|St. Marys J5 XV
|7 – 37
J5 XV 7-37 Terenure
This wasn’t a game of rugby, it was a rugby event! The score line may read like a handy enough win for Terenure but that is too simple a synopsis of this important game of rugby. Faced with a decision to call off the game during the week (due to the availability of only 11 of the J5 squad for this league encounter v the Old Enemy as our first team travelled to Kilkenny) a brave decision was made to keep the fixture, not concede the points to Terenure and beg, steal and borrow players in order to play the match. Two days later, we still had 11 players. A rally call on Wednesday to the (marvellous!) Vets triggered a response that, as members of this Club, we should all be proud of. 6 Vets (all of which in rugby retirement or at least, should be!!!) offered their services and took the pitch to help out their Club last Saturday. Jamie Power, Aidan Manahan, Chris Richardson, Steve Martin, Bobby O’Connor and Sam Brennan (Yes, you heard right, Sam Brennan!) all took the pitch to, more than, make up the numbers. We were up to nearly a full squad before kick off with a few recent injured players coming back a week earlier to help the cause. By the end of the first half we had conceded 4 tries against a very well drilled and organised Terenure Team. This Terenure side would have held their own at J3 level, easily. (In fact someone suggested on the day that it was their J3 team) Things looked ominous at half time as we turned to play up the hill and against the elements. A decision was made to add ‘a bit of experience’ at half time….to the pack especially. Skipper Mossy rallied the troops which included coach Iano making his seasonal reappearance. Our second half performance could not have been predicted by anyone who watched the first half! As Sammy and Bobby entered the field and joined the scrum, the average age of the pack nearly doubled! The backrow linked up well with some great breaks off the back of the scrum. Started by Hegarty, then Lloyd, carried on by Ian Mc and Bobby all leading by example. A tight, committed, dogged half of clever, possession rugby by St Marys College RFC ensued. There must have been 300 ‘pick and drives’ in the second half alone! Terenure could hardly get their hands on the ball …. There was a 15 minute spell at the beginning of the second half when Terenure didn’t touch the ball once……as it was firmly stuck up the jumpers of a pack of St Marys College FRC forwards in possession of the most perfect mix of youth, experience, skill and spirit. (Note I didn’t mention fitness levels here!) This dogged 30 minute period was justly rewarded when Seanie Gilheaney picked and drove (again) from 5 yards out, on our 42nd phase ball, to go over the line for our first try of the afternoon! (Referee gave a penalty try in fact as he was unsighted and the tackle made on Seanie as he went over the line was criminal) Never was a try more deserved by a team! It was just rewards for a team thrown together minutes before kick off and was greeted with a great sense of achievement and pride by all wearing a blue jersey on the road pitch! During the post match analysis we discovered that amongst many individual achievements on the day, no record was more impressive than that of Sam Brennan, who (as a result of playing in a league match last Saturday in the year 2012) has now represented St Marys College RFC in competitive rugby in each of the last 5 decades! Well done Sammy! That’s some achievement.
We lost the match but we all felt like winners after the game! The power of sport, the pride in our Club, the St Marys spirit, the joy of team games! Last Saturday had it all!
Many thanks to another one of our guests, Mr Rose of Tralee, Fionan (Elf) Henry.