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20
SEP

In conditions that in the recent past would have led to a postponement or at least a trip away from Holmpatrick, Skerries unveiled the first of their new pitches with a solid win over Cill Dara in the first game of the new Leinster Div. 1A season.

From the start it was clear that this Cill Dara side were not here to play open expansive rugby as they sought to tie Skerries into a ten-man and at times even an eight-man game. For the first 15 min’s the Cill Dara scrum applied pressure on their Skerries counterparts and had the home side on the back foot for most of that period. Tellingly, the Skerries defence only coughed up a solitary scoring opportunity and that long range penalty was missed by the visitors. The home side then took the lead when out-half McGahan converted a 40 mtr penalty into the incessant rain after a fine kick-and-chase breakout from winger Devitt. As Skerries coped with the singular Cill Dara tactic, they began to look more dangerous on the attack and Chris Keane was denied his homecoming try with a last ditch tackle after good work by centre Gavin and captain Ronan Connolly.

Cill Dara again piled the pressure on the Skerries pack but with scrum-half Keane and flanker O’Mahony denying the Cill Dara No. 8 Hyland any headway, the Skerries defence, with good first-up tackling by McGahan and Gavin and excellent field kicking by man-of–the match David Quirke, were on top of this Cill Dara side. This was obviously niggling the visitors and their No. 6 Moore was shown the yellow card on 35 min’s after his lunge on Keane ignited a spot of jiggery-pokery between the sides. McGahan turned the screw by converting the resultant penalty from 40 mtrs to leave the score 6-0 at half-time.

For all of the pressure, not to mention the rain, that Skerries soaked up in the first half, it was now the visitors turn to be on the receiving end, as the home side camped inside the Cill Dara half from the start of the second period. 10 min’s in, a McGahan penalty drifted wide but the scuffed restart was brilliantly picked up by Derek Keane and he attacked the Cill Dara line with his trade-mark powerful running.

After the ball was re-cycled, Ed Caraher fed the supporting run of hooker Nally and his finely judged pass put Derek Keane over in the corner, 11-0 to Skerries, McGahan’s fine conversion effort narrowly missing. The momentum of the game was now firmly with the home side and they came close to increasing their lead on a couple of occasions but the conditions were not overly conducive to the running game that this side will revel in on a drier day.

Out-half McGahan finally killed the game off with another penalty with 5 min’s to go but Skerries would not allow Cill Dara even the consolation of a late try as they defended their line with the same tenacity at the end as they had shown from the start. 14-0 to Skerries and a winning start to this season’s campaign.

Head Coach John Murphy and Back’s Coach Chris Keane should be well pleased with the organisation and discipline that was shown by their players today and if they can hold that line throughout the season, it will take a very good side to overcome this Skerries team.

Teams:

Skerries:

1. N. Walsh

2. M. Nally

3. S. Tanner

4. C. O’Shea

5. J. Glennon

6. R. O’Mahony

7. R. Connolly (Capt)

8. R. O’Connor

9. C. Keane

10. M.McGahan

11. D. Keane

12. J. Gavin

13. E. Caraher

14. P. Devitt

15. D. Quirke

16. A.N. Other

17. M. Campbell

18. E. Matthews

19. P. O’Loghlen

20. P. Tanner

Cill Dara;

1. B.White

2. G. Moore

3. L. O’Grady

4. B. O’Shea

5. D. Kennedy

6. C. Moore

7. O. Byrne

8. E. Hyland

9. J. Hanson

10. J. Ryan

11. G. Ryan

12. B. Flanagan

13. G. Burns

14. P. Touhy

15. J. Gray

16. P. McKeown

17. G. de Bruin

18. D. Barry

19. D. Ging

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