Post Match Report Mens 1XV v Garda 22/10/23

Balbriggan RFC vs. Garda RFC Post-Match Report
Venue: Westmanstown
The eagerly anticipated showdown between Balbriggan RFC and Garda RFC unfolded in a thrilling
encounter that had high stakes for both teams. Balbriggan was on a mission to secure promotion to
2B, while Garda RFC had similar aspirations, setting the stage for an exciting contest.
In the lead up to the game, an injury to Jamie Kinnott forced Balbriggan to make some personnel
changes. Notable shifts included James Gibbs moving from the wing to scrumhalf and Jack Scannell
taking his place on the wing. Adjustments in the forward pack saw Callum Breeds replacing Stephen
Dowling in the back row, and Graham Reynolds transitioning to the hooker position.
Balbriggan began the first half with the determination to put up a dominant performance and secure
early promotion. The forwards, including stalwarts like Adam O’Connor, Ciaran O’Donoghue, Ciaran
Hannigan, Conor Caldwell, and Mark Faye, combined seamlessly with Michael Walls and Paul
O’Connor to set the stage for their backline, featuring Jack Scannell, Kyle Healy, and Captain Tomas
This early pressure resulted in a strong scrum, and Paul O’Connor’s determination led to an early try
for Balbriggan RFC. His successful conversion bolstered Balbriggan’s confidence, and they continued
their attacking onslaught. Just five minutes in, Adam O’Connor’s raw strength allowed him to carry
two defenders over the line, securing Balbriggan’s second try. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt
was unsuccessful, but Balbriggan was in control with a 12-0 lead.
However, Garda RFC wasn’t ready to concede. A penalty against Callum Breeds for a high tackle
provided Garda with an opportunity to gain a foothold in Balbriggan’s territory. They capitalized on
this sustained pressure, showcasing their teamwork between forwards and backs, and successfully
converted their try. Balbriggan found themselves under their posts, bewildered by the sudden turn
of events.
As the first half progressed, both teams began to cancel each other out, and Balbriggan gave away a
series of penalties, particularly at the ruck, which favoured Garda. Despite resolute defence from
players like Graeme O’Reilly, Brian Mollohan, and Adam O’Connor, Balbriggan momentarily lost
concentration, allowing Garda RFC to score another try, making it 12-12 after 31 minutes.
Balbriggan restarted the game with renewed determination but continued to give away penalties,
particularly for high tackles. With some backchat to the referee, these penalties were marched
forward by 20 meters, giving Garda RFC a chance to end the first half 15-12 in their favour.

Despite the penalties, Balbriggan had alot going for them with strong performances in set pieces,
defence, and attack. The second half kicked off with Balbriggan showing a chip on their shoulder.
Strong carries from forwards like Conor Caldwell and Graeme O’Reilly laid the foundation for a
beautiful try by hooker Graham Reynolds in the corner. Fullback Tomas Murphy and Paul O’Connor
orchestrated this well-executed move, with Brian Mollohan’s jinking run down the right-hand side
being a highlight. Balbriggan regained the lead after Paul O’Connor’s conversion, and they didn’t look

Garda RFC managed to secure a penalty in the middle of the second half, narrowing the gap to 18-19
with 25 minutes left. The stakes were high, and both teams fought hard for victory.
Ciaran Hannigan, who had displayed excellence in the loose and lineouts, was replaced by Fiachra
Tuckey due to a facial injury, and Jack Scannell, who had been solid and dangerous on the wing, was
substituted by Josh McNamee with 19 minutes to go.
Balbriggan RFC applied relentless pressure, earning a penalty that Paul O’Connor confidently
converted, extending their lead to 18-22. A subsequent penalty made it 25-18 with only nine minutes
Garda RFC rallied with just five minutes left. Balbriggan conceded a penalty, which Garda kicked to
the corner. From the resulting lineout, Garda utilized a powerful maul to crash over the line, but their
conversion attempt hit the post, leaving the score at 23-25 in Balbriggan RFC’s favour.
With three minutes to go, Garda RFC had to work their way up the pitch and pushed hard to mount a
final challenge. In their desperation, they conceded a costly kickable penalty at the ruck on their 10-
meter line. After a brief consultation with the referee, Captain Tomas Murphy instructed kicker Paul
O’Connor to go for the posts.
In a dramatic conclusion to the game, Paul O’Connor maintained his composure and converted a 41-
meter penalty, securing a crucial victory for Balbriggan RFC at Westmanstown. This victory proved
decisive and guaranteed Balbriggan’s promotion to 2B.
With unwavering courage and relentless effort, Balbriggan RFC demonstrated their determination to
emerge victorious against a formidable Garda RFC side.

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