Old Christians 7
BANDON signed off for the Christmas break in style with a devastating display of attacking rugby that earned them ten tries in their latest Munster Junior League Division 1 victory last Sunday.
Played on a fantastic surface, it was also the only game in Division 1 to go ahead last Sunday with the other six fixtures all succumbing to the elements.
Playing with the breeze and towards the clubhouse corner the home side scored inside the first minute. Receiving the kick off, the ball was kept alive for several phases. A strong burst by Jerry Crowley was stopped short of the line and from the ensuring ruck, the ball was popped to Colin Jackson who crashed over. Richard Walsh added the extras.
Of the ten tries scored, the second one was probably the best. A move started by Kieran Essex inside his own half saw the ball go through several pair of hands down the right-hand side before the play was switched to the left where winger Gearoid Crowley dived over in the corner. Walsh had his only miss from nine attempts from the subsequent conversion to leave it 12 – 0.
Old Christians were, at times, chasing shadows as Bandon’s handling was superb and the rarity of rucks meant the visiting side had little or no time to regroup.
Jerry Crowley added the third try with a typically powerful effort and the bonus point was secured on 26 minutes when Old Christians collapsed a five-metre scrum to concede a penalty try.
Indeed Bandon were dominant in both scrum and lineout almost all afternoon.
A brilliant individual score by Walsh and two tries from Michael Beecher saw Bandon tally 47 first-half points with Old Christians managing a single converted try in response.
It was always going to be difficult to maintain such momentum in the second half and Old Christians did have spells where they dominated in terms of possession and territory.
However, the Bandon defence was very alert and organised and never looked in real danger of conceding any further scores. They did manage three more tries through Kieran Essex, Gearoid Crowley and Des Prendergast, who rounded off the scoring when he took a clever line off the shoulder of Jerry Crowley, now at scrum half. Chris Laidler, who kept the play flowing all afternoon from out half, slotted the final conversion.
The quality rather than the quantity of the tries scored was the overriding feature of this game with the work rate of the pack also standing out.
There were outstanding individual displays across the side with Jerry Crowley, Richard Walsh and Des Prendergast all having fine games. Man of the Match though was number eight Kieran Essex, whose decision making and ball carrying have brought a new dimension to this side.
Bandon’s next game in the league is not until January 17th when league leaders and defending champions Clonmel, who they currently trail by a single point, come to Old Chapel with the Tipperary outfit having a game in hand.
Before that they travel to Kanturk in the first round of the Munster Junior Cup on January 10th.
Bandon: Olan Crowley, Christian Mulcahy, Jerry Crowley, Ray Naea, Gearoid Crowley, Chris Laidler, Richard Walsh, Colin Jackson, Scott Kingston, Tim Crowley, Dan Swithenbank, Des Prendergast, Tom Ferguson (captain), Kieran Essex, Michael Beecher.
Subs: Mike Murphy, Ross Bateman, Cian Buttimer, Gearoid O’Leary, Billy Crowley.