Sk­er­ries play their full part in try bo­nanza

Fingal Independent - - SPORT -

ON a beau­ti­ful night for rugby in front of a very big crowd at Holm­patrick on Fri­day, Sk­er­ries and MU Barn­hall served up a re­mark­able 14-try spec­tac­u­lar which ebbed and flowed through­out the 80plus min­utes.

Sk­er­ries made changes from the pre­vi­ous week’s Dun­gan­non match, which ended in a nar­row de­feat, with Paul O’loghlen, Ruari Woods and Ben Jenk­in­son all start­ing, and the Goats scored in the first minute af­ter some bril­liant con­ti­nu­ity play fin­ished off by Ruari.

Bar­nahll re­sponded with a con­verted try af­ter five min­utes and fol­lowed this up with an­other seven-pointer on 10 min­utes. How­ever, just four min­utes later - af­ter an­other im­pres­sive move O’loghlen put an­other try on the board for Sk­er­ries, con­verted by Billy Mulc­ahy.

For the next 10 min­utes Sk­er­ries got a foothold in the match and Mulc­ahy con­verted two penal­ties to leave Sk­er­ries lead­ing 18-14.

What hap­pened in the 10 min­utes lead­ing up to half-time had Sk­er­ries sup­port­ers scratch­ing their heads in dis­be­lief as MU Barn­hall scored four un­con­verted tries - all com­ing from turnovers when Sk­er­ries were in strong at­tack­ing po­si­tions.

The MU Barn­hall back row were ex­cel­lent and their num­ber 8 Tom Mck­e­own out­stand­ing dur­ing this spell and at the in­ter­val the score stood at 34-18 in favour of the visi­tors.

De­spite ex­cel­lent first-half per­for­mances from AJ Sher­lock, Ben Jenk­in­son and Michael Tur­vey, Sk­er­ries were shell-shocked and they brought on Ross Dempsey and Eoghan Car­ron for the se­cond half.

TA­BLES

Five min­utes in, how­ever, Barn­hall scored a con­verted try - their sev­enth of the game - and at 41-18 it now looked like the match was over for Sk­er­ries, but the boys re­fused to lie down and with Barn­hall’s Mck­e­own be­ing sin-binned the tide com­pletely turned.

Tries from AJ Sher­lock (2) and Woods, all con­verted by Mulc­ahy, brought the score to 41-39 in MU Barn­hall’s favour with 15 min­utes to go.

The re­turn of the op­po­si­tion num­ber 8 had a huge bear­ing on the clos­ing stages of the game and they scored an un­con­verted try and a penalty to stretch their lead back to 10 points go­ing into in­jury time - 49-39.

But again Sk­er­ries would not lie down. They re­fused to kick a penalty in front of the posts in the dy­ing min­utes of the game and in­stead took a quick penalty, and af­ter sev­eral phases of play Car­ron scored a try to give the home team a se­cond bonus point.

Alas, there was no time to mount one last at­tack in search of what would have been a truly as­ton­ish­ing vic­tory.

All in all it was an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of how rugby should be played, and the coach­ing staff on both sides need to be com­pli­mented. This young Sk­er­ries side showed huge res­o­lu­tion and there were sev­eral star per­form­ers. The front row of Mar­rey, Leonard and Sher­win worked tire­lessly through­out the match and the scrum was much im­proved. Ben Jenk­in­son tack­led and sup­ported all night, the back row of Mcauley, Tur­vey and Mur­phy were out­stand­ing.

The backs all played well at var­i­ous stages, par­tic­u­larly Mulc­ahy and Woods in the first half, and Mulc­ahy’s place kick­ing was ex­cel­lent. Cap­tain Mikey Sher­lock and Mcgrath had a tough first half in the cen­tre but re­fused to lie down.

Good­man, De­vitt and O’loghlen all showed what they can do in at­tack and all the Sk­er­ries sub­sti­tu­tions made an im­pact par­tic­u­larly Dempsey.

The two out­stand­ing play­ers on the pitch on the night were the Barn­hall No 8 Mck­e­own and Sk­er­ries’ AJ Sher­lock. AJ had an out­stand­ing match both de­fen­sively and in at­tack, his workrate was huge and his abil­ity to run good lines re­sulted in his two ex­cel­lent tries.

SK­ER­RIES: P O’loghlen; P De­vitt, K Mcgrath, M Sher­lock, D Good­man; B Mulc­ahy, R Woods; C Mar­rey, K Leonard, J Sher­win; AJ Sher­lock, B Jenk­in­son; M Tur­vey, B Mur­phy, R Mcauley. Re­place­ments: S Der­ring, T Scuf­fil, P O’neill, E Car­ron, R Dempsey.

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