J4 XV v Malahide (A) -26.10.2019

St. Mary’s College R.F.C. 18 – Malahide R.F.C. 17 Metro League Division 9 Estuary Road 26th October 2019

St. Mary’s J4s registered a victory in their opening game of Metro Division 9 in a tough encounter against Malahide.

The game began with St. Mary’s on the attack with the wind at their backs. Unfortunately the game was stopped due to a serious injury to Mary’s lock David Dixon. Thankfully he is on the mend and we hope to see him lining out for us again soon.  The game resumed on the upper pitch and Mary’s continued pressing hard against Malahide making some good inroads through our backline. Sustained pressure lead to a Mary’s penalty which was well taken by Harry Fanning to give Mary’s a 3-0 lead. St. Mary’s continued strongly after earning several penalties in the Malahide 22, kept it in the forwards to earn a try from Richard Fagan with the conversion added on by Harry Fanning.

After getting a 10-0, St. Mary’s found themselves foul of several penalty calls and found themselves camped in their own 22. For a fairly experienced team like Malahide they were only delighted to get such great field position and with some powerful ball carriers they went over for a try under the posts for make it 10-7. St. Mary’s however quickly made amends right from the kick off with some excellent pressure defence in particular from Gavin Potts and Jack Cosgrave causing Malahide to lose possession and Conor Quinn to reward the defensive efforts with a try giving Mary’s a 15-7 lead at the break.

The second half had Mary’s facing into a strong breeze and Malahide adopted a kicking game to keep Mary’s pinned back. St. Mary’s started cutting through the Malahide defence with a strong backline making ground with Cian Dalton, Cian McBrien amongst others doing very well. Malahide began to lose their discipline and ended up with 2 yellow cards for persistent cynical play. Disappointingly Mary’s then had their own spell of indiscipline and failed to take any advantage in their numerical advantage. Malahide benefited from numerous Mary’s penalties to score a try to bring the score to 15-12. Malahide dominated the next phases of play and through some simple rugby and a combination of penalties and missed tackles they again ran in for another try to take a 2 point lead with minutes remaining. 

With not long left on the clock, St. Mary’s kept the pressure on putting in some huge hits on a veteran opposition who were determined to keep their lead. St. Mary’s kept their cool and were rewarded with a penalty which was calmly dispatched by Harry Fanning to win the game on the last play. Overall St. Mary’s deserved the win and can be happy with a victory against a difficult opposition. In particular it was encouraging to see many players just recently part of the U-20s setup to play a key part in earning the win for the team in very challenging circumstances. Next week the team travel to Lakelands to take on local rivals Parkmore.