Lansdowne v Terenure J1
Metro League Division 1
17 – 25
The J1 outfit took to the field, following the senior AIL fixture in Lakelands in what turned out to be a disappointing defeat, matching the senior’s loss earlier. A frustrating performance from a team with a lot of ability, but with a tendency to lose concentration in games at important times leading to the concession of soft points. This game was one of those even after a bright start, too many unforced errors and being away from home, made it difficult to come back from always having to chase the game rather than control it.
The game began with both teams testing each other out to gain the upper hand. It was the J1’s who opened the scoring following excellent work by Oisin Devitt, whose sniping attack and real pace allowed him to breakthrough the home defense and score close to the right-hand posts leaving a simple conversion for Tom Gavigan to make the score 7 – 0. It must be said about Devitt, that he has made a habit of scoring tries this season; he is very dangerous from the base of the scrum and finding gaps to breakthrough.
One felt from the sideline that the J1’s would kick on from there after this bright start, but back came a very resolute home side who had a fine pack of forwards. They were particularly effective with the pick and go around the fringes of rucks leading to much territory being gained and go forward ball for their backline. Although the tackling of the J1’s was effective in stopping them, they repeatedly were getting over the gain line and so moving into good field position. It was after 15 minutes that they struck back with their opening try of the game which was also converted from close in leaving the scoreline at 7 – 7.
Conditions, although fine, were heavy underfoot not only because the senior game had been played before this but also because of the amount of rain there has been over the previous couple of weeks, leading to a greasy surface. As a result, a lot of the play was arm-to-arm close in with both teams trying to gain the upper hand. It was following an infringement at the breakdown that the Terenure out half added to their tally with a well taken penalty goal making the score line 10 – 7. There followed a period of both teams attacking each other without success. It was not until the final five minutes of the half and a penalty infringement that the J1’s gained good field position inside the Terenure 22. There followed a further infringement, allowing Gavigan to kick over a penalty goal right on the stroke of half time leaving the halftime score at 10 – 10.
The talk at halftime was very much about trying to up the pace and take the game to the home side. However, the second half started poorly with a kick off being spilled giving possession to Terenure. The home team maintained good field position and eventually after a series of lineouts and rolling mauls, they managed to rumble over from close in, opening the second half scoring. With the conversion added leaving the scoreline at 17 – 10.
There was no lack of commitment from the J1’s who tried very hard but for the writer, the Terenure pack forwards were a better unit and certainly in open play, gained much ground in their team play. Lansdowne had steady performances in the forwards by Teddy Boland who is always very useful in the loose, and Lucas Culliton at No. 8, who tried hard. In the backline again good performances by Tom Monaghan at center, Michael Sylvester at fullback and Devitt at scrum half. The J1 management emptied their bench to try to stir things up, but a lot of the second half was taken up by the teams canceling each other out by both making forays into each other ‘s halves without adding to the scoreline.
However, this was soon to change with the 15 minutes to play after a fine back move from the Terenure team which started in their own half. The play involved some skip passes and ended up with their left winger on the wrong side of the field outpacing the chasers from the 10-metre line to score near the right-hand corner much to the delight of the large home support.
This left the scoreline at 22 – 10 in favour of Terenure with time running out. You have to say though that this J1 team always try to come back in a game. This game was no different, but they were well contained by a very resolute home team. Michael Sylvester did score for Lansdowne, following a fine break by him in which he outpaced the defenders and scored near the posts with the extras being added by Gavigan to make the scoreline 22 – 17. At least a bonus point was on the horizon for the J1’s, who had minutes left in which to salvage the situation. In this time though, it was the home side who following a Lansdowne infringement added to their tally with a well taken penalty from their out half pushing the scoreline out to 25 – 17.
This was to be the final score and this denied the J1’s a losing bonus point and culminated in a very disappointing evening for them with both the J1’s and the seniors being beaten in Lakelands that day.
That is now the midpoint of the season and with seven games gone the J1’s have dropped to fourth place in the table. The good news is that it is still very tight at the top of the table, as I have stated in previous articles a lot of the top teams beating each other.
The second part of the league campaign will begin with an away fixture to Clontarf, and what a big fixture that is, as Clontarf is top the division and one feels that that is a crucial game going forward for this J1 team, if they are to try to repeat the winning of the league from last year. That fixture is due to take place on the weekend of the 25th of November in Castle Avenue and as always support would be greatly appreciated!
In summary, a bad day at the office for the Lansdowne faithful, but as the song goes “Things can only get better” or at least we hope so.
Match Report – John Kilroy
15. Michael Silvester 14. Matthew Grogan 13. Brian Barron 12. Thomas Monaghan 11. Billy Foley 10. Tom Gavigan 9. Oisin Devitt
1. Seán Dunne 2. Henry Godson 3. Adam Boland 4. Sean Walsh 5. Steven Walshe 6. Aidan Long 7. Robert Kidney 8. Lúc Culliton
16. Evan Downey 17. Robbie Lyons 18. Stephen Callinan 19. Eadbhard O’Callaghan 20. Patrick Burke