The overwhelming feelings were excitement and delight to be back watching and playing rugby as Seapoint travelled to Donnybrook to take on Bective in the first round of the U-20/21 Harry Gale/Purcell Cup(s) playoff. Confidence amongst Seapoint supporters was high as they fielded what looked to be a strong side and players were full of enthusiasm and eagerness, given that this was the first fixture for this squad in 2021.
Seapoint kicked off and immediately exerted significant pressure, pinning Bective back in their 22. After several minutes of sustained pressure Logan Brady crashed over from short range to get the first score which Sean Cronin duly converted. Bective responded after the restart, making serious in-roads into the Seapoint half before a turnover and a incisive line-break by Sean Cronin relieved the pressure and brought play back into the Bective half. As Seapoint looked to score again however, a penalty against the visitors allowed Bective to clear their lines. Seapoint used the ensuing lineout to build further attacking opportunities and after a series of pick and go attacks, Bective infringed on their own line. Sean Cronin converted a penalty directly in front of the posts. This left the score at 10 points to nil at the first water-break.
After the water break Bective seemed to be growing in confidence and spent a period of time inside the Seapoint half. A silly penalty against Luke Hammond (lazy runner) allowed Bective to set up an attacking lineout well inside the 22. However the Bective scrumhalf knocked the ball on after a clean take in the lineout allowing Seapoint to clear their lines. The Seapoint front row were at this stage beginning to dominate. Luke Hammond and Seamus Flannery were also carrying well and Seapoint again forced their way into the Bective 22 and eventually scrum half Ross Gallagher managed to dive over from short range after sustained pressure. Sean Cronin proceeded to miss what appeared to be a kickable conversion, which didn’t seem significant at the time but proved more important as the game went on.
So with only few minutes to go to half time Seapoint looked to be in total command of the game, with an 18 points lead, dominating possession and looking very comfortable in defense. However possibly over-confidence resulted in a loose overly ambitious pass on the halfway line, and when the ball bounced favorably to the Bective winger he seized the opportunity to round the defense and score under the posts. So it was 18 points to 7 at half time and renewed belief amongst the Bective team.
Seapoint gained possession immediately from the restart as Bective conceded a free kick for having runners in front of the kicker. However Seapoint seemed to have lost their shape and some poor passing gave away possession . After a period of sustained pressure Seapoint conceded a penalty under the posts. When Bective opted to kick the feeling amongst Seapoint supporters was we were lucky to have only conceded three points. Things didn’t get any better after the restart and Seapoint found themselves defending again. Bective attacking with flair, dominating possession and after sustained pressure crashed over for their second try. A simple conversion reduced the Seapoint lead to the narrowest of margins, the score now being 18 points to 17. Another Bective penalty however meant Seapoint trailed at the second half water break by 20 points to 18.
After the water break Seapoint responded with renewed energy and vigour. Stephen Manning made an incisive break and was unfortunate to throw his subsequent pass away to a Bective retreating forward. The Seapoint forwards created good attack momentum, punching holes in the Bective defense, However some poor decisions and white-line fever resulted in missing some scorable overlaps in attack. Seapoint seemed to have received just reward for their efforts when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, however Ross Gallagher proceeded to miss with what could only be described as a poor strike. At that stage it seemed inevitable that Bective would prevail and sure enough ultimately they lifted the siege and after some fine attacking lines a superbly delivered cutout pass allowed the Bective centre to score without a hand being laid on him. The subsequent conversion resulted in a final score line of Bective 27 Seapoint 18.
Some fine performances all round. The Seapoint pack could not be faulted, lineouts worked well with Sam Montanye and captain Hugh Ross prominent. In the pack Eoin Mahon and Luke Hammond stood out. Jack Hand made his presence felt when he came on in the second half. The first half combination of Gallagher and Oscar Lawlor worked well and the centre partnership of Sean Cronin and Logan Brady looked like the real deal. Louis Whelan was impressive in attack and defense. Man of the match however was justifiably awarded by the coaching team to Seamus Flannery for his tireless efforts and a never say die attitude throughout the entire game.
[b]All in all a worthwhile start to the season. Next week it’s home to local rivals Greystones in the Harry Gale. Kickoff in Kilbogget at 3 pm. All support welcome.
[b]Team Selection v Bective Rangers September 5’th 2021[/b]
15 Alex Lee, 14 Louis Whelan,13 Sean Cronin ,12 Logan Brady, 11 Dara O’Grady, 10 Oscar Lawlor Plazas, 9 Ross Gallagher,
1 Calum McCoy, 2 Eoin Mahon, 3 Luke Hammond , 4 Sean Finn, 5 Jamie Culliton, 6 Sam Montayne, 7 Seamus Flannery, 8 Hugh Ross (capt.)
16 , Liam Hurley ,17 Jack Hand, 18 Sam Cassidy , 19 Philip Bolger, 20 Diarmuid Dunne 21 Daniel Drohan, 22 Adam Power, 23 Alan Casey