Coláiste Iognáid 15: 14 St. Josephs (‘The Bish’)
Under an atypically deep-blue Galway sky and with a clear view to the Burren, the first victory for this fiercely determined U14 ‘Jes’ team, means that the future looks particularly bright for Jes Rugby.
From the outset it boded well with captain Aidan McDonagh winning the toss. Patrick Nash’s clever kick-off allowed Ben O’Malley to make a break for the left flank from the following lineout. Some determined defence from a startled ‘Bish’ side held up proceedings but the ‘Jes’ now scented opportunity.
An excellent lineout led to some sophisticated play from the backs. Hugh Gavin’s and Patrick Nash’s clever handling from the ruck saw Andrew Sherlock’s deviously looping ball out to Ben O’Malley. A well-timed side-step and then a swift pass from O’Malley allowed winger James Harrison to finish the move and ensure the first points of the game and the season went to Coláiste Iognáid. Nash faced a stiff breeze from the south, an impossible angle and his attempted conversion just failed to hit the mark.
From the kick-off, Adam Madden made a break from the Jes try-line and despite assistance from McDonagh, the ‘Bish’ picked up a try after some clumsy defending from the Jes team. However, Coláiste Iognáíd were not to give up easily. Triumvirate Madden, Reddan and Gavin went close to scoring but the half-time whistle stifled their advance.
At the restart, the ‘Bish’ were quick to look for revenge as they took the Jes by surprise with two quick and dogged tries in succession. Thankfully, Paddy Fahy and the rest of the pack ensured excellent possession for the Jes making great use of the width of the pitch. They were now settling into an insistent stride.
Finding a loose ball, No. 8 Sam Gibson, skipped over the line for the second try. With super-sub David McCall putting in some smashing tackles, yet again the team kept possession so that eventually with time up, Niall Martin was stopped just short of the line. Gibson, with his second pick-and-go, was on hand to crash over and seal victory for an exultant U14 team.