On Friday night the J3’s took on a strong and talented Terenure side in final of the Moran Cup, in Donnybrook. This was the first of two fixtures that we were hoping would give Lansdowne a historic J2/J3 cup double. The lads had all worked hard and were ready for a tough encounter, and none more than our very own Rob McCarthy as he prepared to take on his alma matter.
We got off to the best possible start when, after two minutes, Andy McEvoy tore the ball from a ruck near the touchline on the 10 yard line and raced down the wing, outpacing the ‘Nure backs, to score a great individual try. We continued to build on the good start with captain Donal O’Cofaigh slotting a good penalty, following breaks from Shuan McDermott and Gary ‘I’ve to work late’ Notley, to take the score to 8 - 0 with 15 minutes on the clock.
The swelling crowd had to wait until 5 minutes before the break for the next score. Terenure gathered possession inside their own half and worked their way up the pitch at pace, putting the ball through a number of sets of hands, to score a excellent counter attacking try in the corner.
Just on half time Andy McEvoy took over kicking duties and slotted a well taken penalty to bring the score to 11- 5 to Lansdowne at half time. At the break the message fromcoaching team of Gavy, Eddie and Bobby was to keep doing what we had been doing, not to panic, and that the scores would eventually come.
Terenure registered the first score of second half with a penalty following a period of pressure. However as the second half progressed Lansdowne began building some great attacking platforms. Hooker James Coady was hitting Paul Harvey and Flano in the lineout. Kev Quinlan was giving the backs quick ball and Will Evoy was pinning Terenure back with some excellent territorial kicking.
Wannabe old man Barry Heaton, once of just about every club in Ireland then crashed over for a score following a number of pick and goes from the likes of Paul ‘09 O’Brien. Andy Evoy landed the conversion and the score was now 15 – 8 to the defending champions.
Moments later Andy Evoy kicked another penalty to bring the score to 18 – 8 with 10 minutes left on the clock. This was some performance by young McEvoy, who is rumoured to be only 14 years old.
As the clock wound down ‘Nure began to throw everything they had as us. Great tackling from Paddy O’Granola and JCT Flaming Sword Legend Kev Feeney ensured their efforts were not in vain. All the fitness work put in by the lads throughout the year was beginning to pay off.
As the game moved into injury time, James Cassie Caslin, or Cad as some Lansdowne coaches call him, stole the ball from a ruck showing that all his sled dragging sprint work wasn’t a waste of time after all, as he outpaced the ‘Nure defenders to score under the posts.
The conversion was added and the game finished 25 – 8. It was a superb performance against a strong, and much fancied Terenure side. All the hard graft since last September had paid off, and not just by the lads on the pitch but all squad members throughout the season. The cup had been successfully defended by largely a new group of lads from those who won it the previous season.
A few pints were enjoyed back in the club afterwards with the cup where Cassie was adding about 5 yards to his try each time he told the story, which was a lot.
Finally a special thanks goes to Fabrice fromwww.fabphotography.ie for taking a wonderful set of photographs of the match, giving the lads a permanent reminder of the win.
15. Rob McCarthy 14. Andy McEvoy 13. Will McEvoy 12. Gary Notley 11. Shaun McDermott 10. Donal O’Cofaigh (captain) 9. Kev Quinlan 8 Alan Flanagan 7 Kev Feeney 6 Paddy O’Connell 5. Barry Heaton 4. Paul Harvey 3. James Caslin 2. James Coady 1. Paul O’Brien
16. Des McCormack 17. Mark Forrest 18. Robbie Becker 19. Luis Rodriguez 20. Kev Murphy
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Article related to J3s v Terenure fixture.