Seapoint U-17s lose by the narrowest of margins
By John O Donnell
Supporters treated to entertaining game of rugby in Kilbogget
Seapoint came into this fixture looking for a strong performance coming off a poor defensive display the previous week against local rivals DLSP. Happily the team delivered, putting up a huge display against Clontarf and could easily have won this game despite being reduced to 14 men when Daragh McCaul was deservedly red-carded early in the second half.
Seapoint played with a strong wind in their backs in the first half albeit it was Clontarf who started brightest and retained possession for most of the first 10 minutes. The Seapoint defensive line however was well organised and stood firm, with Clontarf never looking like they were going to score. Eventually Seapoint managed to gain possession and started to apply some pressure of their own. Stephen Manning was unlucky with a well struck penalty after maybe 20 minutes, and Clontarf had a player sent to the sin bin for consistent high tackling. Eventually the referee lost patience with Clontarf and awarded a penalty try to Seapoint. This meant Seapoint led by 7 points to nil at half time, however this didn't look like it was going to be a large enough lead with Seapoint facing into a strong breeze in the second half.
Sure enough Clontarf started the second half strongly and applied sustained pressure, kicking two penalties within the first 10 minutes to being the score to 7 points to 6. Then Daragh McCaul tackled a player in the air from the kickoff, luckily the Clontarf player was not seriously injured and Daragh justifiably received a red card. One imagined that this was the end of the game as a contest, Seapoint facing into a strong breeze and playing with 14 men. However this spurred the Seapoint forwards into a concerted effort for the next 10 minutes and direct running and good support play was rewarded when Paul Jones crossed over in the corner for a try. Stephen Manning was just short with a well struck conversion attempt from the touchline.
Hopes were high but some intelligent kicking by Clontarf after the restart put them in good field position and eventually they broke with a well worked effort involving strong running and crisp passing to touch down. Crucially the try was close to the posts and their outhalf converted easily with the breeze at his back. Despite a huge effort from Seapoint in the last few minutes, Clontarf held firm and ran out winnrs by the narrowest of margin, the final score being Clontarf 13 Seapoint 12.
There were many strong performances from Seapoint, Sam Turner put in a big shift across the entire game, Cillian O'Donnell and Diarmuid O'Sullivan worked tirelessly in the engine room of second row, Ross Gallagher brought street smarts to the scrum half position, Keith Rice was immense in both defence and attack and kicked extremely well out of hand. Adam Wilson was accomplished at full back and made a try saving tackle in the second half, however Seapoint Man of the match goes to Leo Bourke for a combination of rugby intellect and physciality, most notably having the vision to give the pass that ultimately allowed Jones to score his second half try. Well done Leo.