J1s leave it to the last minute against Charleville
Our J!s continued the unbeaten run in the league with their second last minute thrilling away win of the season at Charleville on Sunday. The lads started strongly scoring the 1st try in the opening five minutes. A quick ball of the top of the lineout and a crash ball from centre Darren O’ Keefe got Crosshaven over the game line.
An excellent line from full back and Captain Dave Walsh saw him cross the whitewash. Out half Ian Smith continued his excellent form and duly converted.
Charleville knocked on in restart but drove Crosshaven off their own ball in the scrum to win a penalty. Charleville then won their line out, went wide, caught Crosshaven napping in defence and the North Cork men scored in the corner themselves to tie it up 7 all.
The next scrum saw Crosshaven penalised again for breaking the bind and Charleville repeated the previous play and scored again14-7 to Charleville. Another 3 penalties in the scrum put Crosshaven under fierce pressure. A yellow card was inevitable. Josh Sheehan was the unlucky recipient even though he has just come on as tight-head replacement. Charleville drove home the advantage with another converted penalty. Things looked bleak as Crosshaven with only 14 men, 10 points down and with serious problems in the scrum.
Our lads responded with solid character however and the heads didn’t go down. The pack began to gain more parity in the scrum and competed fiercely in the breakdown winning 3 penalties in a row to gain good field position. A quick tap and go penalty went through the hands out wide and resulted in centre Darren O’ Keeffe being stopped just short of crossing the Charleville try line. The penalty advantage for holding scrum half Kenny Donovan back was duly converted by Ian Smith. 17-10 to Charleville. Crosshaven winger Chris Murray did well under the high ball and a beautiful team effort saw winger Michael Lynch who had come from the far wing in support cross in the corner for Crosshaven, Converted by Smith. 17 all just on half time
The second half was all about the penalty kicks. A conversion from half way by Smith saw Crosshaven go ahead 17 20. A penalty for Charleville drew it up again. Crosshaven now began to win penalties of their own in the scrum and Smith converted another 3 points. Charleville responded with another 2 penalties to bring to to 26 23. Crosshaven drew it up 26 all just to have Charleville go ahead 29 26 with only minutes to go. Crosshaven refused to lay down however, won a penalty in the dying minutes and opted to go for the corner rather than the draw. When they lost the line out it seemed to be all over but Crosshaven won another penalty kicked for the corner again, won the lineout went wide and centre Evan Maverly crossed for a try. Converted by Smith. Final score 29 33
Crosshaven head Coach, Denis Stevenson commented later. “We have a few things to work on during the week and there were too many penalties but it was great to see the response from the lads after we came under so much pressure in the first half. We didn’t panic and backed ourselves to come back and score right up to the last minute of the game”.
The J1s now have 3 wins out of 3 in the league with a home game against Presentation RFC this Sunday KO 2:30pm. The J3s also have a home league fixture Sunday KO 12PM. Please come up and support.