|Mar 30, 2013||Under 20s||A||Old Belvedere ALL IRELAND CUP SEMI FINAL||All Ireland Cup||Anglesea Rd||16:30||8-7|
As we took the pitch the players had heard that our senior team had wrapped the League title up at home in Lansdowne Road minutes earlier and not wanting to be party poopers the 21's started off very nervy against a strong Old Belvedere team who settled into the game straight away when some poor defending allowed Belvedere score a try in the fifth minute which was duly converted to leave us 7 - 0 and in a bit of a tizzy. Belvo were on top and we were giving them all the help they needed. It wasn't until the 14th minute when our pack started to get to grips with their counterparts that we finally got into the game and got a penalty chance which didn't find the target but gave the lads encouragement.
With the Belvo crowd giving us plenty we found ourselves being cheered on by a rowdy Welsh touring side who looked to even up the numbers by sup[porting Lansdowne. Turnovers in the opposition 22 were numerous and cost us dearly all through the first half but our defence improved and players covered admirably for their team mates when tackles were missed. This spirit got its just reward right on the stroke of half time when great work from the pack led to Adam Boland breaking down field and with great off-loading the ball was worked to full back Richie Lenahan who broke clear to score an unconverted try which left us 7- 5 down at half time.
The feel good factor of ending the half on a high didn't last too long as in the 43rd minute Centre Eoghan Quinn got a very nasty cut to his thigh which required the game being stopped for over 10 minutes and Eoghan being carted away in an Ambulance to Vincent's hospital. Mark Roche fresh from his man of the match performance in Lansdowne Road came in to bolster the midfield along with the limping Ross Keller helped us keep possession and keep Belvo from our line. The toing and froing continued until the 68th minute when Keller stepped up and slotted a penalty over the posts to give us the narrowest lead for the first time in the game.
There was some ferocious tackling going on from both sides and although not recognised by the referee our pack had taken total control of the scrum and created good ball for our backs who were held out by great defending from Belvo and the inevitable onslaught came in the last five minutes when Belvo pounded and pounded and looked certain to score a try in the 89th minute when a try saving tackle came in from number 7 Will O'Brien where he put his body on the line taking man and ball and ended up in Vincent's hospital with a dislocated shoulder for his trouble. The subsequent passage led to a penalty for Belvo and even the most passionate Lansdowne supporters thought that this was it and yet again luck had deserted us in an All-Ireland. Lady luck had other ideas and fortunately for Lansdowne the penalty attempt shaved the post and went wide which allowed Lansdowne hold out for a famous hard earned victory over a battling Belvedere.