St Mary’s College RFC J1 V Old Wesley FC J1
Metro League 1
Sunday 5th November 2016.
There is no better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than in your club, while four teams go at it, “hammer and thongs”. Unfortunately the U20s were beaten by one score in a close skilful game. Marys had a chance to win it with the last play, but it was not to be. On the back pitch the J1s won with the last play of the game in a flyer of a game; big Darragh McDonnell scoring a top class try to end the game.
It is interesting that the equivalent J1 game last season was played on the exact Sunday of November; that time Marys prevailed by four points.
This really was a tight and compelling game, credit to both teams. Early on Marys looked stronger and had dominance in the set pieces, but it soon levelled up and for periods in the second half, Wesley had the upper hand; indeed they led into the final minute.
If there was to be a criticism it would be, that Marys had a very fast backline and maybe did not use it to the fullest extent, especially with the majority of possession. In the first half the ball was lost on wing-ward passage, now and then.
There were some commendable performances. In the pack, the captain Cathal Ryan, at hooker, had a fine game, led well and his lineout throwing was accurate. Beside him in the front row, Emmett Ferron was outstanding all round. He reefed the defence frequently as he carried strongly. It was encouraging to see Ian Cullinane back and looking good at 8, before, unfortunately getting injured.
Behind the scrum, Conor Gilsenan was another to shine, combining well from scrumhalf, with confident Mathew Timmons, and his game improved further as the game progressed. Jamie Kennedy looked comfortable at fullback and kicked impressively from the tee. Pedigree will out, it is said, and Mathew Oppermann certainly showed that with his genuinely scorching pace. Once from an intercept he ran from his own half with all chasing him fading away. The team welcomed rapid running Leo O’Regan on the wing and Dan Lyons at Six.
On 25 minutes, the dominant St Marys’ scrum forced a pushover try which was impressively converted from the touchline by Jamie Kennedy. 7 – 0. Then on 36 minutes Mathew got his intercept out wide and ran straight and true to score in the corner, again Jamie did the honours to add two. 14 – 0. It was 38 minutes when OW got a penalty back, and it was 14 – 3 at half time.
In the second half, OW put pace on their game and on 43 minutes ran hard and straight to score a try. It was 14 – 8. After a strong Wesley maul was stopped illegally, they scored a penalty to make the score 14 – 11. Even when OW had a man sin binned for persistent fouling they continued to press and got ahead on 67 minutes with a fine converted try, 14 – 18. In spite of hard work by Marys, it remained like that, until the referee penalised Wesley and said that there was one and half minutes to go. It was like a starting gun, after the take from the lineout in the Wesley 22, Marys ran powerfully and then on a recycled ball, Darragh McDonnell took a hard arc, and shattered the defence to score the winning try. The immaterial conversion was missed; but the happy celebrations were not. It was tough on Wesley but none the less deserved by Marys, with Gareth and Sean extremely pleased, along with their new recruit, Tom Lynch, former St Mary’s College player and a fine club player up to a season ago, as a coach.
Well done to all.
Team (Rolling Replacements) 15 J Kennedy, 14 M Opperman, 13 C. Delaney, 12 R O’Loughlin, 11 L O’Regan, 10 M. Timmons, 9 C Gilsenan, 8 I Cullinane., 7 E Conroy, 6. D Lyons, 5 D MacDonnell, 4. R Dowling, 3 A Coyle, 2. C Ryan, 1. E Ferron., 16.L Moran, 17 N Murphy, 18 C O’Meara, 19. G Lloyd, 20 D Daly.