Coolmine 57 – 0 Malahide Saturday 14th November 2015
“The Biggest game of the season so far!!”. These are the words used by coach and team manager Ciaran to describe the game against Malahide in his call to arms on WhatsApp. The team duly responded with a larger than normal turnout for the Friday evening training session. Drills for the forwards and backs went well. Areas for improvement were highlighted and worked on. A steely determination was palpable among the group as they left that evening.
Saturday came and with it came the rain. Would it ever stop? Is there any chance that the game will go ahead? How could the pitch possibly be playable? Many a pint was had on the Saturday night on the basis that these questions would be answered negatively the following morning and a lie in would replace this eagerly anticipated match.
But NO. The grounds man had performed miracles, and at 9.30, confirmation was received that we were going to war at midday. Warm up commenced at 11, and the referee for the day called the captains together during this session and explained what he wanted. No foul play, no back chat, no repeated fouling. How one of the captains must now be wishing that he had actually listened. The game kicked off and the first few minutes were spent with the teams getting to grips with each other. There were a number of silly penalties for issues around the ruck in the early minutes. An issue with the ball size brought the game to a halt for a few minutes. Seemingly all the Malahide Under 15’s balls are size 5, but Coolmine’s are only size 4. Agreement to use the smaller specimen was eventually brokered and the game continued.
After 10 minutes, Coolmine were piling some serious pressure on the Malahide forwards. One penalty followed another, and despite repeated warnings by the ref, the fouls continued. The yellow card was out and the Malahide man was off for 10 minutes. Amazingly, one of the other Malahide players thought that this would be a good time to directly question the referee’s parentage, which unsurprisingly earned him a spell in the bin as well. With 15 against 13, the first score had to come and through sustained pressure Ben Griffin eventually broke the line.
The numerical advantage was cruelly exposes a couple of minutes later when Max Gerhardt fielded the restart in his own 22. With one of those jinky runs, he proceeded to run the ball back under their posts with hardly a hand been laid upon him. Coolmine continued to press, but their next score came just before half time, when Malahide were back to full strength. Several patient phases of play from 10 metres out were eventually rewarded when Ben Colgan broke through the line for the final score of the first half. Coolmine 21 – 0 Malahide.
Unfortunately for Malahide, the 2nd half started where the first left off. Probably one of the most popular scorers of the day got the first try of the 2nd half, when Jack Fitz used his strength to bundle the ball over in the right hand corner. With a tricky wind to deal with, Louis eventually lost his 100% kicking record with only the first missed conversion of the day. 4 minutes later, Max crossed the whitewash in the right corner after some lovely back play that involved Liam and Conor Dunne as well.
Malahide began to show some fight and were close to crossing the Coolmine line for the first time, when the ball was lost and some quick play released Dean down the left wing. With only one player
to beat, he was cynically tackled with a straight arm to the neck that left him poleaxed on the ground for several minutes. Thankfully there was no serious damage done, but the ref had no alternative than to issue a 3rd yellow card of the day to Malahide. From the ensuing penalty. Conor Kelly received the ball and made tremendous yards through the middle of the pitch and looked like he might make it himself at one point. Desperate tackles eventually saw him brought to ground but Ben Griffin was on hand for his 2nd and Coolmines 6th.
With 15 minutes left, and the game as good as over, Coolmines ruthless streak remained. Good work by Fionn on the 18 minute mark, saw him make some good yards before releasing Harry on the left, who worked hard to cross the line under a mountain of Malahide defenders. Max got the first hattrick of the afternoon, with another fantastic solo run, but Ben Griffin wasn’t to be denied either and with 3 minutes remaining he also crossed the line for the 3rd time.
Final score 57 – 0 to Coolmine. Size 4 or Size 5. I think it’s obvious who has the bigger balls !!