St Mary’s College RFC J1 V Monkstown FC
Sunday 26th February 2023.
This is an old, esteemed and much-desired Leinster competition, won 11 times by St Marys. It was first won in 1940, and last won in 2013, ten years ago. We are obviously not going to win it again this year, but it is worth reporting on as it was a good fast game close and exciting.
Credit again to Sean and Darren for getting together a team shortly before the kick off. They put together a creditable melange of J1s and U20s, with the help of Vinnie Murray, who even came along and did touch judge. Well done to all. Also well done to the team. They were playing against Monkstown FC, now sadly a junior club, having been one of the oldest clubs in the country as indicated by the FC designation. They are working hard to achieve senior status again and all who like and admire the traditions of Irish Club Ruby will wish them well.
Today, they deserved their win, although it was a really hard fought game right through. The game broke loose in the last 15 minutes which favoured the Monkstown team, with a wily veteran at fullback who directed his team excellently. Monkstown had a pretty impressive maul and a strongly dominant scrum, which they used to good effect and it was one of the main factors in the outcome.
The young Marys team was impressive at times. There was good movement innovation and adventure. Young outhalf, Senan Phelan was most impressive and shows real potential. His distribution and his personal skills are exciting. He is still in school. He linked well with his 9, Adam McEvoy, who grows in stature each week and today he showed he has good place kicking abilities. With Scott Rochford, Luke Bryan, John Brennan, Hugh Lane and Eoin Carey outside them the halves enjoyed themselves.
Conor Pierce at 8 deserves special mention, as he was at the wrong end of a fast back-trotting scrum and he managed it excellently saving several situations. He was well supported by Gavin Potts (Colin’s son) and Matt Gallagher at 7. Ian Wickham was a fine captain and is a talented young player as is his impressive partner, Cillian O’Neill. The front row had their hands full, facing a potential senior front row and deserve big credit, not one flinched or cowered, but fought all the way.
Overall, it was a very positive performance, especially by a team that has had a lot of challenges over the season. Credit to Sean and Darren.
After only seven minutes and before the young Marys team settled Monkstown scored a good try, but almost immediately John Brennan ran back a ball and set young winger Luke Bryan on his way he took his score with aplomb and it was game on. A mauled try by Leandre Sellier put us 14-7, up and then when Town were on a yellow card we made it 19-7, we were 19 14 at half time, thanks to Eoin Carey.
Second half and using their strong scrum to advantage on 51 minutes, Town drew ahead 19-21. And on 70 minutes expanded their lead to 19-28.
Then it broke up and on 84 minutes we made it 26-28 with a superb Senan Phelan individual try. We lost concentration and Monkstown got a final try and it ended 26-35.
15 J Brennan, 14 H Lane, 13 E Carey, 12 S Rochford, 11 L Bryan, 10 S Phelan, 9 A McEvoy, 8 C Pierce, 7 M Gallagher, 6 G Potts, 5 I Wickham,(C) 4 C O’Neill, 3 J Coolican, 2 L Sellier, 1 B Hamilton. K Quinn, M Mooney, E Power, J McSharry, K Ryan.