21.02.2015 J4 XV v Wanderers (H)

21/02/20153:00pmMetro Div 6St. Marys J4 XV12 – 11WanderersHome

St Mary’s College RFC J4s V Wanderers FC J4s.

12                                11

J4 Metro League 6

Templeville Road

Saturday 21st February 2015.

St. Mary’s produced a remarkable late comeback to secure a victory over Wanderers. Preparations for the game were somewhat distracted by an unnamed team manager having a mild panic attack in Templeogue College asking the players to take part in a dancing competition and even trying to recruit a Wanderers player to get involved.

Despite this interruption, the team led by Shane Fanning on his captaincy debut started very strongly and made use of their forward dominance holding much of the possession in the early stages of the game. Some powerful carries from Matt Moloney and Tom O’Reilly and a dominant lineout being the highlight of the half. Tom was persistent thorn in the side of the Wanderers team regularly disrupting them in the ruck and making strong runs and even having a kick at one stage.  Tom also asked me to thank the many people who donated various items of clothing to allow him to play the game. His pleas were answered and he received generous donations of socks and shorts. He will also gladly accept a new pair of boots and tickets to next week’s Ireland game.

Although Mary’s had the greater share of chances in the first half it was Wanderers that took a 3-0 lead at the break. Fanning’s inaugural team talk primarily involved badmouthing the exiled team captain and demanding the team play with more freedom that wasn’t possible under the deposed captain. The second half didn’t start well for the team with Wanderer’s possessing a good backline that began to wear down the Mary’s defence and after several phases went in for a try in the corner. Wanderers added to this with a penalty leaving the score at 11-0. To the team’s credit, they did not lose hope and continued to press the Wanderers defence. After several penalties in our favour we launched a driving maul close to the Wanderers line allowing Matt Moloney to crash over for a much deserved try. The team continued their dominance with players all over the field driving at the Wanderers defence sensing that another match winning try was to come. That moment came with another break from Matt evading several tackles brought us close to the line and he delivered an offload to the ankles of Aaron O’Connor who displayed great handling skills and was in for a try which was converted by Peter Daly to bring Mary’s ahead 12-11. The team endured a tense final ten minutes and defending valiantly with the team determined to hold their lead. There were huge hits put in all over the park and the team successfully kept any Wanderer’s attack at bay.

The squad were delighted with the victory against a Wanderers side who had beaten them comfortably in the reverse fixture and were still in playoff contention. Thanks to the players who put in a great effort and including those who were being played outside of their normal position. The team has one league game remaining away to Trinity and are looking forward to having a good cup run.