Rock Win AIL DIV 2B
We all know that Rock have left it late several times this season, but surely nobody could have predicted the finish to the Final against Greystones on Saturday.
In the last play of the game, Mattie Dwan scored in the corner for the win, by a score of 23 : 25
A sell-out crowd of over 2,000 turned up at Dr. Hickey Park.
The rain didn’t dampen the spirits as the two teams took to the pitch, with both sets of supporters making themselves heard.
The match was the proverbial game of two halves if ever there was one.
Stones had a lot of possession in the first half, 70% according to their stats man.
Rock defended well but just couldn’t get their hands on the ball.
The first score of the match came on the half hour mark as Greystones Captain, Killian Marmion, kicked a penalty from in front to get the hosts on the board.
29’ 3 : 0
Less than five minutes later, Stones scored a Try.
Their #7, Conor McAleer went in near the posts.
33’ 10 : 0
Rock were awarded a penalty just before half time and kicked to the corner.
Super jump by Hugh Doyle set up a rolling maul and James Burke went over, however the ref. deemed him to have been held up.
10 : 0
The rain got heavier as the second half begun.
Rock were awarded a penalty 25 metres out. Kick was good as Kicker Quirke finally got us on the scoreboard.
10 : 3
Two minutes later, Stones scored under the posts as Winger Andrew Lynch, running a terrific line, dotted down.
Converted by Marmion.
17 : 3
A Stones penalty further increased the lead on fifty four minutes.
20 : 3
The 17 point deficit did not reflect the efforts of Rock, as they gained more possession and were starting to drive forward into the Stones half.
The wet conditions and slippy ball made things difficult and handling errors from both sides were no surprise.
Word went out from Coach Blaney to keep it in the forwards and keep it tight.
This paid off as Steve McLoughlin scored our first Try off the back of a rolling maul.
Kicker Quirke added the extras.
20 : 10
On the hour mark, Mattie Cosgrove replaced fellow Sligo native Cass, in a move that would define the rest of the match.
One minute later, the Stones Hooker saw yellow for foul play and Rock kicked for a line out just inside the Stones 22.
The forwards, once again, set up a rolling maul.
Cosgrove broke from the back and passed to Quirkey, who ran in to score.
He then converted his own Try.
20 : 17
A late hit on Kicker Quirke when scoring his Try led to a Rock penalty from the kick off to give us another line out at their 22.
We were awarded a penalty from this line out and Quirkey teed it up.
A super kick, sailed between the posts, from near the sideline, 25 metres out.
20 : 20
A Stones penalty saw them regain the lead with 6 minutes remaining.
23 : 20
In time added on, Rock once again drove forward. Mattie Cosgrove made a break up the middle from half way.
An infringement in the tackle led to the refs arm being raised for a Rock advantage.
Kicker Quirke pounced on the ball, threw a loop pass to Mattie Dwan, who scored in the corner.
Conversion attempt missed and the ref blew for full time, leading to a pitch invasion by the Rock support and the beginning of the celebrations.
23 : 25
Match Report by Fergus McGrath