ULSTER BANK LEAGUE DIVISION 2
D.L.S.P 15 Queens 14 Sat 19th February
At half time you have got to imagine the Queens coach was telling his side that with a 14 point to nil advantage not to sit back and be prepared for an onslaught at the start of the second half. Maybe he was as polite as I have written or he did not convey that message but an onslaught came. Stinging from arriving at half time 14-0 down Salmo were up for it when play resumed (cricket is slipping in everywhere to day).
The first half had seen us concede two tries each converted by the full back Quinn. He also got the touch down for their first try on the 20th minute when after a pick from a scrum saw them drive to the line and at the second attempt got over. Their second try came just on half time when winger McIlwaine passed Killian Keogh to score in the corner. Two converted tries to nil and our only opportunity was a penalty in front of the posts that was reversed as the kicker was settling himself to strike the ball. An unusual one, apparently the ref overheard an unpleasant comment.
So the second half commenced and in a tem minute blitz Salmo had scored two unconverted tries. It was the ball carrying nature of the scores that was impressive. Niall Smullen , Keith Taite and Karl Moran all carried en route to the 22 where a quick tap penalty saw number 8, Conor Power Senior crash over. Immediately we attacked from the kick off and Killian Keogh brought us deep into their half with Vic Ball, Tatie and Emo linking well to bring us into their 22. A yellow card for Queens and a penalty for us which was quickly taken and Keith Taite crashed over. 10-14. Less than ten minutes into the second half and it was game on. Queens came back and we endured a period of constant pressure in our half. A quick line out by Josh Russell O’Carroll relieved us and we got into their half. We were awarded a scrum which Conor Power senior picked from and after a break and a back handed pass from Conor Power Junior , Ken Copeland rounded two players to score in the corner. The third try went unconverted. We continued to apply the pressure but the bonus point try alluded us. A rolling maul from just outside our 22 to their 22 was indicative of the pressure and dominance we applied but it finished 15-14.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE DIVISION 2
MALONE 3 D.L.S.P 26 Queens 14 Sat 26TH February
Silverware at stake in the form of the Des Merry Trophy and recognition of one of the oldest inter city rugby games in the Irish game. Some say it was the first.
One never knows which Malone team will turn up and the worries were there almost immediately when a sharp offload from Ulster panellist Mark McCrea to fellow centre Anderson carved us open in the first few minutes. It resulted in nothing and we steadied ourselves and got a grip of the game. Good work by Andrew Mitchell and Keith Taite got us into the 22 where Dave Thompson kicked a penalty to open the scoring. Dave was adjudged to have knocked on later as he applied downward pressure on the ball. No try. Killian Keogh was almost over after Ken Copeland and Adam Philpott combined to release him. After 30 mins Dave Thompson landed a huge penalty from the half way line to make the score 6-0. The first half ended 6-0 up but a number of try scoring opportunities had been created and Malone were fading.
Conor Power Senior overran the in goal area and another opportunity was missed. A marvellous smash tackle by Ken Copeland forced a Malone spill which was kicked ahead but the referee again decided that Mitch had knocked on whilst grounding the ball. It was beginning to feel like one of those days when we were n’t going to score a try. Still only 6 points up and the worry of an “against the run of play “score was uppermost in Salmo spectators minds. It had happened before, 4 seasons ago as many remembered afterwards. Penalties were exchanged to make it 9-3. The lead up to our first try saw full back Adam Philpott field well and on a great individual run he counter attacked into their 22. Scrum half Julian Moroney’s box kick was gathered and Conor Power Junior scored . Dave Thompson scored the conversion and added another penalty to his tally. With minutes to go a move that included Tatie and Junior resulted in Cossi crossing the line . Dave Thompson converted to leave the score 26-3 at full time.
J3 (Filed by Norman Byrne)
DLSP 0 Lansdowne 8 4TH FEBRUARY
Rarely is a defeat considered anything but a defeat, but in very difficult circumstances and conditions in Kirwan Park last Friday night, this was one of those exceptions.
