EXILES RETAIN MORAN CUPpublished:Dec 30 2012
BUCCANEERS PRESIDENT’S XV 5 EXILES SELECTION 17
The Exiles side retained the James Moran Perpetual Challenge Cup with a hard-earned 17-5 victory in the annual St. Stephen’s Day fixture at Dubarry Park. Conditions were testing to say the least with prolonged heavy rain prior to kick-off making the pitch very heavy underfoot amid pools of water while a strengthening downfield breeze also added to the players’ difficulties.
The President’s men, comprised from primarily from Buccs Thirds squad, had first advantage of the wind and sun and they deservedly took the lead through a Glen Costello try. But the beefier Exiles, featuring eight players with AIL experience, edged ahead before half-time when Adrian Hanley powered through for a try which Marcus Madden converted to give them a 7-5 lead at the break.
The physically stronger Exiles enjoyed much the greater possession and territory in the second half but a gritty President’s XV battled manfully to the bitter end. Although outgunned for long spells, they curtailed the holders to two unconverted tries in the second period. Michael Donohoe finished off decent pressure for a try on the right while Darragh Lennon sealed the issue when he slalomed in for the third try late in the game.
It was a sporting affair, well controlled by referee Richard English, and the President’s XV displayed some hitherto unseen lineout moves! The trophy was presented by Keavey Moran to victorious captain Hanley, who operated in the centre on this occasion. Joe Bonnar skippered the President’s XV and their rookie fullback Costello was a worthy winner of the man of the match award.
ATHLONE PRESIDENT’S XV:- G.Costello; J.Bonnar (captain), D.Kelly, S.Flynn, M.Tormey; J.Keegan, D.Griffith; K.Grehan, N.Flynn, B.Kelly; G.Kenny, V.McGrath; D.Dunning, G.Glynn & S.Byrne. Replacements used:- K.O’Neill, L.Doran, R.Reid, L.Aadic & C.Galvin.
EXILES SELECTION:- T.Gilligan; D.Fagan, A.Hanley (captain), M.Madden, G.Ross; N.So, M.Donohoe; M.Jackson, D.Lennon, B.Gilligan; O.Naughton, E.Brady; Adrian Hughes, D.Maguire & Anthony Hughes.
REFEREE:- Richard English.