Lansdowne 11 – 10 Marys
Patching up their cuts and bruises after a cruel defeat in the cup only 48 hours earlier, and pulling on once again the same “fruity” jerseys, this J3 group showed their depth of character simply by turning up, let alone putting in such a fine, winning performance.
From the kick off, there were a few tentative exchanges between the teams, with Lansdowne enjoying good possession and running a few good phases, but not really penetrating as well as they’d have liked. Mary’s, on the other hand, had two or three excellent runners well capable of breaking the gain line and it was their out half (fiendishly disguised as something slower in a jersey marked marked “8”) that put the visitors on the score board first with a searing run that finished with a try in the corner.
Will McEvoy narrowed the gap to two points a few minutes later, with a penalty kick, marking the first of many contributions he and brother Alex would make on the night. But Mary’s hadn’t finished for the night and after several phases they put another of their strong runners over for their second try minutes before the break.
And it would remain 3 – 10 for another 20 minutes into the second half until Will slotted over another penalty to reduce the deficit to four. And then came another candidate for try of the season, when the pack worked a number of “Rambo” moves slowly edging up the pitch and also dragging in defenders. Scrum-half, Grogan spun the ball to the blind side to Will McEvoy making a blistering break before passing (not offloading, Phil) to another “evergreen” on the team Rob Manning. Rob drew his cover expertly to the touchline and then sent a perfectly placed pass back inside to supporting Under 20 stand in Alex Kinehan who finished the move with withering pace. 11 – 10 to the home side.
Those of us on the sideline were looking for the defibrillator, as Mary’s launched wave after wave of attack for the entire last 15 minutes. There were times when a hefty boot back down the pitch might have relieved some of the stress, but it just seemed that these boys wanted to tackle. And so they did with gusto until the whistle finally sounded and the game was ours.
What a marvelous antidote to the tough result of Wednesday and what a great testament, as if any were needed, to the character of the 20 men that took the pitch in those smelly but proud Lansdowne jerseys that night!
McEvoys Lead the Victory Song
Grogan, Beanser & The Foreign Legion
Match report: Brian Whelan