Senior Cup Rugby : Belvedere 34 CCR 19
Report by Pat Hanratty
The result doesn’t tell anything like the whole story!
Firstly, it was unbelievably cold! Great credit is due to two great teams who served up a match that had eight tries, some wonderful individual moments and resolute defending from both sides. While both sides dropped a few passes, they are all to be commended for playing so well in absolutely miserable conditions!
Some would call it a game of two halves – the wind dictated that. The only problem was that when Belvedere had the elements in their favour they scored more tries than our lads.
Roscrea were up against it from the kick off – literally. Belvedere kicked off, and though the ball was caught, Ros conceded a (very harsh?) penalty for crossing. They weathered the initial storm over several phases, Belvedere finally settling for a straight forward three pointer. Alas during the next ten minutes CCR conceded two tries to leave them 13-0 behind and already looking like they’d have a mountain to climb.
Cue the first period of possession for CCR and an overcooked Belvedere clearance kick which went from their 22 to behind the dead ball line meant Roscrea had a scrum in a favourable position and they capitalised on it and touched down in the corner. Game on! 13-5.
A wonderful bit of opportunism saw Belvedere score under the posts – this time their kicker made no mistake with the conversion. 20-5.
Belvedere were now making good use of their rolling maul which sent CCR back again and just before Half Time, Roscrea conceded another try after a yellow card was handed out for bringing down the maul. 27-5.
Just how much an effect the elements had on this game, would be gauged by the fact that nearly all the play in the second half was in the Belvedere half of the field. Unfortunately for Roscrea some of their best chances to get back in the game were thwarted by stray passes, or a misfiring line out (in the first half every line out was won by the team throwing.) Increasingly time was not Roscrea’s friend, but finally on 52 minutes Diarmuid Kilgallen went over under the posts to make it 27-12. Maybe there was still time for three scores but on their one and only incursion into Roscrea’ half the Belvedere No 13 bulldozed his way through several tiring Roscrea defenders to effectively end the match as a contest at 34-12.
A team behind by that much might have folded and conceded more tries, but although time was running out, to their eternal credit Roscrea kept piling on the pressure and were eventually rewarded with a try in the corner. In added time, Billy Foley nailed a touchline conversion reminiscent of the one his brother Tim kicked on a happier day 4 years ago – the final act by a member of his family in the Leinster Senior Cup.
There are other families including that of RSG Chairman Tim Meagher and his wife Shauna for whom this represents the end of an era – to all of them we owe a huge debt for all they have given to CCR Rugby. We salute the performance of this team. It was tough to draw Belvedere in the first round – there are several very beatable teams in the 2nd round, but that’s sport. Best wishes to all doing Leaving Cert this year in their exams and in the years ahead.
Lots of pastmen were talking about the forthcoming Dublin Dinner and its WW1 theme. Now for the action of booking tickets at the Dublin Branch website
All the best,