Clontarf FC V St Mary’s College RFC J1s
Metro League Division 2
Sunday 1st December 2019
This was an impressive win by a dominant St Marys team. Marys scored 7 tries and one conversion to three penalties and a try. The pace and skill of the visitors was too much for a spirited Tarf team. However, it would always be that, an old and greatly respected club such as Tarf would fight to the end and never capitulate; so it was..
The two St Marys’ wingers showed their extreme celerity and acceleration. Alex Dix on the left wing scored a first half hat trick using that pace and footwork to great effect and Mathew Oppermann scored two good tries. Then in the second half well regarded outhalf Ben Watson scored a try and converted it. Mathew Talbot, a strong direct running 13, who had an impressive game, scored the final try of the game, having been involved in an earlier one.
It was reassuring to see David Fanagan, at fullback, returning from injury and getting through the game without mishap. It was likewise very good to see Patrick (Padjo) O’Driscoll back to the club after being away in Sligo. Welcome back Padjo. As scrumhalf he gave Ben a comfortable service and had several incisions himself. Niall McEniff who is an exceptionally talented prop, and rugby player, who has been ill for some time was also back and was part of a front row which was in command.
The pack was in fact, decisively on top in almost all aspects of the game, with the scrum rampant. The eight impressed and particularly the two second row players, Liam Curran and Hugo Diepman, getting back from longer term injury. They both lasted the game unscathed and showed their class. The loose play suited our backrow with the three doing well. It is good to see Jesse Lee coming into form.
The team is now second on the table behind Old Wesley and are looking good. Tom Lynch has proven to be a really fine young coach and motivator and he must be happy inside himself. The addition of Paul Brennan as backs coach is paying dividends (with seven tries to prove it). Tom, Paul, manager, Paul Conlon and skipper, Mathew Timmons, have inculcated an esprit de corps that shines out. It is often difficult to kindle that in the J1s, in spite of their importance, as they are often thought of as a halfway house team. The players have all related to the team, enjoy playing and are eager to turn out whatever the weather.
It should be mentioned that Head Coach, Steven Hennessy was there to watch potential and development of players. He had been of course, at Naas on Friday, Cork with a team on Saturday and still found time to go along to Castle Avenue
The lineout needs some work, there were some missed tackles and dropped balls, but generally they turned in a fast paced, controlled and well skilled performance.
I would recommend attendance at a game in which this team is involved. I think you should enjoy it.
15 D Fanagan, 14 M Opperman, 13 M Talbot, 12 M Timmons (Capt), 11 A Dix, 10 B Watson, 9 P O’Driscoll, 8 D Lyons, 7 J Lee, 6 S Heeran, , 5 H Diepman, 4 L Curran, 3 P Dundon, 2 S Healy, 1 N McEniff. B Mannion, D Delaney, C O’Meara, C Corcoran.