14.02.2009 J5 XV v Stillorgan (A)

14/02/20093.00pmLeagueStillorgan20 – 5St. Marys J5 XVAway

St Mary’s College J5 V Stillorgan J4
05                        20

Without their leader who was on reconnaissance in Italy ahead of next weekend’s European clash with Milan, Mossy’s Mob overcame disrupted preparation and late cry offs to put in a spirited performance against a Stillorgan side who had beaten them comfortably at Templeville early in the season.

On the tight U13 pitch at Bird Avenue the pack took the game to Stillorgan from the outset, electing to play a high tempo offloading style. With the Canadian Ref letting anything go at the breakdown the game was a physical fight first and foremost with the Mary’s pack fronting up.

With utility back Andrew Fitzpatrick pressed into service at scrum half and regular opensides B-foot and Red Ross asked to slot into Centre and Wing respectively, the team lacked the cohesion and familiarity to capitalize on the territory and possession earned in the loose.

Having scored a soft try early on against the run of play, Stillorgan took their opportunities by kicking penalties on rare visits to the Mary’s 22 to stretch to a 13-0 lead.

In fairness to Stillorgan the game winning try came from a period of sustained pressure midway through the second half and their kicker was again on target.

Mary’s piled on the pressure in the closing quarter where some desperate defence saw Stillorgan reduced to 14, and then 13 in the last ten minutes. Eventually Mary’s pressure paid off when Shane Levins crossed for a try, but without a recognized goal kicker, they failed to add the extras.

Ian Murray