Lansdowne 21’s travelled the short and all too familiar trip to Belfield on Sunday to renew our rivalry from last season with the double All Ireland winning champions. Early exchanges were encouraging and we were happy that we could match and hopefully get the better of UCD but costly turnovers and some individual errors had us looking in disbelief at a 19 point deficit inside the first 25 minutes. We looked to be down and out but the players never dropped their heads and we continued to create chances but were not clinical enough inside the opponents 22 where we repeatedly turn over the ball but we got our rewards in the 35th minute with some fine work by number 10 Tom Kiersey who broke through to score in the corner and a difficult conversion was missed. UCD showed their quality and responded by marching up field with their 10 converting a drop goal to deflate the team with a half time score of 22-5.
Fassie & Charlie got to work at half time and made it clear to the players that we were still in this game and if we improved our handling and cut out the silly mistakes we could get back into the game and hopefully get something out of it. With the lads believing we were still in the game they took to the field with a renewed sense of purpose and with the pack dominating the scrum we took play into the UCD 22 where the scrum continued to dominate and with the ref losing patience we were awarded a penalty try as the infringement had impeded a definite score from the scrum. Tom Daly duly slotted over the conversion leaving the score at 22-12. Growing in confidence we put together some good play that resulted in a penalty in front of the posts with Daly adding the 3 points that took us into loosing bonus point territory with the score now 22-17. With some great tackling and enthuastic players we were keeping UCD out and with the reward that in the 74th minute with some fine work in the back line the pack took control in the 22 and fought their way in for a try with prop Adam Boland securing the 5 points in the left corner. Tom Daly eyed up the conversion from the left hand touch line and cool as a breeze split the posts to bring us to 22 all. Not happy with the draw we claimed the restart and went looking for the win but UCD were having none of it and duly won a turnover and looked to get into position to win the game themselves great defence and a bone crushing last minute tackle by Captain Akhalaque Khan on our 22 resulted in a turn over and a scrum to Lansdowne where upon the ref brought a close to proceeding in what was overall a fair result between 2 teams who will no doubt continue their rivalry right up until the end of the season.
Our next game is Sunday 21st against Ternure away in Lakelands.
Article related to Under 20s team.
Article related to U21s v UCD fixture.