Seapoint U-16 make it three in a row.
By John O Donnell
A game of two halves .....
Seapoint U-16s enjoyed the privilege of playing on the main Seapoint pitch on Sunday November 12th for their third league match of the season against Boyne RFC. Confident coming on the back of two very strong performances, Seapoint were missing a couple of key players including their captain John Ascough and the versatile Luke Kroon. However the team also welcomed back Paul Jones who had not played for the club since mini level and we also had the exciting new prospect Ross Gallagher making his Seapoint debut at scrum half.
Seapoint started brightly playing with a very strong wind behind them in the first half. Boyne took possession early and retained the ball well. Despite some good Seapoint attacking play, it proved hard to break down the Boyne defence, and Seapoint had to wait over ten minutes before they crossed for their first score, Thomas OShea crossing for a try following some sustained pressure. Stephen Manning was unsuccessful with the conversion. A second try came pretty quickly afterwards, his opposite number 10 left a gap which O'Dowd glided through at speed to touch down under the posts. This time Manning was successful with the conversion directly in front of the posts.
The Seapoint coaching staff were concerned as further scores did not come easy and they felt 12 points would not be enough of an advantage playing against that strong breeze in the 2nd half. However two converted tries in as many minutes before half time left the team with a buffer of 26 points at the half time interval. Ben Marnell finishing off a crisp passing move, and Sean Downing burrowing through cover to touch down for a vital try with the last play just before half time. Manning converted both, neither of which was easy.
The second half was characterised by rugged defence from Seapoint. Boyne scored their first try early in the second half and looked to be mounting a comeback with the wind at their backs. Thomas O'Shea scored a vital try (his second) shortly afterwards following a strong run up the wing. This was was a key moment in the game in terms of the ultimate victory. Tackling hard, looking after the ball well and making good decisions throughout, Seapoint still lost the second half 17-5, conceding three tries only one of which was converted. This left the final score at 31 17 in favour of Seapoint.
Ross Gallagher had an outstanding debut at scrum half whilst his half back partner O'Dowd controlled the game with crisp passing and astute kicking. The O'Shea and Manning midfield partnership was assured in both attack and defence, with some trademark big hits from both players. We had four different wingers as we changed both at half time. Peter Duffy, Alan Casey, Adam Wilson and Paul Jones all played well with Jones showing some impressive speed when he got the opportunity in the second half. Marnell is growing into the full back position, showing a lot of composure in the second half with Boyne using the wind to put a lot of high balls in his direction. Upfront Turner showed why he wants to play in the back row alongside Agatowski and Sean Walsh. Sean Downing had a big game at hooker and was solid throwing into the lineout in very difficult conditions. . All the forwards including O'Donnell, Crozier and Law played well especially during the second half when a big performance was required against the wind but the man of the match performance was delivered by second row Adam Walsh. He made a early statement by taking responsibility for fielding the first kick of the game and throughout the entire game he made good decisions, tackled hard, and had some impressive carries. Well done Adam.
Next up Suttonians away from home next week.
Team Marnell, Casey, O'Shea, Manning, Duffy, O'Dowd, Gallagher, Walsh (Sean), Agatowski, Turner, Walsh (Adam),O'Donnell, Crozier,Downing, Law.
Substitutes : Wilson for Casey, Jones for Duffy.