St Mary’s College RFC J1 V NUI Barnhall RFC J1
Metro League 1
Sunday 13th November 2022.
This was a close encounter of the rugby kind with both teams trying, often in vain, to play open, effective rugby. The home side had some top names involved and it was especially good to see the great Warrior, Nick McCarthy, back, hopefully for the season. He lasted the full match and contributed wholeheartedly as he ever does. Andrew Walsh likewise gave a valuable full 80 minutes. Last season’s club revered captain Richard Halpin, likewise made a major contribution for a full 80 minutes. Young players learn a great deal by having the opportunity to play with top players like these. Dan Lyons as captain played more than a captain’s part, he carried hard and effectively the entire game, was active in the loose, and led his men con brio. Joe Nolan never puts in a bad performance and so it was again he was active and effective in the loose and contributed notably to the lineout. Versatile Gavin Potts showed well too.
The backs sported several very promising players like Hugh Lane, Jack McSharry, Eoin Carey and Alex Dix who was very sharp in attack.
It was difficult to build any rhythm in a game that was full of pause. Both teams showed signs of harmony now and then but errors and stoppages broke any chance of fluidity. It was extremely even. Unfortunately, St Marys were over the line for nearly tries on four occasions when they were adjudged to have been held up. They did manage three tries and it was ironic that in the senior game yesterday, the last kick of the game saw a missed conversion which saw us win by two points. Today we had a last kick conversion attempt to win by one point, unfortunately we missed it.
With a good quality line up, it shows the problem is the group lack of practice together. It appeared that if they could get the time to train as a team once a week or so, they could quickly climb the table of this important and prestigious league. It might be a slight sacrifice for the players but worth it. No doubt, Sean Healy and Darren Walker would welcome that opportunity too.
Scores. Max Whelan at 12, who ran hard and straight, scored early on, but Barnhall pulled a away, although we scored a penalty the score was soon 10-21. A penalty got us to 13-21, then it went 13 24 with a Barnhall penalty. Eoin Carey then scored a try to make it 18-24. We started playing well then and put a lot of pressure on the visitors before a penalty and lineout led to a mauled try, 23-24. Final score
Team 15, A Dix, 14, L Moore, 13 E Carey, 12 M Whelan, 11 H Lane, 10 J McSharry, 9 A Walsh, 8 N McCarthy, 7 J Nolan, 6 G Potts, 5 C O’Neill, 4 M McConnell, 3 D Lyons,2 R Halpin, 1 D McGill. L Bryan.