Final score: Malahide 25 – 25 Parkmore
Parkmore commenced their season with a tough away fixture to Malahide in the John Madden Cup. Parkmore welcomed back old stalwart Shane Lonergan to the fold along with two debutants, John McDonnell and Alan Dodd. All three showed that they will be valauble additions to the squad over the season.
It was clear from the off that this was going to be a hard fought game. Parkmore came out of the blocks flying with no lack of intensity or effort. As the half wore on Malahide began to impose themselves on the game and secured the lion’s share of possession. This superiorty began to tell on the scoreboard as Malahide eastablished 8-0 lead. Unfortunately influential second row McCarthy went off injured at this critical juncture. When Parkmome did get a hold of the ball they showed what they could do. Wing Nicolo Giacomuzzi finished off a fine move beating two men in a forty metre dash for the line to send the teams in 8-7 at the break.
Malahide stretched their half time lead to 20-10 and things looked bleak for Parkmore. It was at this time that the team showed spirit and clawed their way back. Parkmore began to get their hands on the ball and centre Dodd scored a wonderful individual try to put the lakesiders back in the game (20-15). Parkmore then laid siege to the Malahide line but couldn’t quite get over. Malahide were penalised for constant infringement close to their line wide on the right and lost a man to the sin bin. With the extra man Parkmore elected for a scrum which unfortunately resulted in a turnover. Malahide then counterattacked and crossed the line leaving the score 25-15 with less than ten minutes remaining.
To the lads’ credit they didn’t let this sucker punch get to them. Parkmore continued where they left off and again won a penalty in the opposition half. This time Parkmore elected to kick and Lonergan closed the gap to seven. Parkmore used the remaining minutes to press for an equaliser. When it looked like time was up Parkmore won useful ball from a scrum in the middle of the pitch. The ball was spun wide to the right where Hassett made a telling break before spreading the ball wide. A quick ruck was set up wide on the right just inside the 22 and scrum half Conlon showed vision to spread the ball left which was shipped on to no.8 O’Connell who beat the defence on the outside to score a wonderful team try. Lonergan (who had an excellent day with 4 kicks from 5) added the two points to draw the game with the last kick of the game. It was probably a fair result in a very open game which produced some very nice rugby for the monster attendance of 15 (approx!).
Team: Robert Gunning, Ronan Coyle, Michael Hanrahan, Kevin McCarthy, Padraig McCarthy, Farnan Harte, Paul Gunning, Tomás O’Connell, Mark Conlon, Shane Lonergan, Andrew King, Alan Dodd, Mark Hassett, Nicolo Giacomuzzi, Declan Delaney. Subs: Fred Hanrahan, John McDonnell, Anthony McCarthy.
Report by: Paul Gunning