J4 XV V DLSP O’ Connor Cup Quarter Final


O’ Connor Cup Round 1

Wednesday 10.04.204

Tempeville Road

St. Mary’s College RFC (22) v DLSP (11)

Our J4 squad were straight back to business on Wednesday night with the visit of Salmo to Tempeville and cup rugby. After an heroic battle in Tullamore there were a few injuries and the strength of bench was put to the test with the challenge of knockout rugby. While it was a dry night the wind whipped across the J1 pitch hitting carvills corner and was going to have to be managed in the game. Salmo were winners of this cup competition last year after playing this Mary’s side in the final and know how to win at this level turning up for a tough game every time with big ball carriers.

Mary’s opted to play into the wind to start and when they got their first opportunity they done what this squad does best , fast ball out to a fast back line , running from their own half. Jack Delaney at 15 hit the game line at speed and after receiving a perfect pass from Thady , Jack timed a final pass to Ross out on the wing to get over the Salmo line with Jack picking up a late hit to the ribs. Dara added the con.

7-0 Mary’s 5 minutes gone

Ross came into the squad for quinny who had to come off the pitch in Tullamore for an on going back injury, he’s a huge part of this squad and we hope to see him back soon. Ross came in at 9 and had a great game , taking snipes and providing Dara with fast, clean ball. He also scored two tries earning the man of the match award. It was a tough night again for our pack and especially our front row up against some very experienced lads in the Salmo pack. Our scrum was under pressure and lineout was always going to be an issue with the windy conditions both held pretty good considering this. With the Salmo ball carriers it was a day for the chop tacklers to come out in force with Jayden, max, stapo and Cian meeting Salmo on the gainline and minimising any yards gained. Salmo were patient and carried gradually up the field until they spotted the space out wide and hit Mary’s corner getting themselves back in the game.

7-5 Mary’s

The game remained tight for some time with Salmo again retaining ball up front and winning a penalty close to the 10m line for Mary’s not releasing. With  the wind in their favour and the game remaining tight they took the right decision and hit the sticks with the wind carrying the ball over.

8-7 Salmo

The Mary’s response wasn’t long coming and after a kick in the Salmo 22 their inside centre gathered and was injured in the resulting tackle. This stopped the game temporarily and Mary’s reacted quickly with Salmo trying to re organise with Jack passing the ball to Ross out on the blind side wing who got over the line.

12-8 Mary’s

Salmo kept up the big effort but were met by some fierce work in defence and at the breakdown by Mary’s. They knew they had to take any opportunity they got in this tight game and when awarded a penalty nearly on the half way, their confident 10 again opted to hit the sticks and get the most out of the wind before the half. The ball once again was carried by the wind and slotted over.

12-11 Mary’s half time

Words from Thady , Dave and Fran re energised the group at half time. With the wind now in our sails , the next score was going to be huge and there was more energy to come from the Mary’s bench. The workrate and pressure paid off and Ciaran put in some huge carries with Salmo under pressure in their defence on their 5m line. Mary’s were patient and Leon Potts stepped up and spotted a gap in the Salmo pillars to get over the line. A huge score in this tight game.

17-11 Marys

Mary’s kept up the pressure with Salmos pack now struggling to deal with their workrate and rush defence. It was another fine performance from Thady and Jack in the backline and Dan mc gill holding strong in centre. Mary’s eventually got in for another score with Cody getting over in the corner.

22-11 Marys and the game now out of reach for Salmo. It was time to start using the bench and re enforce our front row who were under pressure all night. Aaron and gary came on and brought some much needed energy up front.

It was another impressive performance all round and now brings this squad to a cup semi final versus Landsdowne, a repeat of last years semi final , this Friday night in Tempeville. A huge thank you once again to the support that turned out, this is a huge part of what makes junior rugby so special in this club and the support is a huge part of the clubs success. Hope to see you all again on Friday night!!

Chris o connor