Saturday 22nd August 2015.
A fitting way we hope, to pay
Deepest respect ,as we all say
how ever long the time is past, our memories and care shall last.
The Berkeley Benefit Challenge
A marvellous community and club effort this was to remember the icy tragedy of Berkeley as the Leinster Senior League Cup game became a fundraising and memorial event for the young people, many associated with St Mary’s, who lost their lives or were injured recently, in Berkeley California.
On the day it was moving to see the throngs of local youths from the community, from the two clubs and supported too by the local GAA clubs. This all helped to make the day a dignified but happy memorial event to all those directly affected by the tragedy.. However, for many weeks behind the scenes the work was done to ensure success and foremost in that work were Bobby O’Connor and Lucas Moran, (class of 2012) and of course the club’s officers and the ever active club administrator Marie Hammond. It was an enormous task but to see the throngs on the terraces and jammed clubhouse, was no doubt to them satisfying.
All the donations made on the day to the fund will be testament to depth of respect and sadness of all the many hundreds present.
It was also the first game of the season and the first outing for new club president, Declan Fanning and club captain, Robert Sweeney. Declan spoke impressively after the fine lunch, as did Nure president Brian Colgan. Also, after the lunch, returning Leinster star, Isa Nacewa, entertained the lunch attendance with a Q&A session with our own inimitable Niall Rynne.
So the scene was set fair for the two ensuing LLC games, senior and J1.
It would be wrong to draw too strong or binding conclusions from the first game of the season, but the determined and resolute manner in which the game was played augured well for the season for both clubs. It is not to say that it was a perfect performance; for both teams, as would be expected, made a number of mistakes, with missed tackles, misjudged decisions and dropped balls. This made it a helter-skelter display on occasions but was, none the less, entertaining. Peter Smyth and his coaching team and captain Robert (Chops) Sweeney will have learned a good deal from the workout and be able to put together better detachments and partnerships, as work progresses.
There were satisfying and promising performances, probably the most was that of Phillip (Marvel-man) Brophy. He stood out in all aspects of the game and organised defence and attack with aplomb. He will be a major influence on the season and today showed that his not playing last season was a lamentable disadvantage. He was my Man of the Match. The three quarters were keen to run the ball with Ryan O’Loughlin particularly evident. In the pack all were working hard as would be expected on a first competitive outing and it was reassuring to see the backrow active and eager. Captain Chops led his men well and made good calls when needed… Terenure too played with adventure and both teams entered into the spirit of the game. Nure probably just deserved the win although coming towards the finish the Marys lads nearly pulled it off, showing excellent fitness for the time of year and were a credit to the hard work of the squad and coaches.
So a preparatory step taken before entering the long testing AIL road on 12th September.
After four minutes Sean Kearns scored a good penalty, matched on 16 minutes by Stephen O’Neill. After a yellow card to Nure, Chops went to the corner and with the maul stopped, Barry O’Flanagan, who had a fine game, made good ground and when the ruck was formed and the ball came to Mark Sexton he drove for the line and supported by Kevin Sheahan he went over for a try converted by Sean. 10-3. A penalty for Nure at the end of the half left the score at 10-6.Five minutes into the second half Harrison Brewer scored a fine try for Nure and with the conversion it was 10 – 13 and on 20 minutes it became 10-16 following an O’Neill penalty. On 25 minutes Nure added another good try, 10 – 23.
It was 32 minutes when Robbie Glynn, who had come on and was impressing, made an elusive snipe and after the ruck a series of pick and drives gave the hard working Tom O’Reilly a chance to go over wide out and Ray Crotty converted well. That was how it ended 17 – 23. It was then on to the J1 Leinster League game.
The Squad (Rolling substitutions)
15 P Brophy, 14 R O’Loughlin, 13 M O’Driscoll, 12 M Sexton, 11 R Crotty, 10 S Kearns, 9 D Fanagan, 8 K Sheahan, 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 Richard Sweeney, 5 S Bradshaw, 4 C Ruddock, 3 Robert Sweeney (Capt.), 2 T O’Reilly, 1 E Ferron, R O’Donovan, S Preston, D Frawley, M Fallon, R Glynn.
St Mary’s College RFC J1 29 V Terenure College RFC J1 19
Leinster Senior 2nds LC.
Saturday 22nd August 2015.
A fair number of the large crowd remained to enjoy the J1 match and were rewarded with an adventurous game. As with the senior game there were the expected early season errors. Again, both sides contributed to the adventure and were evenly matched. As with the senior game, one player in particular stood out in this game, as Phillip Brophy did in the senior one, it was Robbie Glynn at scrumhalf, who excelled in this one and ran proceedings with flair and competence. He kept pace on the game, fed his promising partner, Matt Timmons well, varied the play and struck with pace and penetration. Additionally he scored a fine try after seven minutes. He was my Man of the Match. Also to score was ever popular and capable Sean (Bisto) Preston, who scored two (22, 65 mins) and having played long periods of the senior game too, it will have been a most satisfying day for Bisto. A mauled try was scored (33 mins) and Colin Mc Donnell also scored a sizzler try (82 mins) and contributed handsomely when coming on.
The entire squad, led by the dedicated and consistent Peter Starrett, played with determination, and often flair, and a number of the players on show will clearly feature on the senior team during the season. It was good to see Ian O’Neill back after injury, Darragh Frawley is an impressive lineout man and did well, as did Rory (Rocky) O’Donovan, Neil Murphy, and Mark Darby; and Roy Sexton, at Eight, showed real potential. At 15, Dave O’Halloran showed some nice touches throughout the game.
This was a very good start to the season and Jamie Cornett and Gareth Roche will be pleased with the outcome.
The Squad (Rolling substitutions)
15 D O’Halloran, 14 H McGovern, 13 I O’Neill, 12 R Carroll, 11 E Clynes, 10 M Tymmons, 9 R Glynn, 8 R Sexton, 7 T Lynch, 6 M Darby, 5 D Frawley, 4 P Starrett (Capt.), 3 S Preston, 2 R O’Donovan, 1 N Murphy, M Murray, C Ryan, C McDonnell, H Keller, C Deegan.