On Sat 18th of March at home on a wet and windy afternoon, our J5 squad entertained The Kilkenny Norman’s.
This was a rescheduled game that was called off earlier in the month due to waterlogged pitches.
This was a must win game for our J5s as a loss would see them out of the league playoff final.
We were missing our pack leader Padraig Fox due to work commitments, but our second row Andrew Perkins stood up and had a great game. We also welcomed back our captain Gary Masterson who had suffered a poke in the eye at training only a week ago, but was back to 80% vision in his bad eye. He could see colours and that’s all that mattered as he tore in to the black jerseys.
The Normans had a huge physical pack, and it was going to take a full 60 minutes before they tired. Our defence was superb with both centres Billy Shanahan & John Whelan putting in hard tackles. We played against the wind in the first half and managed to get the first try. We won the lineout and the drove towards their line with big carries from James Casey and James Collery. We were camped on their line, our Hooker Stephen Walkin picked and drove and got the ball over the line. Try. Converted by our out half Cal Gray. 7- 0 to the star. They kicked deep into our half with a strong wind at their backs. The ball was heading for the try line. Our winger Andrew Fitzpatrick kicked the ball clear over the dead ball line. The referee saw it differently and gave the Normans a 5 meter scrum. We were brave in defence and kept them out but we conceded a penalty. Score 7-3. Half time.
We were delighted to be in front with such a strong breeze, and started the second half kicking the ball deep into the corners. our second try came from a scrum. Our number 8 Gary Masterson picked and crabbed his way towards the posts. He was hit hard but we managed to get the ball to our centre John Whelan who put the ball down beside the posts. Another conversion from Cal now 14-3 to the star. We kept them in their half and they went off side. Penalty, up stands Cal and kicks it straight between the posts. 17-3.
A few changes are made by coach Smudge, on came Kurt McNab at scrum half, and our hard man David Dixon.
McNab was only on a few minutes when he broke from the back of the scrum, accelerating past the would be tackles and touching down in the corner. Conversion missed score now 22-3.
They began then to throw everything at us. Picking and driving. We were penalised for not rolling away at the tackle and James Hynes was yellow carded. They were now in our 22, but the tackles made by everyone kept them out. Final whistle blows. A great team performance which sets us up perfectly for our final league game v Stillorgan next Weekend. Win that and we are in the Division 11 League Playoff Final.
Well done to everyone involved.
1. Donagh Ryan,
2. Stephen Walkin,
3. Keith Gavaghan,
4. Andrew Perkins,
5. James Casey,
6. James Hynes,
7. James Collery,
8. Gary Masterson, Captain,
9. Ryan Barnes,
12. Billy Shanahan,
13. John Whelan,
14. Alessandro Casserole
15. Dan Hurley,
Subs All used
Tony Flynn, Colm O’Donnell, Barry Norman, James Nolan, Kurt Mc Nab, Paul Bennett, David Dixon, Eric Dunne and Cagular Tuc.