Skerries 32 Sunday’s Well 5
It was a tough day in North Dublin for Sunday’s Well as they were unable to reproduce the level of performance before Christmas when they earned a big deserved victory over a strong Skerries side. It was the Dublin side’s incisive cutting edge out the backs; with Kevin McGrath managing the game and Davey Goodman providing a finishing touch out wide that proved the pivotal difference.
The ‘Well competed up front. Andrew Mintern and Cormac Kelliher putting themselves about while Reece Mintern and Dan O’Brien were carrying strongly around the fringes. The scrum; led by Evan O’Connell and the industrious Mike McCarthy had some big drives early on while Jack McHenry and Conor O’Brien combined at the line-out; dominating on their own throw-in and creating the platform for several excellent driving mauls.
Out in the backs; there was some tenacious tackling by Alex Lane and Harry McHenry while Shane Keevers some strong surges up the field.
The ‘Well’s gameplan was significantly hampered just before kick-off; with an injury taking Fabien Loughrey out of the game. Gary Downey shifted in to the scrum-half position and didn’t look out of place; managing the attacks; but it did mean that the ‘Well back-line were undercooked with the shifting around in the positions.
That late setback before kick-off didn’t help the ‘Well at the start. As they had to refocus and Skerries managed to run in for two tries through each of their wingers; Goodman and Lorcan Jones. The centre Kevin McGrath managing to fix the defenders and provide the final pass.
After this, the ‘Well grinded things out. Their defence managed to keep Skerries at tight; preventing off-loads and managing the space when the ball was spread out wide. The managed to gain a lot of hard yards themselves with some smart kicking by Josh Featherstone and Harry McHenry pinning the hosts back. Despite gaining a slight upper hand; they couldn’t create a clear scoring opportunity and Skerries struck late with a Ronan Mulcahy penalty to take a 13-0 lead at half-time.
The ‘Well thought hit back at the start of the second-half. Finn MacFhlannchadha made an immediate impact as he dotted down. It came after some strong set-pieces. A powerful scrum winning a penalty that was kicked to touch and a superbly controlled driving maul off the line-out bought play within inches of the line.
Unfortunately before the ‘Well could build up the pressure; Skerries countered with Shane Murphy scoring, stretching the lead. The hosts pulled away late on to put some gloss on the scoreboard from their perspective.
Scorers: Skerries: D Goodman, L Jones, S Murphy, K McGrath tries; R Mulcahy pen, 2 cons.
Sunday’s Well: F MacFhlannchadha try.
Skerries: R Mulcahy; L Jones, K McGrath, M Sherlock, D Goodman; P O’Loghlen, S Murphy; C Marrey, K Leonard, T O’Donovan; T Mulvany, R Halligan; S Deering, J Ericson, P O’Neill. Replacements: J Sherwin, PF Watt, B McKiernan, B Healy, T Keane-Boylan.
Sunday’s Well: J Featherstone; S Keevers, A Lane, D Hurley, K Maye; H McHenry, G Downey; E O’Connell, J McHenry, M McCarthy; R Mintern, A Mintern, C Kelliher, D O’Brien, C O’Brien.Replacements: J Downey, A Brown, K Holland, F MacFhlannchadha, J Costello.
Referee: R Watson (IRFU)