21.03.2009 J4 XV v Old Belvedere (H)

21/03/20091:00p.m.LeagueSt. Marys J4 XV26 – 29Old BelvedereHome

St Mary’s College J4 V Old Belvedere J4

26                                         29

The J4’s went into their quarter final unbeaten but faced last year’s J4 league & cup double winners, so it promised to be a battle of a game and didn’t disappoint.

Mary’s again faced an older, more experienced team who arrived with a large pack and Belvo secured early possession and territory and slotted a penalty for a 3-0 lead. But Mary’s secured possession and worked their way up the pitch. From a  scrum, Teddy made a break into the Belvo 22, popped it to his older brother, Wally in the centre who made it nearly all the way to the line before being tackled. He managed to offload to supporting No. 8, Padraig Nestor who crashed over. 5-3 to Mary’s after about 15 minutes.

The balance of the first half doesn’t bear talking about as some basic errors let Belvo in for 3 soft tries and a half time lead of 22-5. The half time team talk was straight talking with each man vowing to put the first half performance behind him do himself justice in the second half. The lads knew there were tries in them and that if they performed to their ability, the match wasn’t beyond them.

It’s safe to say that the performance stepped up a notch or 10, with the lads tearing into Belvo. 20 minutes of sustained pressure in the Belvedere half hadn’t led to any points but the men in black & white were conceding penalties at every single breakdown and incurring the wrath of the referee. Their 10 received a yellow card for a ridiculously offside ‘lazy’ run. Just as his ten minutes was running out, another Belvo man was sent to the bin for an off the ball tackle as the pressure Mary’s were bringing to bear continued to tell.

Finally, a breakthrough as scrum-half Ross Wynne crossed the line and Teddy slotted the conversion. This seemed to give the lads a further boost and winger Richie Pyne crossed in the corner and then did brilliantly to sidestep his way through the in-goal area to dot down under the posts. Time was moving on so Ted drop-kicked the conversion to reduce Belvo’s lead to 22-19.

Mary’s again piled on the pressure and as Teddy grubbered behind their backline, their 10 took him out and earned his second yellow card and a red one to go with it. Mary’s were relentless and after a great arcing run by Ross Wynne, Teddy crashed over and converted his own try to snatch the lead, 26-22 with about 6 minutes left.

From the kick-off, Mary’s lucklessly knocked the ball on giving Belvo a foothold in our half. With possession, they stepped up their game and eventually made it to the Mary’s line. Ruck after ruck, Mary’s put their bodies on the line and managed to hold Belvo out but our luck was gone, the disciplinary pendulum had swung with the ref penalising us now even though Belvo were going off their feet at every breakdown. With the last play of the game, they picked from the back and managed to squirm their way over the line. Mary’s were distraught, the conversion was a formality, the final whistle went and the dream was over.

St. Mary’s 26-29 Old Belvedere.

This team has silverware in it and is as good as any team at J4 level, so the cup campaign that begins against Wanderers on Saturday in Merrion Road holds much promise.

15. R. Kilcoyne 14. R. Pyne 13. D. O’Neill 12. P. Moran 11. C. Hui 10. B. Moran (c) 9. R. Wynne 8. P. Nestor 7. T. Henderson 6. A. McCarthy 5. J. Doddy 4. J. Twomey 3. R. Kelly 2. E. Moran 1. A. Godfrey