J4 XV v Old Belvedere (H) 26.11.2016

St. Marys J4s v Old Belvedere:

Saturday, November 26th, saw a Metro 6 top of the table clash in Templeville Road as St. Marys J4s took on an Old Belvedere side hungry to stay atop the leaderboard. The boys in blue also came in looking to make a statement after a rocky few games following a 4 game unbeaten start to the season.

The first half began as it meant to continue with both sides leaning heavily on their forwards. It took a couple minutes for points to be put on the board as an Old Belvedere penalty sailed over. This was followed by unrelenting pressure from the boys in blue which ended with a lovely weighted kick by Dave Daly to see James Walsh touch down in the corner, the conversion followed and Mary’s held a 7-3 lead. With only 10 minutes left in the first half a high tackle meant the bin for one Mary’s player, followed only 2 minutes later by another for a high tackle. Two men down Mary’s now had their backs against the wall and it wasn’t until a scrum in Old Belvedere’s half in the 39th minute that saw a lovely passage of play see Old Belvedere use their numbers well and touch down in the corner.

The half time whistle blew and Old Belvedere led 8-7 at the break.

The second half began with an increased sense of urgency from the home side as they looked to capitalise on the missed opportunities and 2 minutes in with a full team back on the pitch. It did not take long for the first score to come as Marys won a penalty to once again take the lead. It was now Old Belvedere’s turn to spend a period with 13 men as one player was binned once again for the strictly enforced high tackle laws followed 4 minutes later by another. Unfortunately Mary’s did not manage to capitalise on this period and the next score came from Old Belvedere once they were back to full strength with a penalty to give them a 1 point lead (11-10)

As the game entered it’s closing stages, Marys received another yellow for a high tackle which made it look almost impossible to get the win they coveted. Mary’s did manage to score a penalty in the 74th minute and it looked as though they had managed to pull a win out of a tightly fought game, however, a last minute penalty from Old Belvedere gave them a 1 point advantage, once again, which secured both the game and their position at the top of the table at the mid-point of the season.

Mary’s next game for the J4’s will be next week Saturday December 3rd where they will face Tullamore at Templeville Road and look to secure a second victory of the season against this side.