The U11s hosted Caernarfon RFC from Wales on a bright sunny morning on the back pitch at LFC. It was the 1st time our boy splayed a more expansive 12 a side (we play 10 a side rugby). The Welsh were a bit older and a bit bigger however the Lansdowne team were slow to start and Caernarfon brushed easily through tackles to score early in the 1st few minutes. Committed tackles from Bobby Colbert, Samuel Pawlow and Tadgh Noone kept the visitors at bay while solid attacks from Fintan Lydon and Jack Moynagh pressed the Caernarfon defenders.
Caernarfon’s pack dominated the scrums and enabled them to launch attacks well into our lines, however in the lose play our forwards held their own with JJ Hamilton and Evan Hayes making notable counter rucking and holding the line. However poor/inconsistent tackling let us down in general and Caernarfon pulled away, winning comfortably and deservedly.
The second game featured a more determined defense by Lansdowne with notable tackling by Andrew McGauran, and Setanta Kelly kept the Welsh backs on their back foot. The rucks were fiercely contested with both teams committing hard to win the ball. The Welsh back line kept better positioning and their running and passing stretched the Lansdowne Defense, however quick turnover ball from Josh Byrne and sniping counter attacks from Stefi Saroli launched Lansdowne well into the Caernarfon 22 line. Continued pressure paid off as lansdowne struck for a try in the corner. Caernarfon came straight back moving the ball well down their line, crisp passing and two handed running allowed them to get through the Lansdowne defence, heroic grasping tackles from Teddy Corrigan and quick defensive support from David Cormican stopped the visitor advance, Brian Hughes stole a lose ball and ran at the largest Caernarfon defender who limped off after the collision. Momentum moved back to Lansdowne and our boys scored a second try and then a third, Caernarfon as ever came back strong to score a well run try but it was not enough and the spoils went to Lansdowne.
The Final match was a fierce contest with both teams giving it all, again the Welsh outfit moved the ball well with both hands, stretching the Lansdowne defenders. Both teams were tiring and tackles were coming in high and players in rucks were not staying on their feet, Lansdowne used tactical kicking to push the Welsh defense back and capture lineouts. The Welsh pushed ahead and won the game but the score line did not reflect the tense back and forth nature oft he game. Parents Coaches and casual observers were all impressed with the standard and enthusiasm of both clubs, after the match Lansdowne President Michael Cassidy and 1st Team Coach Mike Ruddock addressed the Welsh tourists and was followed by a reception in the club house afterwards, Michael Cassidy presented the Welsh Coach with a Lansdowne Pennant while the Welsh visitors presented a lovely Club shield and both Club Team Captains made speeches. A great feast of food and refreshments courtesy of the Lansdowne U11 parents was enjoyed by all afterwards We have been invited to Wales for a return fixture in 2019, and look forward to renewing on the pitch rivalry and off the pitch friendship with our Welsh visitors!
Match Report – Owen Lydon
Photos – Michael O’Brien
View full photo gallery HERE