Guilfoyle-James Cup Metro J6 Final
St. Mary’s College R.F.C. 13 Stillorgan-Rathfarnham R.F.C. 33
Energia Park, Donnybrook Stadium – Wednesday 17th April 2019
On a lovely evening for rugby a good crowd assembled from both St. Mary’s and Stillorgan to cheer on their respective sides. Family and friends joined past and current players from our junior rugby sides to cheer on the J5s as they took on Stillorgan-Rathfarnham. Unfortunately, on the night it wasn’t to be for St. Mary’s and Stillorgan came out on top that for the majority ofthe game, was very evenly contested.
Earlier that week at training we had received words of encouragement from Club President Jack Ebbs along with Flats and Pat Crawford. The day of the game, the team WhatsApp buzzed with messages of support from fellow players in the J4/J5 squad. The players were aiming for the first cup win this team had had since the 2012 O’Connor Cup victory.
The game began very tentatively, with both sides focusing on their defences. Attacking breaks came with hard carries some from Rob Dunleavy and Cian Cahill that moved the focus towards the Stillorgan end of the field. Some good work in the breakdown led to a penalty for St. Mary’s well taken by full back Dan Hurley to bring the score to 3-0.
Stillorgan posed a constant threat when they had the ball with a number of loop moves from their backline and their out half possessing an excellent boot which constantly kept us pinned back. Despite receiving a yellow card, Stillorgan had a period of dominance for which they got their first try with their number eight picking off the back of a scrum and running towards the wing to pass to their winger who scored. The try was unconverted but some minutes later, Stillorgan added a further 3 points from a penalty to bring them 3-8 ahead. For the remainder of the half Stillorgan held most of the ball, however some excellent defensive work from our team lead to their fullback being caught over their own line giving Mary’s a 5 metre scrum which captain James Casey later turned into a try which was converted by Dan Hurley to bring Mary’s 10-8 ahead at half time.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with the majority of play happening in the centre of the park. The Stillorgan 10 placing multiple high kicks and crossfield kicks into the Mary’s backline that kept us pinned back and opportunities to get forward were limited. Many players including, Jack Cosgrove and James Collery putting in great tackles to stop Stillorgan gaining momentum. An infringement in our defence gave Stillorgan the lead with a penalty 10-11. The team were able to rise once more and push forward with good link up play between our forwards and backs rewarding us with a penalty again converted by Dan Hurley to bring us back ahead 13-11 with 20 minutes remaining.
Unfortunately, this would be the last time St. Marys would be in the lead, soon after this, Stillorgan broke through our defence for a try and followed up with a penalty to bring them 13-19 ahead with ten minutes to go. St. Mary’s pushed forward and didn’t give up but tired legs after such an effort became a factor and while chasing to overcome the deficit Stillorgan were able to add two further tries including one impressive breakaway try from their own 22.
In the end it wasn’t to be and the squad gave everything but just were unable to gain a foothold against a very strong and well drilled Stillorgan team who were able to control the game at key periods. Although we were unable to get the victory today, the players and coaches put in a great effort to get us this far in a season, they can be proud of their achievements and hope to build on this for next season and take home the cup.
1. Donagh Ryan 2. Aaron Doherty 3. Gary Masterson 4. Jack Cosgrave 5. Padraig Fox 6. James Hynes 7. James Collery8. James Casey (Captain) 9. Conor Quinn 10. Colin Foley 11. Eric Dunne 12. Robert Dunleavy 13. Cian Cahill 14. Cian McBrien 15. Daniel Hurley 16. David Browne 17. David Dixon 18. Elliot Chambers 19. Caglar Tuc 20. Ryan Barnes