Skerries vs. Corinthians – 31/10/15
Ulster Bank All Ireland League Div 2A
in Corinthian Park – 31/10/2015
Galway Corinthians: 27 (Pen try, D Panter D Griffin try each, J Proctor 2 pen 2 conv, S Keller con. )
Skerries: 9 (J Favia 3 pen.)
A penalty try, an intercept try and a rambunctious but well controlled forward maul resulting in a touchdown were the principle factors in the undoing of Skerries when they ventured into the west in the sixth AIL match of the season.
Galway, recently voted friendliest city in the world according to US magazine Travel and Leisure, set aside its hospitable demeanour for eighty minutes on Saturday afternoon.
From the outset a defensive posture was required by Skerries as the physical scrummaging and mauling of a very efficient Corinthians pack, who didn’t take a backward step or pause for a second breath, eventually wrestled Skerries into submission and a penalty try was conceded within twenty minutes. Skerries circled the wagons and made their way into the opposition half where their reward was a penalty converted by out half Favia. A yellow card for Evan Sherlock landed another blow to Skerries morale and granted a penalty to Corinthians kicked home by Proctor.
One of the most encouraging aspects of this half was the showing of intelligence and belligerence in the defensive performance from Skerries centre Ross Dempsey and wing Paul Devitt both just returned from a long layoff. A further exchange of penalties brought the halftime score to 13-6.
On resumption Skerries will be pleased at the way they responded with a higher tempo evident. Captain Ross McAuley was relentless with the ball and without. His carrying brought his side into attacking territory. The pack upped their intensity, piling into the rucks time and time again. Skerries kicked to the corner and drove hard. A penalty was awarded. They kicked again and drove. Another penalty and a yellow card for Corinthians wing Griffin. Their attack in that period of pulsating action was eventually ended when they accepted a kick to convert a penalty and take the score to 13-9.
Coach Chris Keane now emptied his bench bringing on fresh legs. Skerries were back in the game. They needed to remain vigilant. They were now showing more creativity and executing deft offloads . Wing Derek Keane in particular proving a handful for the Corinthians defence as he offloaded perhaps in a somewhat less than deft manner.
Another midfield attack was brought to a crushing end, when, as Skerries tried to work the ball out to the wing, Corinthians centre, Panter, intercepted and ran 60 yards to score under the posts.
Still ten minutes left to rescue maybe a bonus point, but, with both sides tiring and somewhat ragged, Corinthians were proficient in executing the game plan of muscle and smother and didn’t put the ball at risk. They retained and recycled possession through a number of phases and broke through the Skerries defence to leave the final score 27-9 as the esteemed referee, Grand Slam winner, Joy Neville, blew the final whistle.
Skerries next fixture is Nov 7th. 2.30pm. home to Thomond.
Skerries team 1 to 20….Mark Nally Chris Tonge Neil Foster Joe Glennon Ross Halligan Thomas O’Hare Evan Sherlock Ross McAuley(capt) Eoghan Carron James Favia Paul Devitt Ross Dempsey Kevin McGrath Derek Keane Maurice McAuley Conor Roynane AJ Sherlock Dean Harford Robbie Jenkinson Paul O’Loghlen