Match Report by Odhrán Cavanagh
Every time match day comes around, for the previous week Mr. McNally has to listen to constant questions about when it’s on, who we’re playing, who’s playing where, etc, etc. But I still think not telling anyone about the match till 3pm the day before was a drastic measure. Our wingers barely had time to book their hair and nails. We were to play Limavady Grammar School at 2pm the next day. Some of our boys complained about the late kick-off time (dangerously close to their afternoon nap) and others had a Gaelic match and wouldn’t be back in time (It turned out it was only McCormick so we didn’t worry).
We started out strong with a mixed team of new players and old ones in new positions. Sean O’Neill, Keelan and Pauric made their school debuts while Scott and I moved into 7 and 6 respectively. With these changes, coupled with a rare appearance from “I play Ulster” himself, we entered the first half swinging, playing pack rugby from the offset. Limavady didn’t want to know when Stephen ran for the tryline with the backs in tow, offloading to Ronan for an easy try. Ronan was later quoted as saying “Huh?” when asked for comment. The conversion was expertly missed by Mark, which would be a running theme throughout the game.
We continued on hard, a man at every breakdown and a win at every lineout or scrum. And then it happened. A breakdown on the tryline, we all knew it was the moment. Keelan “Only Seen as a Friend” McColgan took the ball from the back of a ruck and ran like a bull at Limavady’s defence. He broke through, he went to put the ball dow- and he dropped it. Ah well! It wouldn’t be long until Stephen charged elbow first towards a try of his own anyway. It’ll happen yet.
As the first half’s end drew close and Mark missed another conversion, we were in full swing. At least when the backs weren’t playing hot potato with the ball, Aidan and Ronan preferring to chuck it to the side rather than passing. More battling, and just before that half’s finish an opening so obvious appeared even Scott knew to take it, earning him a try and a conversion he could actually score. A nice change of pace from the regular. We then retired to the sideline to listen to Mr. McNally’s Greatest Pep-Talk Hits, including such favourites as “That’s Rugby Boys” and the all-time classic “Forwards Win Games”. This got us well prepared for the next half, but in the first few minutes it was clear that Limavady were ready to fight back. It was time to bring out the big guns. James and Pauric came off, with me moving into second row, Anton taking over six and Ethan moving in out the wing. After those two coming on the ref almost called it, but the mangers thought we should wait a little bit more.
Two more tries rolled in, ran under the posts by Sean O’Neill and Stephen to make sure Mark could lob them over. Even then, just about. For the majority of the half we were comfortable enough not to worry, but near the end our defence began to slip slightly; a worrying amount of play was happening in our half. But after more battling from the pack the game turned right around our way again. The backline shipped it out to the wing, Mr. Keyes charging up the side and laying the ball over the line! So focused was Tony on the attack that he failed to notice the ref’s whistle mere seconds before his try. But rumble after rumble brought us inch by inch closer until the unthinkable. The man, the myth, the Carroll himself planted the ball down. After seeing that display the ref put Limavady out of their misery, ending the game 36-0 to CCS. Oh, Mark missed the last conversion by the way. A return to form if ever there was one.
Caolan Whoriskey: 4/10 Gutted he missed Geography
Sean Carroll: 7/10 Scored a try, still celebrating
Keelan McGolgan: 8/10 So close yet so far
Diarmuid McCarron: 6/10 Nice carries
James Kelly: 5/10 Sure ye don’t even need thumbs like
Odhran Cavanagh: 6/10 At home at last
Mark Scott: 8/10 Turnover god…Haven’t seen him since the match
Stephen Kelly: 4/10 Promised a chicken box for the appearance, promised 2 for a hat-trick, but just fell short
Daire Porter: 8/10 Like a ginger Conor Murray
Sean O’Neill: 5/10 Darragh who?
Tony Keyes: 6/10 Just a few seconds more
Jason Lynch: 6/10 Bundee Lynch
Ronan Kelly: 1/10 Go to training
Pauric O’Donnell: 4/10 Played well in nets
Aidan Cunningham: 6/10 Butterfingers 2.0
Anton McLaughlin: 10/10 Super Sub
Ethan Harkin: 6/10 Good to have you back
Brian McNally: 7/10 Quality Mr. Spencer impression
Paul McCallion: €&/10 It was raining
Darragh McCormick: -10/10 Traitor
Adam McGonagle: 0/10 Can’t live up to Ethan
Tony Meehan: ?/? Who even are you