Dublin University FC V St Mary’s College
AIL Division 1 B
Friday 9th October 2015
University Challenge, is what this was, we got a starter for eight and ended with a bonus for one. What a shame, to think that we had scored a top class try and a penalty before Trinity got on the board and ended up losing.
This was a high tempo game of great endeavour and thrust by both teams that entertained throughout. In the end TCD probably just deserved the win, as they were willing to run everything back and seldom kick, which was testament to their skill and fitness levels. They had a strong mobile pack, good set pieces and firm defence.
The St Marys’ squad was without skipper Robert Sweeney, due to a back injury but is hoped to return for the next match.
The game was even, and Marys played with drive and determination. There were some notable performances. The pack worked hard and Ciaran Ruddock, acting captain, worked continuously and led his men well. The backrow stood out and it was a real bonus to have last year’s captain, Kevin (Shiner) Sheahan back from injury. He gave a highly impressive performance, with crushing tackles, canny covering and constant carries. An especially welcome new member, hooker Hugo Kean, played his first game for the club this evening. He is a Leinster Academy player, who was captain of Blackrock College SCT last year and is a Smythy protégé.
In the backs, both wingers, Marcus O’Driscoll and Terry Kennedy stood out, with high work rate and effective running, they were both a frequent source of disquiet in the TCD defence. A word must be mentioned about Terry, not only did he score a try of unusual beauty but he often swayed through the tight TCD defence like a waving breeze. His try followed a break by Ivan Dineen. It was carried on by Mark Fallon, who gave a delightful off load to Ray Crotty and he made ground and passed to Terry who hit the turbo and went, he was closed down and threaded a subtle skeeter, regained the ball and floated over. He tackled well too and was my MoM.
It is a bit unfair to criticise a team that has real heart and bravery and which is clearly improving with the season. However, we did appear to kick away too much possession, to a team that received it with gratitude. We were guilty of some straight defensive errors, on two occasions leading directly to the two TCD tries. Late on too, when we were in strong attacking positions, our usually dominant scrum suffered the ire of the referee.
Marys did earn an important losing bonus point in an away game against a strong team and no doubt will learn from it. Our next game is again away, this time to Buccaneers in Athlone next Saturday. Buccaneers have 15 points as do we and so are with us in joint third place behind Old Wesley and Ballymena. Buccs is one of the teams vying strongly for promotion to Division 1A and will be formidable opposition. They will have a particularly strong pack and we will need to play at real pace, hold possession more, and tighten our defence. We can go there with confidence and belief.
It was on 18 minutes when Terry scored that try and Sean, who did well, added three points from a penalty on 21 minutes. A try by Trinity outhalf Mc Dermott followed on 34 minutes and with the conversion and two penalties on 36 and 40 minutes, TCD went in at Half Time 13 – 8.
The second half infused pace into the game, Sean closed the gap with a well taken penalty on 47 minutes. Then on 52 minutes Trinity scored a worthy try from distance and so the score was 20 – 11 and we finally added three more points from Sean to make the final score 20 – 14.
Four points for Trinity and one for us.
The Squad (Rolling substitutions)
15 R Crotty, 14 T Kennedy, 13 I Dineen,12 M Sexton, 11M O’Driscoll, 10 S Kearns, 9 D Fanagan, 8 M Fallon, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 K Sheahan, 5 D O’Connor, 4 C Ruddock (Capt.), 3 B McGovern, 2 H Kean, 1 T O’Reilly, M Elliot-Murray, D Aspil, E Ferron, R Glynn, C Gilsenan.