05.12.2009 J4 XV v Blackrock (H)

05/12/20092.00pmLeagueSt. Marys J4 XV36 – 7Blackrock CollegeHome

The J4’s resumed their league campaign with a match against Blackrock in Templeville on Saturday after a 4 week break due to postponements and the Autumn Internationals.

Rock would have come looking to avenge their defeat in last season’s Winters Cup Final but it was a Mary’s team who have been itching for a game who started the stronger with our pack on top from the start.

A clean take at a lineout in Rock territory led to an excellently executed maul right up to the Rock line but we were just stopped short. The ball was quickly recycled and spread wide for centre Wally Moran to crash over. His younger brother, Teddy, slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Mary’s continued to dominate up front, with Rock conceding numerous penalties at the breakdown and hooker Eamon Moran had a try ruled out for a forward pass when it looked flat at worst. The Mary’s maul was also proving very effective.

Prop Mark ‘George’ McKay has made an impact this season with his strength and physical style and he pounced on the Rock scrum half’s indecision at the back of a ruck to pick his pocket and set off for the line. He didn’t have the pace to make it all the way but flanker Phil Conway was on his shoulder to ensure the ball was recycled and Teddy crashed over from the next phase to score his first try of the season. He added the points to make it 14-0.

Rock managed to secure some possession and kick into the Mary’s half but it was returned with interest and left wing Chi-Yuen Hui took advantage of a favourable bounce to gather and quickly chip over the Rock fullback, who promptly body-checked him. The ref awarded the penalty where the ball landed and Mary’s took it quickly and after going through a couple of phases, George crossed the line for a well-deserved try, which was again converted by Teddy for a 21-0 lead.

At this stage it was going to take a mistake from Mary’s for Rock to gain a foothold in this game and as we took our foot of the pedal slightly and started throwing the ball around in midfield, the Rock scrum-half picked off a loose pass and ran all the way to our line despite speedy winger Nick Cunningham’s best efforts. Half-time score – 21-7.

Rock’s indiscipline continued from the start of the second half, conceding a penalty on the halfway and then conceding a further 10m for backchat, which brought the penalty to within Teddy’s range. 24-7 to Mary’s.

The referee, who had been more than patient with the Rock forwards, had soon had enough and brandished the yellow card to their second row. He was, however, quick to even up the numbers, issuing a soft yellow to Mary’s No. 8 Padraig Nestor (his second yellow card in 2 games) for a push.

Mary’s continued to dominate and from a 5m scrum, skipper and scrum-half Ross Wynne used his pace to dart over untouched. Ted narrowly missed the conversion. 29-7.

Rock finally threw in the towel when from deep in Mary’s territory Ted launched a massive kick from a quickly taken penalty and hard-working flanker Phil Conway chased, enveloped the covering Rock defender, turned the ball over and galloped to the line. Ted slotted the points to seal a 36-7 win.

We could have added a couple more scores but the lads will have been glad to shake off the rustiness from our long spell without a game.

Mary’s lie third in the top tier of the J4 league, 3 points behind Old Belvedere and Coolmine, but with a game in hand.

Next up is Tallaght in Templeville on Saturday at 2.00.

Gavin Rafferty

15. Colm Quinn 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O’Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne (c); 1. Mark McKay 2. Eamon Moran 3. Ross Kelly 4. Joe Doddy 5. Andy McCarthy 6. Phil Conway 7. Tim Henderson 8. Padraig ‘Sin Bin’ Nestor