|10 – 9
|St. Marys J4 XV
The J4’s began the Super 6 Phase of the league on Saturday with a trip to Parsonstown to play NUIM Barnhall.
Barnhall started the brighter of the two sides but Mary’s drew first blood with a penalty after Barnhall players failed to retreat from an offside position when chasing a kick. Teddy slotted the kick for a 3-0 lead.
Barnhall were capitalising on some rusty tackling from Mary’s and offloading well. They had 3 very kickable penalties in the first half but could only convert one of them to even the scores at 3-3.
Despite Barnhall having the better of the territory in the first half, a strong run from winger Nick Cunningham brought us into the Barnhall 22, and after Barnhall infringed, Ted kicked the points to give us a half-time lead, 6-3.
Mary’s upped their game in the second half and spent far more time in the Barnhall half than our own, but it was still a very close game with few chances. Ted extended our lead to 9-3 from a penalty within 2 minutes of the restart.
That’s how it remained until the 77th minute, when the referee penalised Mary’s at the breakdown. Strangely, he deemed the offence worthy of a yellow card for centre Darragh O’Neill, even though it took place well inside the Barnhall half. Barnhall kicked to touch inside the Mary’s half and when Mary’s conceded a free kick for an early lift at the subsequent lineout, they went quickly and managed to breach the Mary’s line to score. They nailed the conversion to take a one point lead at 10-9.
With a minute on the clock, Mary’s had time for one more attack. Barnhall immediately infringed at the next breakdown and conceded a further 10 metres for backchat. The penalty was out near the touchline but with light failing and a strong crosswind against us, we opted to scrum. Unfortunately, Barnhall managed to get the strike against the head, kicked to touch and the match was over.
The dressing room was a quiet place in the aftermath, with the clear sense that we had let this match slip away from us.
The Super 6 is a tough league, but there is a firm belief in the team that we can push on from this when taking on Coolmine at home in 2 weeks.
15. Darragh O’Neill 14. Nick Cunningham 13. David Carpenter 12. Paul Moran 11. Paul Whyte 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne 8. Phil Conway 7. Tim Henderson 6. Rory O’Neill 5. John Twomey 4. Joe Doddy 3. Alan Godfrey 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly.