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24/09/2023

Lansdowne J1s v Barnhall MUJ1s

Metro League Division 1 

 

Oisin Devitt showed real composure in slotting over a touchline conversion into a strong crosswind following a well taken Paddy Burke last gasp try to earn the Lansdowne J’1’s victory in what looked before that like a loss having been behind into the final minutes of the game. This is the second week in a row that this team has scored in the last play of the game to ensure victory and in this particular match a bonus point was also achieved as a result of the win.

The game itself was by and large a scrappy affair, played in difficult windy conditions interspersed with showers of rain. The game began with Lansdowne on the front foot, but with some handling errors leading to set pieces the opening chances of the game were not taken. As a result, Barnhall were able to gain a foothold into the game and from their first breakout from their own half and attack that followed their right winger broke through the Lansdowne defence and outpaced the defenders to score to the left of the posts opening the scoring and with the extras added meant that the home side led by 7-0.

A response was needed and that is what followed with some good play from the Lansdowne forwards in the loose and after several phases the ball was moved out wide allowing the speedy Rohan Van der Akker to touchdown in the right corner reducing the scoreline to 7-5 with the conversion missed. The elements were in favor of Lansdowne but by and large the wind was more of a strong cross breeze and it was quite wet, so for a lot of the remainder of the first half each team cancelled each other out. It was Lansdowne who managed to score a further try this time by centre Matthew Hodgkins after some very good work by Rory Madigan.

This left the scoreline at halftime Lansdowne leading by 10-7. The second half resumed with the conditions slightly worsening and one felt that Lansdowne had not played their best in the first half and needed to improve. Barnhall had been competitive throughout the first half without having many chances but the chance that they did have they took expertly.

Again, both teams by and large cancelled each other out in the early stages of the half and a lot of mistakes from both sides lead to scrums and lineouts a plenty. However midway through the second half and after some very good forward play involving several phases it was left to Stephen Callanan to burrow underneath the defence close to the Barnhall line and increase the scoreline to 15-7 but again the conversion was missed in difficult conditions.

With the lead in the game you would have thought that Lansdowne would have pushed on to seal the win in their first away fixture of the season but that was not how it turned out as the home side from the kickoff gained a penalty and kicked to touch in the right hand corner and following several plays later managed to reply with a try of their own which was expertly converted leaving the scoreline at 15 -14 in favor of Lansdowne.

With such a slender lead the game became more combative and competitive and it was Barnhall who enjoyed more possession as a result of a strong scrummaging unit and turning the ball over and again. In fact, following some excellent work on the ground resulting in a turnover they managed to move the ball out right with under 10 minutes to go for their right winger to run diagonally across and breakthrough the Lansdowne defensive line and outpace the chasing defenders to score near the right hand post. The conversion was added and suddenly the complexion of the game had completely changed and it was the home side who led by 21-15.

With the clock ticking down and with the conditions making handling difficult the game was petering out towards a conclusion. However, the J1’s showed a lot of spirit and fight and fought for every ball and in so doing gained possession and managed to put pressure onto the home side close to their 22 meter line. Barnhall resolutely defended and it looked like they would hold on for their first victory of the year when from broken play the ball ended in the hands of Paddy Burke who moved out to the left-hand side of the pitch broke through the home defense and managed to score right on the left-hand touch line.

It was hard to believe that for the second week in a row, the J’s had a chance to snatch victory from  defeat and it was left to Oisin Devitt with the pressure kick from the left hand touch line into a strong wind.  Like cool hand Luke Devitt calmly approached the kick and sent a low ball flight high enough to bisect the posts with the flags being raised and the referees whistle went to his mouth and sounded the final whistle.

An unlikely looking win turned into an important win and even more relevant than that a bonus point in securing four tries and continuing this side’s good start to the season with two wins out of two. For the home side a valiant effort and they are an improved outfit from the team that played in this league last year. Lansdowne had won the game by 22 – 21 in the last kick of the game.

Mention must be made of Rory Madigan who has been out injured for some time, and did his shoulder in this game. We wish Rory a speedy recovery from that injury as he is a player of great heart, spirit and always contributes so much to this team. Good performances also from Daragh Murphy, Paddy Burke, Robbie Kidney and a cameo from Ronan Shaw who had travelled back from Paris after the match. This team move on to another away fixture next week this time against UCD in Belfield on Sunday the 1st of October at 3:00 PM.

Match Report – John Kilroy

 

 

  1. Charlie McSweeney
  2. Evan Downey
  3. Ronan Shaw
  4. Sean Walshe
  5. Steven Walshe
  6. Darragh Murphy
  7. Donough Lawlor
  8. Lúc Culliton
  9. Eadbhard O’Callaghan
  10. Patrick Burke
  11. Jack Browne
  12. Rory Madigan
  13. Matthew Hodgins
  14. Brian Barron
  15. Rohan van den Akker
  16. James Power
  17. Johnny Barry
  18. Stephen Callinan
  19. Robert Kidney
  20. Oisin Devitt

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