30.01.2010 J4 XV v Clontarf (H)

30/01/20102.30pmLeagueSt. Marys J4 XV10 – 19ClontarfHome

J4 v Tarf – lost 19 -10

The J4’s hosted Clontarf in Templeville on Saturday afternoon. We expected a close, tough game and that’s what we got.

Mary’s started well spending the majority of the first 40 minutes in the Clontarf half, also having the lion’s share of the possession. Clontarf’s tackling, however, was very good and despite a few ropey moments from their back 3 dealing with kicks, they limited Mary’s to a missed penalty attempt.

Prop Marc McKay also spent 10 minutes in the bin for an over-enthusiastic clean out at a ruck, after Mary’s had been awarded a penalty. Clontarf’s pressure defence on halfway led to them taking an undeserved lead into half time, with their centre picking off a pass in midfield to run under the posts unchallenged. Mary’s 0-7 Clontarf.

Mary’s kept up the pressure at the beginning of the second half, pounding away at the ‘Tarf line but their defence held strong. Mary’s then kicked 3 points from a subsequent penalty to open the scoring.

Ironically, Clontarf were beginning their best spell of the game when Mary’s won the ball in their own half, broke quickly down the left through Tim Henderson, Paul Whyte and Darragh O’Neill, who got nearly all the way to the line before offloading to his supporting second row to score under the posts. Teddy added the points to give Mary’s a 10-7 lead.

Clontarf were having far more territory and possession than in the first half and their defensive lineout was disrupting what is usually a steady supply line of possession for Mary’s.

After numerous phases in the Mary’s half, Clontarf got over for a try to regain the lead, 14-10. Mary’s were throwing everything at ‘Tarf but couldn’t secure the same amounts of territory and possession as in the first half.

Clontarf got over for another try to push Mary’s outside losing bonus point territory and the frustration boiled over with flanker Phil Conway going to the bin and play restarting with a penalty on halfway to Clontarf.

Clontarf held on for the win (19-10). A very disappointing result for Mary’s, especially given other results in the league, but this side has made coming back from setbacks such as these an art form in the last 2 seasons and the lads are determined to win their remaining 4 games (including home games against the top 2 in the league) to give themselves every chance of pouncing on any slip-ups.

Gavin Rafferty

15. Bartley Walsh 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O’Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. Paul Whyte 10. Brian Moran 9. Ross Wynne (c) 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Phil Conway 6. Tim Henderson 5. Kenny McArdle 4. Andy McCarthy 3. Marc McKay 2. Eamon Moran 1. Ross Kelly