Our 1st XV continued their unbeaten league campaign with a 24-17 bonus point victory over Dundalk, a game that had the home crowd biting their nails in the final minutes.
With the strong Kilbogget Park wind at our backs in the first half we got off to the perfect start with Zac Jungmann shrugging off the attention of Dundalk’s midfield to race through under the posts on 5 minutes, Matt McKenna adding the extras.
Dundalk did settle into it after the early setback but were unable to create any real scoring opportunities. We continued to have the better of possession and on 15 minutes Eddie Weaver set-off on an arcing run from just outside the visitors 22 which the retreating defence were unable to snuff out to see us take a12-0 lead.
We continued to dominate for the next 10 minutes without troubling the scoreboard until a period of sustained continuity saw Weaver bravely score in the corner. On this occasion McKenna landed the difficult conversion to stretch the lead to 19-0.
While this was a good lead, it was on the margins of what could possibly be recovered in the conditions. Another score would have put the home support somewhat at ease but unfortunately it was our visitors that put the pressure on in the final 15 minutes of the half. They came very close to getting the score their efforts deserved when the referee surprisingly deemed they had been held-up over the line, we gratefully accepted this reprieve to see out the half without conceding but knew we would have our work cut out on the resumption.
And so it was as Dundalk took full advantage of the elements to put us under sustained pressure. While our defence was holding firm there was concern that we would struggle to sustain the effort. On 55 minutes the dam was burst as the referee inexplicably chose not to penalise Dundalk for a clear scrum infringement and worse again missed a blatant forward pass as their scrum half gratefully accepted a clear run to the corner to see the deficit cut to 19-5.
There was no respite from the Dundalk pressure who were using their forwards very effectively to punch holes in our defence. On 65 minutes they secured a second try which again wasn’t converted but with plenty of time to go our lead looked very precarious. In typical resilient style we set about settling those nerves by enjoying a rare period of possession from the restart. As Dundalk indiscipline offered us access deep into their 22 a subsequent lineout maul had their defence scrambling with Alex Guerin taking his opportunity to secure our try bonus point and give us some breathing space for the remaining 10+ minutes.
But Dundalk weren’t going away and responded with increased intensity to see us pinned in our 22. When it looked like we had repelled the best they had to offer a couple of lapses in the tiring fringe defence saw Dundalk secure a converted try to bring the score to 24-17 with a minute still left on the clock.
Rather than be satisfied with their losing bonus point Dundalk sensed there was the opportunity to grab an unlikely draw and had the home support with their hearts in their mouths as they launched the final attack of the game. Despite getting within touching distance of what would have been an immense effort a fine tackle knocked the ball forward, with the next breakdown bringing the referees final whistle.
This was a titanic effort from both sides and we can now enjoy a well-deserved three week break before facing Monkstown in a top of the table clash in Sydney Parade on 27th November???
Seapoint Squad v. Dundalk o6Nov21
15 E. Weaver 14 D. O’Reilly 13 G. Hughes 12 M. McKenna 11 E. O’Reilly 10 C. Buckley 9 A. Crossley 8 M. Kerr 7 Z. Jungmann 6 D. Montayne 5 M. McCoy 4. A. Macaulay 3 E. Dalton 2 C. Cunningham 1 B. Lyons (Capt.)
Reps: 16 E. Mahon 17 A. Heffernan 18 P. Lyons 19 D. Burke 20 A. Guerin