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Lansdowne J1 v Old Belvedere

Metro League Division 1

55 – 7

The J1 outfit took to the field for the first time in seven weeks to resume their league campaign. With a distinctly strong looking line up, they put together a hugely dominant display against an opponent who was always up against it. Truth be told the scoreline could have been worse for them, but to their credit they never stopped trying and stemmed the flow a lot in the second half.

The game opened with a fearsome attack from the Lansdowne back line which was halted just short of the try line. However, from the ensuing ruck leading try scorer, the excellent, Oisin Devitt added to his season total with a sniping break to touch down close to the posts. Following the conversion by Tom Gavigan this made the score line 7-0. By now the pattern of the game had been well and truly set, and from the restart the Lansdowne backs again broke through, following several forward phases, it was left to center Dan McEvoy to jink his way through the defense to increase the lead to 12-0.
The use of possession by the forwards was impressive and there were fine performances by Lucas Culliton, Liam Forster, and fellow back rower Darragh Murphy who as a unit were excellent all day. Mention also for Charlie McSweeney who carried well in the first half.  The forward pressure was telling and it was left to lock Conor McMenamin to use his large size to rumble over from close in, making the score line with the conversion from Gavigan 19 -0.

This team had by now the bit between their teeth and were already searching for a bonus point. This was provided by returning club captain Cillian Redmond (great to see him back following a good break) – 24-0. Although the job was done the J1s were in no mood to let up, and bossed possession from the restart, gaining good field position. From that platform the Lansdowne 8 exerted great pressure, leading to a try from Murphy, who when he gets going is an awesome ball carrier with huge strength. Gavigan converted and the score line was now 31-0.

There was still time to play in the first half and with the opposition punch drunk, there was a break by Henry Godson who offloaded to Teddy Boland and the ball moved on to the arch finisher Devitt, who outpaced the defense and left an easy conversion for Gavigan leaving the half time score at 38-0.

Old Belvedere, to their credit, started the second half well and despite their deficit showed fight and commitment. It was they, through their lock, that opened the scoring in the second half after a good attack. The conversion added the score was now 38-7.
This, however, would be their last score of the match as Lansdowne slowly got back into gear, and as the half went on both the bench was being emptied and position switches were made. The opening quarter of the second half was uneventful and the game went into a lull, until Redmond scored his second try and went to convert it only to miscue his attempt wide. That forgotten Lansdowne team started to exert pressure again, and this led to a flowing back move which ended in a fine try for Murphy, his second of the day. 50-7.
There was still time on the clock, and the scoring was concluded by club captain Cillian Redmond, who scored his hat-trick of tries right at the final whistle leaving the final score at 55-7.

In the league the J1s stay third, behind the top two Trinity and Clontarf, and with four games left to play there is no room for error. One feels nothing short of four consecutive victories are required to propel the J1s into the league final. So it is simply one game at a time, maximum points required and see where that takes us.

The next fixture is against UCD scheduled for Thursday 1st February, 20:00 at home.


Match report – John Kilroy

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