Lakelands, Terenure – Saturday 10th October 2015.
Division 8, Metro League.
Final score: Parkmore 39 – 5 Clondalkin.
Parkmore’s third league game of the season was a home fixture against Clondalkin. Having fallen to Blackrock on our first outing on the new astro pitch in Lakelands, it was very important for us not to drop two home games on the trot – especially at this stage of the season.
Although we partially warmed up on the astro surface, we were banished to the front pitch, which in truth, suited us just fine. With the advent of the Irish-French world cup weekend in Cardiff, and various other calamities, we were shorn of many of our front line players. Favours were called in, retired, injured and initially unavailable players were drafted in and we managed to cobble to gather a starting 15, although we were forced to start with apprentice flanker/second row, Padraig McCarthy, on the wing!
Parkmore, led out by stand-in captain, Kevin McCarthy, started well with some decent carries and good ground work from the pack, yielding a penalty within the first few minutes. Unfortunately, a momentarily lapse in concentration and a break through the centre allowed Clondalkin to score an easy try. 5-3 down within 5 minutes of the kickoff. They missed their conversion and after a quick pep talk we vowed not to let them in again, and we didn’t.
From that point on, we pretty much maintained control of the game. Clondalkin were strong in the scrum, but we managed to hold our own in all but one of them. We were in the ascendancy in the line out with great work by Mick Cos, Noodle and Simon Workman jumping and setting up the maul, which worked the best it has all season. Our strong maul platform allowed us to eat up the yards on several occasions and the pack can be happy with a haul of two tries directly from the maul, dotted down by Mick and Noodle, one in either half. The first half finished 13 – 5 and the second half brought more of the same from Parkmore.
In what was a relieving return to type, the pack managed to make more ground through pick and gos and crash balls in and around the ruck, than we have all season to date. Unwilling first time scrum half, Paddy Crowe, deserves a special mention for a great game under pressure. He fed the onrushing forwards and connected with backs (and scored a try!) as if he had been playing scummy all his life.
The backs had a good day, Farnan battered up the middle (from his, now possibly preferred, role of inside centre) either with the ball in hand or offering a decoy for Deccie, who sliced through Clondakin for our first try of the first half. The wings saw some good ball (even Podge!) and the ever young, Petey Glynn, gave a trademark masterclass in chaotic running (and shouting) from full back.
The subs all got good runs (most of whom arrived after kick off, one with a baby tucked under an arm!) and in the end we were comfortable victors dotting down a total of 5 tries. Lono added several conversions and penalties allowing Parkmore to restore winning ways at home. The final scoreline was 39-5, which in many ways was an unfair reflection on the hard work put in by a determined and disciplined Clondalkin side.
Two wins and one loss so far. Not a bad start to our new league campaign.
Next up is DLSP in the Cup!