10.10.2009 J4 XV v Coolmine (A)

10/10/20093:00pmLeagueCoolmine16 – 14St. Marys J4 XVAway

Coolmine 16-14 St. Mary’s

The J4’s began their league campaign with a narrow defeat away to Coolmine on Saturday afternoon.

The re-organisation of the J4 league into sections based on last season’s results, sees us in Section A with the strongest teams – Coolmine, Terenure, Old Belvedere, Clontarf, Blackrock and Tallaght – in a straight league format with the team finishing top winning the league (no knockout matches), the bottom team relegated to Section B and the team finishing second last playing off against the runner-up in Section B. All of which means there are no easy games!

The first half was a stop-start affair with the referee penalising both sides liberally at the breakdown. Out-Half Teddy Moran had his kicking boots on, slotting 3 penalties from just inside the Coolmine half (including one great effort from way out that clipped the crossbar and went over) to Coolmine’s penalty and drop goal for a 9-6 lead at half-time.

Coolmine upped their game in the second half, now consistently securing their own lineout ball, and despite having a player sin-binned, slotted another drop goal to level the score at 9-9. When back to 15 players, they managed to evade a number of Mary’s tackles in midfield to score close to the posts. They got the conversion for a 16-9 lead.

As Coolmine had opted to go uncontested in the scrums from the start, no back-row moves were allowed by either side, but scrum-half and captain, Ross Wynne was making some nice breaks from the back of the scrum.

Coolmine continued to pressure, having another drop goal attempt well blocked down by Teddy and being held up over the line by some sterling defence on two occasions.

With the J4 league offering bonus points only for losing by 7 points or less, Mary’s were in uncharted territory, having only lost one game last season (and that the league quarter-final knock-out to a last second try), but continued to push for the levelling try while trying to stop Coolmine from pushing more than 7 clear. Both full-back Colm Quinn and winger Chi-Yuen Hui went close to scoring in the corner after good breaks including one from wing forward Shane Timmons, but Coolmine managed to keep us out.

With only a minute remaining, Mary’s finally managed to score. Teddy tried to force his way over but was tackled and just as it seemed the off-load wouldn’t come off, his younger brother, hooker Eamon, came on a late burst and showed good hands to crash over. The conversion was to the left of the posts, on Teddy’s bad side and the kick initially looked like it would creep inside the post but faded at the end to come back off the woodwork.

16-14 to Coolmine and a minute left to play but unfortunately Mary’s couldn’t do enough to create one more scoring chance.

A disappointing result and we know we have better performances in us and what better way to ‘get back on the horse’ than a home match against Terenure this Saturday.