Lansdowne 83 – 12 CYM
Metro League Division 5
Festivals usually open with a parade and Dave Tunney’s and Mark Quinn’s J3s duly obliged at HQ on Saturday, running in a procession of tries to open the Festival of Junior Rugby. This great day was conceived and executed by Director of Junior Rugby, Ian Hopkins and Fixtures Secretary, Ricky Geraghty. Spurred to great heights by the occasion, the J3s produced a stellar performance from kick off to the final whistle, scoring no less than 13 tries in a tremendous display.
The game was a full ten minutes old before there was any activity on the scoreboard, but that was as long an interval as the supporters would have to endure for the rest of the day. After that, it flickered steadily with news like the New York Stock Exchange! Following a break from centre Will McEvoy, Paddy Meenan took the pass and charged through the CYM defences to touch down – the first of his hattrick on the day. Less than five minutes later, our latest French import, full back Arthur Rousset finished what started with great pressure on a defender trying to clear from winger Rob Manning .
Just as the French like to kiss on both cheeks, Arthur didn’t think his job was done until he had followed up his first peck under the posts with another less than five minutes later! 19 – 0 in as many minutes.
CYM rallied in the second quarter and scored a try, but two minutes later, Paddy Meenan finished off a training book move in the corner, restoring order and securing the bonus point: 24 – 7. There was one more to come before the half time break, as sub winger and try scoring machine, Max Moore scored the first of his hattrick. The dye was cast for the visitors as the half time whistle blew, but anyone who knew this Lansdowne J3 side could tell they were only getting started. 29 – 7.
Sure enough, soon after the resumption, Max took his second try after a scintillating break from twinkle-toed prop Cathal MacNamara. Not content with just one assist, Cathal repeated the gesture three minutes later with another gravity-defying 20 meter break finishing with an excellent pass to Paddy Meenan, who went over for his third.
Rob Manning scored immediately from the restart, bringing up the half century 50 – 7, but full marks to the spirited visitors, they took advantage of the open spaces created by our attacking play and scored one back in the corner. 50 – 12.
There was what seemed like lull with a nearly five minutes passing before we were over the line again, this time hooker/prop/center Luis Castro finishing off a blindside break by captain and outhalf Rob Troy. Next it was the turn of sub scrum half, Conor Clery to shine, finishing off one try himself, before making the try scoring pass to Max Moore for his third a few minutes later. 69 – 12 with ten minutes more to play.
In spite of the visitors’ brave defence, we were unstoppable now. The last two nails in the coffin came from winger Sean Neary and the second for Rob “I’ll never play again” Manning that brought us to full time.
Special mention for those who didn’t manage to make it on to the scoreboard but made the others look so good: man of the match, wing forward Shane Kennedy was tireless all day, giving a great example to his equally hard working protégé in second row, Michael Whelan. It was also great to welcome back from injury or travels, such luminaries as Dave Kavanagh, Caoilim Fassbender and Andrew MacInnes.
An outstanding spectacle of junior rugby, full of enterprise, courage and most of all fun. What a way to start the festival!
Match Report – Brian Whelan