J4 XV v Greystones (A) 30.11.2018

A cold but dry Friday saw the high-flying Greystones, who had yet to drop any points so far with only two teams coming even close to bonus point range, welcomed a Mary’s team, with the aid of a sprinkling of youth from the U 20’s, who ended up on the wrong side of a few tight games. It was Marys who started the better of the two working their way up to the Greystones try line only to be undone at the 5m line when a scrum penalty allowed Greystones to relieve the pressure. It was now Greystones turn to go on the attack leading to Greystones having a 5m scrum but as happened to Marys minutes earlier possession was lost and the line was clear. The opening 10 minutes set out what was to come for the remaining 70 with both side bringing an intensity to attach that was only matched by their opponents’ resolute defence making the tackle zone highly contested with both side earning turn overs and penalties. Play continued to move from one try line to the other only for the defensive team to win out each time until Greystones conceded a penalty just outside their 22. Dave Daly duly stepped up to the mark and coolly slotted the kick breaking the deadlock and give first blood to the Blue of Marys. Unfortunately as can so often happed after a score Marys failed to deal properly with the kick off and Greystones earned a penalty on the 22 and proceed to level the score. With the penalty count rising on both side the referee called in both captains for a word. As the half drew to a close Marys again built through the phases only to be turned over near the Greystones 10. Greystones managed to drive deep into the Marys half and after a few phases of quickly recycled ball finally found a chink in the otherwise impenetrable Marys line and got in for the first try of the game.

The second half got under way Greystones aimed to build on the momentum of the first and quickly found themselves battering at the Marys line once more. While Greystones upped their attacking intensity the blue line rose to the challenge stopping them again and again in their tracks until the defensive pressure was too great and the error was force and Marys reclaimed the ball. The penalties continued to mount with Johnny Kelly the first of the match to receive an enforce 10-minute break on the side line. He was not on his own for long with a Greystones player joining him at the end of the following play. It was Marys who took advantage of the referee’s intervention and drove on to the Greystone 5 where some fast rucking by the forwards and quick hands across the back line saw the man with no number cross in the far corner to bring the Blues back to within 2 at 10-8. Unfortunately while the conversion attempt was true it lack the legs and fell short. From the restart it was back to business as neither side gave an inch. As we entered the final quarter it was Greystones again how managed to break the deadlock getting over in the corner for an unconverted try and a 15-8 score line. As they had for the entire game the Blues just dusted them selves off and went back at it with renewed aggression they found themselves driving down the right into the home 22. Again with the pack securing quick ball the backs found the space and the again the man with no number after a flick of his hair and a step any Fijian would be proud of stormed over under the posts and added the extras in short order to tie up the game with only minutes remaining. Greystones came back strong but could not get a foothold beyond the Marys 10. With seconds left Marys again turned the ball over and won the penalty and having decided discretion is the better part of valour put the ball out ending the game much to the disappointment of those in the stand who wanted more of quality rugby on offer. The final score was a fair result for how both teams played but after a tough few weeks it was an achievement to be the first to take points off the league toppers. A special thanks to Lukas and Killian who played their final match For Marys as they return home the France.