30.11.2013 1st XV v Old Belvedere (H)

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30/11/20132:30pmAILSt. Marys 1st XV24 – 27Old BelvedereHome

St Mary’s College RFC V Old Belvedere RFC

24 27

AIL Division 1 A

Templeville Road

30th November 2013.

Overall

Similarly to the Lansdowne game we left it too late to win but the second half performance was highly impressive. Overall the game was another spectacle of exciting bright and often highly skilled rugby by both teams. Old Belvedere ended up deserving winners, but only just. It has to be admitted thatloose kicks, penalties given and errors made, cost dearly once again. We had a long period in the second half which was exhilarating. During that time, Marys held possession well,whipped the ball wide with straight hard, yet deceptive running. It looked at this stage as though we could sweep all in front of us. However, we dropped the pace a little and let Belvo back, but great credit, when faced with going downwithout a losing bonus point, the team responded. Itmetamorphosed and coalesced into a swarm of humming hornets and stung and stung. When it looked all over on 87 minutes, we struck with a valuable converted try.

Having looked at most teams this season and all over the past few years, there is no doubt but that we have as much or more talent than most and if a few adjustments are made I expectMarys will be competing for a top spot.

Once again there remains several out injured, with Mark Sexton added to the list, having broken his wrist last week against UCD. Conor Hogan was out this week too. Sadly, the charismatic Richard Sweeney has confirmed that he may be out for the rest of the season.

There were some impressive performances, with Cathal Marsh lifting all those around him to near celestial levels on occasions. He showed Ferrari acceleration and steering, withastute reading of the game. His breaks cozened the opposition and tied in the cover. His clever chip when playing advantage, led directly to a try and he was my man of the match. Also in the backline, Stevie Wonder Toal-Lennon, returned to his best form. The opposition found him very hardto handle, he defended well and had a top class game. A debutant at 13 was Ryan O’Loughlin, who with his mid-field partner Rob Hudson, proved elusive and difficult for the Belvo defence.

The forwards were competitive and capable, all working hard, however the counter-rucking and powerful maul of Belvo caused some problems. Once again Dynamo-Dylan Fawsitt was outstanding. His determined following up, nonstop foraging, tackling and carrying were exemplary. He is inexhaustible.

We remain in eight place with 12 points. Clontarf have consolidated their top place and have 27 points. Old Belvedere are just behind with 26. Ahead of us, are next week’s visitors to Templeville Road, Cork Constitution. We look forward to the visit of Con with confidence and optimism. Garryowen, whom we visit on January 4th , remain winless at the bottom. Ballynahinch are above them in ninth place, with nine points.

The Game

It was clear that this was to be a sparkler, as both teams gotinto full flow from the kick off. Marys were unfortunate not to reap some reward for a strong attack lasting several minutes. Then it was Belvo’s turn to attack and they showed flair and panache too as they ran hard at the home team. It paid off for them, as they scored a good try in the gate corner. We were penalised on 20 minutes for coming in on the side and Sean Berne converted to make the score 0- 8. A mix up in defence allowed Belvo’s right winger run through for a tryon 28 minutes and with the conversion it became 0 – 15. St Marys then got busy and after a series of attacks the ball went wide left to right and Robbie Hudson went over at the car park corner and Gavin Dunne converted to leave the score 7 – 15 at half time.

The second half saw the emergence of a dynamic and determined St Marys team. There was fire and fervour as they controlled the ball, kicked less and ran more, with purpose. It was a most unfortunate reverse however, when just at thecommencement of this flood of football, a kick for touch from defence by Belvo was misjudged by the Marys sweepers. It appeared that the ball was going into touch and was left. The Belvo winger retrieving it sprinted down the wing to score a converted try and make the score 7 – 22. Marys then had a golden period and when Cathal put in a neat chip under the posts, Gareth Austen was up fast to touch down for a deserved try, converted by Gavin; 14 – 22. A penalty from Gavin for offside made it 17 – 22 and the excitement was growing. The terraces were starting to echo. Belvo raised their game, put a lot of pressure on and got the vital try on 33 minutes to make the score 24 – 27. Once again the blue blood rose under the star and fever hit the veins. The attacks came and came again. Then it looked all over when on 46 minutes Belvo had ascrum on the Marys line. They infringed and a penalty led to a series of hectic attacks. Eventually, the ball again going left to right, came to Ian (Nelly) O’Neil, the arch poacher. He scurried over in Carvill Corner. Gavin converted and a deserved bonus point was thankfully secured. The game ended 24 – 27.

St Marys J1S beat Terenure J1s, 28 -13 with a four try bonus point win on Sunday 1st December. This was super win against our great friends and rivals and leaves us out in front in the Metro League Division 1. Gareth Roche, the manager, had great difficulty fielding a team but did great work in rallying lower league players to fill the gaps and they all did wonderfully well. There were tries from senior scorer V Belvo, Ian O’Neill (who later had to withdraw injured), alsoNeil Murphy (who had to play second row for a time), Tom O’Reilly (the props vying with the wingers) and Hugh Mc Govern. Sean Murray who was a spectator, agreed to come on during the game, when several injuries left the team short and he did really well. Cormac Tracey also there as a supporter ended up playing. Thanks to Sean and Cormac, who showed what rugby spirit and camaraderie is all about. It took a lot of balancing and positional switches from the management to bring about this marvellous win.

Congrats to all.

D O’Brien.

The Team (Rolling substitutions)

15 G Dunne 14 C Lilly, 13 R O’Loughlin, 12 Rob Hudson, 11 S Toal- Lennon, 10 C Marsh, M D’Arcy (Capt) 8 K Sheahan, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 G Austen, 5 C Ruddock, D Frawley, 3 B Mc Govern, 2 D Fawsitt, 1 C Mc Mahon, A Lyons, S Flanagan, I O’Neill, M Fallon.

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