Jenkinson Cup Final
Balbriggan 16 Swords 8
Balbriggan won their first silverware in a number of years when they beat Fingal neighbours Swords to win the Jenkinson Cup. Swords were going for four in a row in the Jenkinson Cup.
On a perfect night for Rubgy both teams put on a good open display of rugby which had kept the large crowd entertained for the whole eighty minutes. Balbriggan started the quicker and with scrum half Healy in great form. He kept his threequater line well fed. Quinn repeatedly made good ground through the middle for Balbriggan. With fast men Mullen and Glen Healy back from injury, they were able to make good inroads into Swords territory. However it was again a case of the final pass not going to hand.
Despite their attacking it was Swords who had the first opportunity at points when Balbriggan were offside at a ruck. The kick was short and outhalf Phelan relieved the pressure with a great kick which Quinn managed to follow up and catch. He set skipper Hagan away, however Hagan was held up short of the line. Swords were penalised for not releasing and Healy put the first points on the board.
Balbriggan kept up the pressure and Swords lost a player to the bin after an illegal challenge on second row Graham Dennis. The lack of a man told on Swords and Balbriggan attacked back and forth across the pitch. The pressure eventually told when prop Chris Brightwell crashed over for a try. Healy traded penalties to leave Balbriggan 11-3 up at half time.
Balbriggan continued with the pressure in the second half and despite good running from Mullen and Glenn Healy, the Swords defence held firm. Billy Phelan at out half was giving a master class in positional kicking to keep Swords pinned back. Steve Murray, making his season debut for the injured Quinn, was only on the pitch a couple of minutes when he gave Stu Mullen a very deft pass for Mullen to split the defence and score.
Swords were not out of it and as the game progressed Balbriggan seemed to tire and eventually the pressure told and Swords scored in the corner. The conversion effort came back off the post which meant that Swords had to score twice. Balbriggan continued to absorb the pressure and on a turnover Mullen hoofed the ball up the field and put the game out of Swords reach. The cushion of the missed conversion was enough for Balbriggan to win the trophy.
A great display for Balbriggan as they continue to rebuild the team and great encouragement to those players who have only recently started the game. A big thanks must go to the back room team of coaches O’Sullivan and Phelan and manager McFadden, who was ably assisted by veteran Mick Quinn. The victory gives great impetus as the team move into the McGee Cup League in two weeks time.
S Mullen, D McGee, P Quinn (S Murray) T O’Toole, G Healy, B Phelan, K Healy, P Joyce, J Davis, C Brightwell, G Dennis, A Whelan, T Hagan, S Malone, L O’Toole