06.03.2010 J4 XV v Blackrock (A)

06/03/201012.30pmLeagueBlackrock College14 – 26St. Marys J4 XVAway

St. Mary’s College J4 V Blackrock J4

The J4’s visited Stradbrook on Saturday in a curtain-raiser to the Firsts game on the main pitch.

The sun was out and the day was dry and Mary’s responded with a good performance against the side they thrillingly defeated in the Winters Cup final at Donnybrook last season.

Mary’s began well and took the lead with a well worked try. After some good phases of play in the Rock 22, Rock conceded a penalty. Mary’s ran it and after some good work by second row Joe Doddy, the ball was shifted to left wing Chi-Yuen Hui (who did so much to break Rock hearts in the dying seconds of the cup final) to wriggle his way over for the try. Ted duly converted for a 7-0 lead.

Mary’s struck again when, after successive penalties conceded by the Blackrock pack, our forwards mauled a lineout into their 22. The ball was spread wide and full-back Darragh O’Neill ran a lovely line against the grain and then sidestepped the last defender to score a great try under the posts. Ted again converted to make it 14-0 at half-time.

Mary’s were well worth the lead at the break despite 2 missed penalties from Rock.

Things continued to improve in the second half with Mary’s again pressuring Rock in their own half. After some good phases in the 22, the ball came out to out-half Teddy Moran who popped to enthusiastic loosehead Marc ‘George’ McKay on the burst. George showed that all those years of ballet lessons hadn’t gone to waste with a neat pirouette to evade the Rock tackler on the line and score the try near the posts. Ted converted to make it 21-0.

The third try jolted Rock into action and they gained territory and possession in the Mary’s half. When the ref spotted a deliberate knock-on from Teddy as Rock spread the ball wide, he reached for the card and Mary’s were down to 14 for the next 10 minutes. Rock took advantage with a series of scrums and managed to crash over by the posts to make it 21-7.

Rock sensed an opportunity and continued to put Mary’s under pressure and after a scrum near the Mary’s line, they worked their winger in on the crash by the posts. At 21-14, Rock would have felt that they were right back in the game. Mary’s however boxed clever and used the boot to pin Rock back into their own half.

After a clever kick in behind by centre David Carpenter, Rock had the throw close to their own line. The Mary’s lifters hoisted Joe Doddy into the air and he picked off the Rock throw with ease. Mary’s continuity was good and after a few phases close to the Rock line, including a massive rumble by prop Ross Kelly, the space opened up for scrum-half and captain Ross Wynne to dart over from the base of the ruck.

Ted narrowly missed the conversion but Mary’s had sealed the win, 26-14.

A special mention for our No. 7, Phil Conway who damaged ligaments in his ankle and had to be helped off. He’s been having a great season and we hope he’ll be back to play some part in our defence of the Cup.

Mary’s face Rock at Stradbrook again in the first round of the Cup on the 27th March.

Gavin Rafferty

15. Darragh O’Neill 14. Paul Whyte 13. David Carpenter 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne (c) 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway 6. Tim Henderson 5. Andy McCarthy 4. Joe Doddy 3. Ross Kelly 2. Alan Godfrey 1. Marc McKay