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Match Reports

Skerries vs Cashel

13 April 2015

Cashel 15 
Skerries 10

UBL Div 2A – Saturday 11 April

Skerries finished their league season third in UBL Division 2A despite a loss away to Cashel on Saturday. Although it meant they missed out on the two automatic promotion spots, it represented a superb result for their first year in a decade at this level.

Travelling to the Tipperary town with a hope of ending with a high, the visitors went into the break with a 10-0 lead thanks to a try from centre Kevin McGrath. It came from a good interplay between out half Conal Keane and winger Derek Keane.

However, two tries and a penalty in second half saw the home team take the win. While Skerries had plenty of possession, some errors and turnovers cost them scoring opportunities and ultimately the match. While it was not the desired ending, the losing bonus point did guarantee the third spot.

Next season, the UBL league will split into five divisions of 10 teams each, and Skerries’ ambition at the outset of this season was to ensure a top 10 place that would keep them in the third tier.

After two opening defeats, to Old Wesley and Blackrock, it looked as if they might be in for a very difficult year, but instead they learned the lessons from those defeats and began to play much more aggressive, but patient, rugby – yet which still contained the expansive, passing game that has brought them such success in recent years.

They even went on a run of four months without defeat that saw them challenge for promotion while also reaching the 2A/2B Cup Final (against Tullamore on April 25th in Naas). And the opening round defeat to eventual champions Old Wesley would prove to be the only home defeat of the season.

That they eventually faltered in their attempts to reach Div 1B may have been disappointing, but that they had long ago stopped worrying about the top 10 place that several other teams scrapped for right up until the final day was testament to how much the Skerries expectations had changed in a short time.

It was also a season in which the core of experienced players who have brought Skerries through the divisions in recent years were joined by new players, some returned from spells elsewhere, but many more who have come through the club’s successful youth structure. Along with the final league position and the excitement delivered by the Skerries team, that injection of youth was as satisfying as anything this season.

1. Mark Nally
2. Chris Tonge
3. Wayne Aquila
4. Ross Halligan
5. Joe Glennon
6. Tomas O’Hare
7. Evan Sherlock
8. Ross McAuley

9. Robbie Jenkinson
10. Conal Keane
11. Derek Keane
12. Milo McCarthy
13. Marc Hewitt
14. Eddie O’Mahony
15. David Quirke

16 Paul Devitt
17 Eoghan Carron
18 David Reilly
19 Eoin Matthews
20 Mark Boylan