St Mary’s College RFC J1 V Old Wesley FC J1
Metro League 1
Sunday 6th November 2016.
Playing on the main pitch, on a cold dry day, seemed to stimulate this strong J1 squad. Steve Bradshaw, Gareth Roche and John Bainbridge will be happy with a good response after recent defeats. Old Wesley likewise produced a team of consequence, which meant that the game was close and tightly contested. Saturday’s marvellous rugby may have been a stimulus, for the quality was also good with an entertaining game unfolding.
The defence was very much improved on recent outings and all tackled with efficiency and appetite. The set pieces were good, with the lineout accurate, thanks to Stephen O’Brien, who had a lively game and threw in well, and the scrums were also strong, as the fair (reddish !!!!) haired front row club, held sway and also contributed in the loose. Young David Bowe (no not Bowie) at full back and right wing, James Kennedy showed appetite and potential and Conor Gilsenan was combining well in mid field, before he dislocated his shoulder in a fall. Hugh McDonnell controlled the proceedings well and kicked all his offered points. Captain, Peter Starrett led from the front and was prominent throughout the game, until he had to withdraw injured.
After only two minutes, Hugh landed his first three points from far out, before Old Wesley drew level on five minutes. On ten minutes Hugh again scored three from the tee. Marys increased the tempo and after a series of drives orchestrated by the class Ciaran Ruddock and also involving Hugh Kellegher and Pater Starrett, ended with Ciaran taking the ball close in and powering over. Hugh converted. That was on 38 minutes, so the half ended with the score, 13 – 3.
Although the second half was very even, it did give Old Wesley many chances to get back, due to indiscipline from the home side at the breakdown. The penalties crept up, as did the scores, and it went from 13 – 3 to 13 – 6, 13 – 9, 13 – 12 , on 44, 61 and 72 minutes. However, Hugh got and took, the opportunity to add three more on 74 minutes. So it was 16 -12 going into the last minute. Old Wesley got a series of penalties and they eventually set up a maul close to our line and were moving almost inexorably towards a score; before a gigantic effort by the Marys’ defence manged to get the swarm into touch and the whistle went. 16 – 12. A good one to win.
15 D Bowe, 14 J Kennedy, 13 M Joyce, 12 C Gilsenan, 11 JJ Clarke, 10 H McDonnell, 9 C Murphy, 8 P Starrett (Capt), 7 H Kellegher, 6 C Ruddock 5 R Beverland, 4 H Diepman, 3 C Ryan, 2 S O’Brien, 1 N Murphy. F Magee, J Dilger, A Smirnov.