Playing against the league leaders who have comprehensively outplayed allcomers in the league so far this season, this was always going to be a very tough ask. The ask was exacerbated during the day on Friday, when for varying reasons there were 7 late cry-offs from the original 21. So yes, you mathematicians are right....Salmo had 14 players come kickoff at 7.50pm in howling wind and sleeting rain. Shuffling the deck as best possible, the management team of Byrne , Kavanagh and Mitchell opted for 6 backs with wing-forward Gavin Stapleton slotting into a totally unfamiliar role.
But from there, it really was a case of 'let's give it a lash' and captain Mitchell's inspirational words in the dressing room obviously hit a chord. Right from the off, Salmo made light of being a man short and set about the task of both containing Lansdowne and putting them under pressure. Superb defence right throughout the 14, superb rucking by all 14, excellent running and support - it was super stuff. Indeed, Salmo carved out the first points scoring chance but the 30 metre penalty attempt into a crosswind was an almost impossible ask and it drifted back into play. Heavy Lansdowne pressure brought them into the Salmo half with 7 minutes before the break and the concession of two soft penalties resulted in Lansdowne kicking a penalty from in front of the posts for a 3-0 lead, which they took into the halftime break.
Salmo got right back into it at the start of the second half and strong running and support play meant that they were still right in the game. Defence was again heroic, but mounting pressure told when Lansdowne eventually engineered an overlap and scored on the right for an 8-0 lead. Salmo refused to buckle and were the better side for the last 15 minutes, but just couldn't get the crucial score. The referee eventually called time after Salmo's last attack broke down and Lansdowne had their victory.
A smashing match and one for which both teams should be commended. It was certainly a game worthy of the recent matches at this level between these two major rivals. All the Salmo lads deserve huge credit for their focus, determination and resolve - the Salmo spirit shone through on the night.
J5 (Filed by Damien Deegan)
Malahide 42 v 35 D.L.S.P J 5 league 26TH FEBRUARY
Well as the scoreline suggests this was a very open game with the referee commenting afterwards that he hoped he would not meet us again due to the speed and depth that our backs ran the ball from .This was a scoreline that was not on the cards after 15 mins Salmo were 22 nil down and with our pack literally taking everything that Malahide were throwing at them, it looked like we would go down to a very heavy defeat. The fact that we did not lie down speaks volumes for our side and especially the pack who put in a punishing afternoon against a very big Malahide side. The turning point in this game for Salmo was when our backs put the ball through their hands it caused immediate problems for Malahide and scores followed very quickly with some outstanding work from Ben Fogarty, Seth,Shane Cranney and man of the match Adam McDonagh who with his old man shouting at him from the pack crossed the line for two fabulous tries one of which he took on from his own 22.In the pack sterling work was done by Gav Stapleton who took everything on and put his body where you wouldn’t put a tank. Paddy the pole was also having a great game and was only overshadowed by Dave monkey Malone who had his best game ever in a Salmo shirt a sign of things to come I hope !.This was the type of game that its hard not to give everyone a mention in because everyone fronted up and it was a game we could have won if we had another ten minutes on the clock. Again I will finish off with a special mention for Adam McDonagh who the referee singled out himself while jokingly asking if our first team had no game today!!
Filed by Paul Looby
J3's Home to Old Belvedere in J3 League 19.30KO Kirwan Park
J5's Home to St Marys in J5 League 19.30KO Kirwan Park
1st XV Home to Ballynahinch in Ulster Bank AIL 14.30KO Kirwan Park
J4's Away to AIB in J4 League 15.00KO
J1's Home to Wanderers in J1 League 15.00KO Kirwan Park
Under 21's Away to Newbridge in Pennant 15.00KO
Fundraising Table Quiz for the under 17's end of year trip to Spain
Clubhouse 4th March starting at 8.00
Cost EUR10 per person table do 4
Guaranteed to be a great night
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Tis and Dat
Last Saturday’s match in Malone was witnessed by two former club captains Norman Byrne and Stephen Hayes. Their sons were competing in a pre match mini game v Malone.
Congratulations to Rob McAlinden, Mick Downey, Ken Copeland and Niall Smullen for getting a U19 side together and achieving a great result against Greystones last Sunday.
Gerry Doyle has been out of action and back in hospital. Speedy recovery Gerry the cup campaigns are commencing shortly.