The Rice College senior rugby team defeated Michael Davitts of Castlebar 24-12 at Carrowholly, Westport. It was a second successive victory for this side, in the senior development cup competition, which sees the side compete in the semi-finals of the competition to be held later in the year. This Victory was achieved with the bare minimum of 15 players with no subs, all the more impressive considering that Michael Davitts suffered some injuries during the game.
Rice College started the game well putting the Castlebar side under some pressure. The first try was scored by Ronan Price who drove over the line after some great line breaks by both forwards and backs. This try was converted by Aidan Walsh who as scrum half made some great breaks relieving pressure off his forwards throughout the game. Brendan McLoughlin as No 8 punched some holes in the Davitts defence with some good bursts. The second try was scored by Chris Mac Govern who rounded of a succession of forward drives by touching down near the posts again converted by Aidan Walsh. The backs including Darragh Walsh and Padraig O’ Haire were cutting through the Davitts teams with some great runs. The Third try was a great backs move through the hands from a ruck, where despite the wind and rain Padraig O’ Haire touched down in the corner after sweeping hands from the back the conversion was missed. The score was 19-0 at halftime.
The Second Half saw a resurgence by the Michael Davitts team who scored two tries in quick succession with only one converted. This resulted from a lull in the Rice College team performance who was now playing against the wind. The tea were coughing up possession to easily and the half time had halted their momentum. With the scores uneasily close at 19-12. The Westport side went back to the successful tactic of pick and go around the fringes of the rucks and mauls using their strength and powerful driving ability. The team’s fourth try came from this tactic which came from a good line out near the Davitts Line, scored by Brendan Mc Loughlin who got his reward for a fine performance. The conversion was missed but the bonus point was secured. The match finished 24-12. Despite the drop in performance in the beginning of second half Rice College regained their focus and deserved their bonus point try and victory.