Report written by Pat Hanratty:

Photo courtesy of Ava Meagher and Barry Lambkin from Cistercian College Facebook page


The final score was CCR 22 Wesley College 19.

Many will say that it should have been much more comfortable, but in knock out Rugby there are no bonus points for scoring 4 tries nor do your opponents gain a bonus point for scoring a last minute try.

Having said that, one felt a bit of sympathy for the Wesley lads – twice in our Golden Years (hopefully not over) they suffered heavy defeats at the hands of CCR, and they would have hoped for a better result having beaten us in the League earlier in the season. Maybe that’s because I taught in Wesley when doing my H.Dip – a few years ago!

Roscrea got off to a brilliant start with a try from Diarmuid Kilgallon almost from the kick off which Billy Foley converted – from the touchline, reminiscent of his brother Tim’s great strike in the 2015 final. It could have been 14-0 minutes afterwards as a kick ahead almost led to a try, but Wesley covered back.

A series of penalties including a missed attempt at goal were Wesley’s lot until a poor tackle led to a sin binning of the Roscrea no. 13. That led to a hole in the midfield which after a few attempts. Wesley exploited with a Jordan Larmour like run through the Roscrea cover. The conversion was missed and when back to 15 men, Roscrea were more dominant and a Foley penalty left the Half Time score at 10-5.

An unusually short interval (to save having to use the the floodlights?) meant that those of us who went in for coffee missed the opening minutes of the second half and we came out to see Wesley’s kicker nailing a conversion to leave the score at 12-10 for the Ballinteer side. Wesley’s lead, however lasted less than ten minutes – a try by Wing Forward James Corcoran restoring CCR’s advantage. Roscrea’s forwards were having a field day, between some excellent line out steals and surging runs from props Josh Wycherley (heard that surname before?) and Captain Michael Milne who did most of the hard work with a storming run through the Wesley defence to pass to Liam Crowley with the line at his mercy. Foley added the extras and at that stage CCR looked home and hosed at 22-12.

Credit Wesley, they made us sweat, especially as the clock was showing real time so we could only guess how many minutes were left in the closing stages, but there was only time for them to score once, which they did, leaving the Final Score 22-19.

Roscrea have plenty of work to do to prepare for the next round, but overall it was a very satisfactory result. We’re in the last eight with the big boys!

Before the match, a minute’s silence was observed for Joe Dempsey, the father of Head Coach Rob Dempsey who died on Monday and whose funeral took place today. Joe played with Union President Liam Spooner in the club’s two successes in the Towns’ Cup in 1975 and 1980.

Roscrea have been drawn against St. Mary’s Rathmines in the quarter final which will take place in the week beginning 18th February (a week which ends with the Ball in the County Arms on Sat. 24th!) When we get the dates confirmed, we’ll organise a pre Match lunch in O’Connells.

All the best,

Pat (2nd February 2018)


(Update 6th February 2018:The second round match will be played on 20th February at 3pm in Donnybrook stadium)

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