number couldn’t and slotted the easy points for a 15-13 lead.  The intensity of the game escalated as the ref was true to his pre-match word and allowed the game to flow with the breakdown fiercely contested. Barnhall lost a man to the bin for a tackle completed well after the whistle had gone and their complaints to (and about) the ref increased as the game entered the last quarter.

Mary’s had by now been strengthened by enigmatic coach Eamon Moran entering the fray from the bench, where a back injury ”enigmatically” sustained in the warm-up had left him.

Barnhall’s size was still gaining them a foothold in the Mary’s half and they were given a chance to regain the lead with a kickable penalty which their No.10 failed to slot. Mary’s hung on with Barnhall retaining possession but not territory in the last few minutes.

Final score St. Mary’s 15-13 Barnhall.

15. Richie Pyne 14. Nick Cunningham 13. David Carpenter 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 10. Teddy Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Andy McCarthy 7. Phil Conway 6. Brendan Short 5. Joe Doddy 4. John Twomey 3. Ian Kelly (James Nolan) 2. Kevin Doherty (Eamon Moran) 1. Alan Godfrey