03.12.2011 J4 XV v Lansdowne (A)

03/12/20112:00pmLeagueLansdowne12 – 20St. Marys J4 XVAway

Lansdowne 12 St Mary’s College 20

A superb victory was fought out against a very good Lansdowne outfit on Saturday afternoon in Ballycorus. Due to work, holiday and wife in labour commitments there were a few desperate phonecalls made on the morning ofthe game to get a few retirees to dust off the boots and give us a dig out. The fact that the starting back row consisted of 2 retired centres and a current winger shows how many players were missing on the day.

The game started at a fierce pace with both teams giving it their all from the off. A Lansdowne infringement gave Ted the chance to improve on his poor stats from the previous week and he made no mistake in difficult windy conditions to make it 3-0. The referee seemed to enjoy blowing the whistle and with more than half of the rucks being blown up for some form of misdemeanor the penalties flowed and soon the scores were level at 6-6 (Teds stats still perfect on the day). Some loose Lansdowne play then afforded us the chance to counter attack and after some beautiful handling Nick Cunningham stepped inside two players before turning on the after burners and racing under the posts for the games first try. Ted kept the stats at 100% with the simple conversion and another Lansdowne penalty left the halftime score at 13-9.

The second half was again a hard fought battle between two very evenly matched teams. The ref again insisted on blowing up for infringements against both sides and a great long range effort from the hosts saw them cut the score to 13-12. With both sets of players and supporters perplexed by the refereeing calls it was inevitable that one of our lads would follow theLansdowne hooker (first half) to a spell in the bin and on cue up stepped Pyner!  As he violently and dangerously picked himself off the ground within two feet of an opposition player the ref had no choice but to bin him for “starting it all off”! A lengthy ban will surely follow……….. Back to the action and after holding Lansdowne off the line for a spell we went down the other end and some lovely shortside breaks eventually saw Tim Henderson come steaming onto a popped inside ball and hold his footing despite an imaginary ankle tap to cross the line. Ted added the extras for a 20-12 lead going into the final 15 minutes and keep those stats up. A huge and inspired defensive effort from 1-15 was produced to hold the Lansdowne pack back from the try line and after yet another penalty was awarded by the ref the ball was hoofed into touch to end the game.

A tremendous win under the circumstances and it moves us to second behind the Greystones Away dream team. A massive thank you to the lads who came out at the last minute to make sure we could field a team…… Wally, Carpo, Caolan, Seb and Karl. Next up Belvo away on Saturday (although this may change to midweek).

Finally, on behalf of the entire J4 squad, congratulations to Rory O’Neill and his wife who had a baby boy on Saturday morning!