07.11.2009 J5 XV v Clontarf (A)

07/11/20092.30pmLeagueClontarf8 – 10St. Marys J5 XVAway

The J5s travelled to Castle Avenue last Saturday with a clash against Clontarf who put them out of the cup last season.

With the depth of the squad already being tested, late injuries to Simone, and the talismanic Travers, meant that there were further last minute changes during the warm- up.

Mary’s started well with a stiff breeze at their backs and a high tempo saw them dominate in terms of territory and possession for much of the first half. A combination of resolute Clontarf defence and poor Mary’s finishing meant that the teams turned around at 0-0 at half time, Mary’s having butchered a number of try scoring opportunities and missing one kick at goal.

As the second half wore on still scoreless, ‘tarf’s confidence grew as Mary’s intensity dropped, and this was rewarded when ‘tarf converted a penalty to go 3-0 ahead. The concession of the score jolted Mary’s from their slumber and an increase in the tempo of their attack saw them test ‘tarf out wide on successive occasions before Crawford set up Fitzer for his fourth try in four games. Crawford added the extras to make it 7-3 after 68 minutes.

Despite gathering the restart well and threatening again Mary’s made the mistake of looking to hang on, conceding ground and possession, when another score was what was required. As tension mounted ‘tarf forced a penalty and then very poor discipline from Burkley through dissent let them advance another ten yards. Clontarf duly kicked for the corner and a well worked catch and drive saw them take the lead at 8-7 through Leinster Branch Junior Secretary Trevor Merrey. Crucially the conversion fell short.

With just three minutes left for Mary’s the game looked up and the only option was all out attack. Eventually with time up Mary’s won a penalty about forty metres out near the touchline. It was a brave decision to kick by Crawford, but one that was rewarded with three points and a win for Mary’s 10-8.

One side note was that the resultant celebrations proved a distraction for the Clontarf J4s’ kicker on the adjoining pitch who missed his effort to tie up the J4s game against Clontarf.

So two good wins for Mary’s in Castle Avenue and roll on next week’s top of the table clash where the J5s will look to upset their old friends and rivals, and league leaders Terenure.

Before that is a mid-week friendly for the J5 “B”s who will enjoy the game time and be looking to get a win of their own.

Thanks to Burkley and Karl Jennings for running the line, and fair play to all the non- playing squad members who came out to support the lads selected this week.

Ian Murray

15 Daniel McEvoy, 14 Adrian Malone, 13 Philip Woods, 12 Ian Smith, 11 Andy Fitzpatrick, 10 Gary Crawford, 9 Conor Murphy, 8 Anthony O’Hanlon, 7 James Hynes, 6 John McAuley, 5 Eamonn Walsh, 4 David Browne, 3 Alan Germaine
2 Hugh Lyons, 1 Shane Deegan
Subs: Steve Walkin, Michael Mannion, Mark Byrne, Colin Burkley, David Millard and Michael Daly.