Old Belvedere RFC V St Mary’s College RFC
AIL Division 1B
Ollie Campbell Park
11th January 2020.
In the bleak mid-winter, we have had to taste defeat. In the end, both teams accrue five points from the two games. This is probably a fair reflection of the sum of the two games played in winter’s depths, today, in squally wet conditions that favoured the home team’s heavier pack and pitch insight. That said St Marys did not look comfortable today. Mistakes came early and often which put us under pressure, within a couple of minutes. A feature of the game was defence with both teams responding willingly to pressure and conceding little. Congratulations to young Ben Watson, former St Gerard’s College star, who made his first AIL start at outhalf today.
The talent in Tommer’s Terriers is abundant and multi-faceted. Likewise the commitment is resolute. The various aspects of play are creditable and the results of high quality coaching and training. So we have seen a talented, effective backline emerge and a fast rucking interactive pack.
There is a slight tendency to carelessness in decisions, on occasion; and we appear to have an intermittent lineout problem, which cannot be assigned to particular players. Five lineouts in succession, we lost today and this had obvious consequential effects. On the obverse, the scrums have been, and were again today, an invaluable resource, both giving decisive attacking opportunity and a means of escape from torture on occasions. All considered, we are well placed to push up table. This will be the case I have no doubt. Almost every one of the five games dropped, were lost due to errors rather than weaknesses.
It was not a game of sparkle or outstanding performances, more a mundane grind in the mud. The quality of our scrum was a feature and the pack, especially the front row, must take credit. The tight head prop, a young man with big potential, Mick McCormack, was irresistible in the scrum today, he carried and covered reliably. He was deservedly awarded the SoftCo MoM award
We have dropped a place to 7th with 23 points. Eight placed Armagh also have 23 points, ahead of Naas 17, and Navan 6. Both Shannon (5th) and Malone (6th) have 26 points, and Banbridge and Old Belvedere have 27 points. So clearly it is a squeezed table with pendular swings possible after one round of play. Once again, the equivalence of the 1B league teams’ abilities can be clearly seen.
There is a free week next week, with the visit of Shannon on 25th. If the team plays to it potential and major errors are avoided we shall prevail. It has been emphasised repeatedly, the exertive effect of the support cohort can be decisive. We must heed that, and get along to do our bit to restart our march up the table. Marys, Marys, Marys.
4 min Pen 3-0, 18 min Try 10-0, 60 min Pen 10-3, 70 min Try 15-3, 81 min Try 15-10.
Team up with Tommer
Team (Rolling Replacements X12)
15 M Fogarty, 14 H Conway, 13 M Carey, 12 M O’Gara, 11 C Kennedy, 10 B Watson, 9 P O’Driscoll, 8 R Watters, 7 C Dempsey, 6 D Aspil, 5 H Diepman, 4 P Starrett, 3 M McCormack, 2 R Halpin, 1 T O’Reilly (Capt), S Healy, N McEniff, L Curran J Dilger, M Timmons.