Mary's made to work hard
ULSTER BANK DIVISION 1A/St Mary’s College 17 UL Bohemians 13:NEW COACH Hugh Hogan wasn’t at all surprised that St Mary’s College had to work so hard in the opening match of their defence of the Ulster Bank Division One A title at Templeville Road on Saturday.
UL Bohemians, promoted from Division One B, were in with a chance right until the final whistle. It was a performance which suggests that they are quite capable of holding their own in the top flight.
“Absolutely,” agreed Hogan. “We knew that this would be a very tough match. UL Bohs have been the form side in Limerick with six straight victories, including a Limerick Charity Cup success.
“They play a very good brand of rugby and we found them hard to break down. We’re just delighted to have won because it could have gone either way.”
St Mary’s, mainly though their extra bit of physicality and greater experience, led for most of the encounter. They were 10-3 in front at half-time by virtue of a try from substitute Marcus O’Driscoll, converted by Ray Crotty. Wing Crotty also added a penalty.
UL Bohs responded with a penalty from the Ireland Under 20 outhalf JJ Hanrahan. The same player then put over a kick from inside his own half to reduce the deficit to 10-6.
Although a try from number eight Kevin Croke, converted by Crotty, pushed St Mary’s 17-6 clear, UL Bohs weren’t out of it. With St Mary’s flanker Kevin Sheahan in the sin-bin, the Limerick outfit applied tremendous pressure and were rewarded with a try from substitute scrumhalf Rory White. Hanrahan’s conversion cut the deficit to 17-13 with 14 minutes remaining.
ST MARY’S COLLEGE: C Hogan; R Crotty, S Grissing, P Brophy, D Hudson; A Burke, M D’Arcy (Capt); J McGrath, K Haupt, Robert Sweeney, C Ruddock, G Logan, K Sheahan, G Austin, K Croke. Replacements used: M O’Driscoll, C McMahon, C Lilly, P Starett.
UL BOHEMIANS: B Martin; M McPhail, M Lawlor, N Kenneally, D Moroney; JJ Hanrahan, D Farrell; T Doyle, S Henry, A Simpson, E Kelly (Capt), D Foley, E Rossiter, I Condell, S Rennison. Replacements used: G Walsh, R White, B Walsh.
Referee: D Wilkinson.