Junior Rugby J1
|02/11/2009||7.30pm||League||Old Belvedere||9 - 10||St. Marys J1 XV||Away|
Dick Turpin Joins St Mary’s J1’s for one match special.
J1 League Old Belvedere 9 St Mary’s 10
2nd November in Anglesea Road
This was a match where Belvo had 65% of the forward ball and St Mary’s had 35%. We started well and in the first 10 minutes Bradshaw drove the pack and the team to continually pile pressure through the centre taking tough yard after tough yard. Jerome Kennedy was back for his first game since Feb 2009 kicked and spread the ball with great efficiency bring the backs into play with full back Paul Gillespie, returning from a ham string injury, making great ground down both flanks. Dick Turpin watched on.
We played good attacking rugby which was rewarded with a penalty beyond the 22 on the right wing. Jerome placed a perfect kick dead centre of the posts. Belvo 0 St Mary’s 3 with eleven minutes gone.
Directly after this Belvo stepped up a gear, launch a ferocious attack hitting hard up the middle. Time and time Gav Hickey, Brads, Brewer put their bodies on the line. Barry O’Flanigan defended like a man possessed. Donners continually counter rucked and took the us back up field but Belvo in fairness to them were relentless. They continually came off rucks up the middle at Hudson and Quinn, getting through a few times but getting smashed for their efforts by Barry and Louis Burke. This was a bleak period for St Mary’s firstly losing penalty after penalty which the Belvo out half relished. Thankfully however, out of 5 kickable penalties in this period they only converted 2. Now down 6-3 the game entered a new level of ferocity.
In the 20th minute within 30seconds there was blood everywhere. Donners counter rucking was milled by Belvo’s number 8. The clash of heads resulted in a deep cut over Donners left eye, (later requiring 5 stitch’s). It took 6 minutes to stop the bleeding and strap him up. With true St Mary’s spirit he went straight back on. 30 seconds later Louis Burke went into a tackle that turned into a blistering ruck, when he came up his left ear was badly split (requiring 3 stitch’s). Colm McMahon was creased in another tackle twisting his left knee badly, he played on. In the 25th minute Gav Hickey got kicked in the eye and as the next 15 minutes flowed we were bullied and kicked off the park. Barry O’Flanigan was everywhere. We lost Paul Gillespie to a ham string and brought on Craig Morrin. The centres of Hudson and Quinn took tackle after tackle and against all odds we defended like the 300 Spartans, we lost Donners to a sin binning and at halftime we were miraculously only 3 points down. We kept them out. Dick Turpin watched on.
Belvo had control of the game, with so many Leinster peripheral plays on Belvo’s firsts our J1’s were playing against virtual AIL team, we needed a new plan. Rodney stepped in. We re-mastered our team approach; the battered and bruised J1’s went back into battle. Belvo again and again broke our line only to be thwarted by a solid back up defence system which began to release the backs. Ronan Doherty and Craig Morrin tried every clever kick through in the book and connected with Hogie Quinn and Hudson in attack. Though we played some great rugby Belvo pinned us back all the time. The ferocity level grew, we lost Jerome and Colm McMahon in this period. Gav Hickey’s eye was now swelling. Mike Houlihan was dead on his feet after winning a J2 game on Saturday against Belvo. He battled on. Andy Smyth, Killer, Richie McDonald and Kenny McInerney joined the frae as Donners was finally taken off bleeding again. Dick Turpin watched on.
Belvo tried every angle of attack each time it was repelled but they won 4 more penalties only converting one. Now 9 – 3 up Belvo went for the kill, but so did Mary’s. Out of nowhere a new strength was found. In a frantic passage of play we worked our way up the field with a kick through from Craig followed at high speed over the line by Hogie. We thought it was a try, at worst Belvo knocked on and we had a 5 yard scrum. The ref gave a 22 drop out to Belvo. Rodney went apoplectic, but the ref made him better. By the 78 minute we were just outside the Belvo 22, we won a penalty. Up steps Cormac Quinn scrum half and thrill seeker. He missed. Now matters looked bad. Dick Turpin watched on.
From the 22 dropout we gained possession and played our hearts out, Brewer, O’Flanigan, Burke, Bradshaw, and McInerney the newly alive Houlihan all ploughed into Belvo as we worked our way up the pitch. We got a 5 yard scrum. Now in the 85th, yes 85th minute DICK TURPIN HAD HAD ENOUGH.
It was a mad decision by the Belvo coach, Dick Turpin must have had a gun to his head and somehow convinced the Belvo coach to change his front row as they defended a scrum on their own line in the 85th minute. This is the only way I can explain Belvo’s crazy decision.
This annoyed the Mary’s pack no end. In an onslaught reminiscent of a mauling Lions pack infected with Rottweiler venom the St Mary’s pack took the play from scrum to maul to a superb try by a battered bruised and bloody Louis Burke 5 yards in from the side line. Now behind 9-8 we went for the conversion.
Up stepped Cormac Quinn with the attitude of a 10 year about to kick a practice ball on a Sunday for the craic. (It turned out he thought we were ahead 6-8 and was just kicking to end the game, lucky he didn’t know better) Five yards in from the line with the last kick of the game Cormac’s kick sailed through the middle of the posts. The final whistle blew and we won 9-10.
In honesty this was a robbery on a Dick Turpin scale, an early Christmas present, a wish from the Belvo tooth fairy. Don’t get me wrong we played well, very well with great character, passion and honesty. We made mistakes and paid for them. Belvo simply played better, we know they had a strong team set up. They had 84 minutes to wrap up the game and failed. St Mary’s J1’s never gave up. In a true blue performance we played and won in the last second, with the last kick of the game. The J1’s should be very proud of their performance. I know Rodney and I, the First team coach’s and management and the supporters who were there certainly are. There were many men of the match, but Barry O’Flanigan has to gets the top Man of the Match award.
Special thanks also goes to Dick Turpin who has just retired.
The team was 1. M Houlihan 2. G Hickey 3. C McMahon 4. S Bradshaw (Captain) 5. N Brew 6. L Burke 7. Barry O’Flanigan 8. M Donnellan 9. C Quinn 10. J Kennedy 11. R Doherty 12. R Hudson. 13. C Quinn 14. C Hogan 15. P Gillespie
Subs R McDonald, A Smyth, K McInerney, C Morrin, D Kilbride.