Terenure College RFC J1 V St Mary’s College RFC J1
Metro 1 Cup Semi-Final
Sunday 3rd April 2016.
An impressive new ground at Malahide provided the neutral venue for a semi-final between the two Dublin 6 rivals, far from home. The score, however, was not so impressive for St Marys with Nure coming home deserved winners. Marys had a weakened team and it was difficult for skipper, Peter Starrett, who, as usual, worked tirelessly, only to see his team sink in this important fixture; especially after the great success of the senior team two days previously.
There were too many missed tackles, dropped balls and other errors from Marys and little continuity was evident; particularly in the backline. Frustratingly, having gone 18 – 3 down, just before half-time Peter organised a superb lineout take and a multi man maul, to score a try and then three minutes into the second half, a Marys’ penalty had us back to 18 – 11 and looking as though we could go on and win the game (We had beaten Terenure in the league twice during the season). However, we allowed Nure score three relatively easy tries (one conversion), without reply.
In spite of all of that, there was a nucleus of quality and had a full team been available victory might well have been achieved. The class of Barry O’Flanagan, sadly injured and so missing the last few senior games, was evident. He was outstanding in all respects, even though playing at 8 rather than at 7, and he was well supported in particular by Ian Cullinane and Steve Bradshaw in the pack.
The J1s have one more chance to win a trophy as they play at home on Friday, 8.00PM V Lansdowne in the League Cup semi-final. Over many years, St Marys had a remarkable record at J1 level and we must now aim to rise to that level again. I know that Rugby Council are examining structures to give the J1 team the identity, status and allurement it deserves. So we must be positive, and with enthusiastic and capable people like Gareth Roche, John Bainbridge and Mick (the medium) O’Connor involved we can be optimistic.
However, today we leave Malahide deflated and disappointed.