Match Report Oct 14th

November 7, 2018

“When was the last time we won an AIL game here”? That was the common question that was being asked by many as we sat contented in the Templehill, post match dressing room last Saturday. The truth is that none quite knew the answer for certain.

None of our current squad had any recollection of winning an AIL game there , even the players whose careers spanned a considerable period, and when it was eventually discovered that it was back in 1998, then Saturday’s victory seemed to get an extra sugar coating.
It could well have been that we faced for home with only a losing bonus point for all the effort, after it took tumultuous defensive display to hold the home side in the closing stages. The fact that we had a four point lead heading in to that nerve racking period, ensured that only a try would get Cork Con a victory. Trust in defence is often over stated, but it’s a simple concept really; make your tackle count, and you know for certain that the next man will do the same. It was frenetic stuff in those final few minutes as Con battled hard to get the crucial try that would cruelly snatch a well deserved win for our lads. But with vigour and determination the lads repelled any efforts, be at scrums, line outs or open play until the final whistle was sounded. We may have had a bit of luck along the way, but to deny the lads the worthiness of victory would be very harsh indeed. Over the full 80 minutes there was no doubting as top the veracity of that claim. We played well for most of the game, without being spectacular, and even when Cons took the lead with a fortuitous try in the first half, there was always a sense that we had enough in the armoury to respond. Our scrum was once again solid, and the lineout was working away with confidence, it was really only a matter of time before we took the lead. Gareth Quinn Mc Donogh had reduced the deficit with a pre halftime penalty before the scorching pace of Luke O’Dea allowed him to burst over for a try soon after the resumption. We were playing beyond the gain line at this stage, and had Cons retreating,   and the push for further scores was rewarded when Mossy struck a sweet drop goal on the 50 minute mark and then Gareth tagged on another penalty 10 minutes later. However, any notions of Cons just accepting their fate was dispelled as the game entered the final quarter. Cons rallied in typical, determined fashion, and when Paddy Butler was sent for a 10 minute sabbatical, they punished the infringement on the scoreboard and almost took full advantage of his considerable absence. It took huge effort with every player involved in holding the line and at all times the confidence of the players and those around them was visible as they stood strong and held firm until they could finally allow themselves a little yelp of joy at the end of the game. It was without doubt a victory to saviour, but let’s not thinks that it was a display without flaw. There was a number of areas that need improvement, but Stephen and Eoin, and indeed the players, will know this intimately during the week, so we certainly don’t need to point them out.

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