Collidge arrived at Castle Avenue on Saturday on the back of a 3-game unbeaten run to play a Clontarf team who had got a big win the previous weekend against table toppers UCC at the Mardyke. The game was moved to the 4G pitch because of a flooded main pitch. Collidge played into a very strong and blustery wind in the first half and spent much of it buried deep within our own 22. Determined and dogged defence throughout the team meant that ‘Tarf’s scoring opportunities were limited in the first half. Despite the relentless pressure, Collidge looked dangerous once they got into Tarf territory and had some passes gone to hand, the score line might have looked a little different at half-time (10-0)
Collidge were proving dominant in the early exchanges of the second half and putting Tarf under similar pressure to that which they had applied to us in the first half. After a strong turnover, Collidge capitalised on the quick ball and some good handling sent Andy Marks away on the right-hand side to score and leave James Tarrant with a kickable conversion. JT got the kick and Collidge were back within touching distance (10-7). Soon after the Collidge try, Tarf responded by kicking a penalty. Collidge didn’t panic and after some neat footwork in the midfield and a missed tackle, Gavin Mullin was set free to dot down for a five pointer. Unfortunately, the conversion didn’t hit the target but Collidge were behind by a solitary point and right back in it with 20min to go (13-12). Another Collidge yellow card meant Collidge had to dig deep and weather a flurry of attacks into the Collidge half from Tarf but thankfully the defence held fast. With 10 minutes to go, Collidge were once again down to 14 men, this time as a result of injuries to props and as the minutes ticked down, Collidge continued to press, despite the numerical disadvantage.
A huge turnover by Cian Prendergast in the UCD 22 resulted in a breakout and the final set of phases of the game. Collidge worked their way down the pitch, demonstrating great ball retention and rucking skills. With replacement out-half Luke Maloney sitting deep in the pocket for what felt like a lifetime and the side-line screaming for a drop goal, scrum-half Paddy Patterson kept the forward crashing forward until finally a chink of light opened up and Patterson shot through the gap around the Tarf fringe defence at a ruck to score to the left of the posts. Last play, game over, relief!! Maloney was unsuccessful with the conversion but Collidge had won and beaten Clontarf for the first time in 13 previous attempts after this gutsy and determined performance.
Well done to Captain Jonny Guy and all the team on a brilliant performance and to the coaches Kevin Croke, Mark McGroarty and Brett Igoe on prepping the team for such a difficult contest. Finally, thanks to all the supporters who cheered the team on, it felt like a home game afterwards!
Next up is second-in-the-table Terenure College RFC on Saturday next at the UCD Bowl and your support would be hugely appreciated for what is going to be a massive game for both teams!
UCD: 15 David Ryan; 14 Andy Marks; 13 Gavin Mullin; 12 Tommy O’Brien; 11 Jack Ringrose; 10 James Tarrant; 9 Paddy Patterson; 1 Emmet Burns; 2 Sean McNulty; 3 Evin Coyle; 4 Cian Prendergast; 5 Charlie Ryan; 6 Jonny Guy (Capt); 7 Alex Penny; 8 Stephen McVeigh. Replacements: 16 Bobby Sheehan; 17 Rory Mulvihill; 18 Mark Fleming; 19 Colm Mulcahy; 20 Luke Maloney.
Next match: v Terenure Col (home) 16/11