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  • Blackrock College RFC

First XV v Cashel Home Match Report

AIL 2A Round 10 vs Cashel RFC, Stradbrook 14/1/23

Before our second encounter within a week against the same opponents, more than 140 people packed into our dining hall for our pre match lunch. With all the chat being about the return fixture only seven days after a hard fought draw in Cashel, everyone present thought we would be in for a closely fought match. It turned out that they were all correct!

Ireland Scrum Coach, John Fogarty was a late withdrawal as guest speaker, so Michael ‘Jacko’ Jackson stepped in to entertain us with his usual friendly and diplomatic banter.

A who’s who of rugby stars were in attendance, with British & Irish Lions Fergus Slattery, Hugo MacNeil and Paul Wallace there to lend support, along with a host of Irish Internationals. Hugo and his wife, newly promoted Minster of State, Jennifer Carroll MacNeil were guests of President John Colclough and are great supporters of the club. We thank them and all who came along to support us on the day.

After a minutes silence following the recent death of a great rugby man, Fr. Denis Gavin, we kicked off towards Lucey Park with a fair wind at our backs.

Despite dominating the early exchanges just as we did the previous week, we couldn’t make a break through as Cashel, with the best defensive record in the league, held firm to repel our advances.

A penalty after thirteen minutes saw Peter ‘Kicker’ Quirke get us on the scoreboard.


3 : 0

On nineteen minutes we had an attacking lineout at the Cashel 22. A super take and quick thinking saw the ball in Joe Byrnes’ hands and he went around the front to score in the left corner. Kicker lined up a near impossible conversation attempt which the wind dragged ust wide of the posts.

8 : 0

For the next fifteen minutes the play remained mostly in the middle third of the pitch as both sides defended well.

With 6 minutes left in the half, a Cashel penalty kick for touch saw them with a lineout at our 5 metre line and they went through the phases to score a converted Try. The score remained the same as both teams headed for a much needed break.

8 : 7

Cashel kicked off the second half with an ever increasing wind at their backs and were determined to use it as their kicks pinned us back deep into our half at every opportunity.

The scrum penalty count against us was starting to mount. The highlight of the fist fifteen minutes of the second half was the introduction of scrum-half Mark Edwards, making his return from a long lay off with injury.

With ten minutes left in the match, and after some end to end stuff, the score remained 8 : 7 as neither team could make a breakthrough. We attacked at every opportunity. Stellar defence from Cashel kept us out.

On seventy two minutes we were awarded a penalty within kicking range and went for the posts. The wind pushed Kickers’ kick to the right and wide.

As the clock ticked down inside the last five minutes, the frantic pace appeared to slow slightly, with lots of tired bodies evident. With a couple of minutes remaining, Cashel had a scrum 10 metres inside our half. Their No. 8 made a break from the back of the scrum, passed to their Captain, Conor Cashman, who despite the best efforts of two Rock defenders had the momentum to carry over the line and score their second Try of the afternoon to take the lead for the first time. A superb kick from near the sideline added the extras.

Just like the previous week in Spafield, we pushed forward, again looking for a late score, knowing we would have to score close to the posts to have any realistic chance of the conversion. We took at ‘tap & go’ from a penalty 5 metres from their line, however we lost the ball forward at the line. Unlike the previous week, the late score didn’t come and the visitors took the win.

8 : 14

The result leaves us in second place in the league, four points behind Queens who secured a bonus point win against Ballymena and two points ahead of Cashel, in third.

Next up this Saturday, January 21st, is a trip to Nenagh Ormond, who lie fifth in the table. We won the home leg with the last play of the game in December and expect another close game at New Ormond Park.

The ground is a handy drive from Dublin, being only two minutes off the M7 motorway at EXIT 25. See directions to Nenagh Ormond.

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