Castleknock College Union

1941-42 SCT Campaign

Senior House Rugby

May 15, 1942
1941-42 SCT Campaign -

Captain.—F. JOHNSTON                  Vice-Captain.—J. BROWNE

Hon. Secretary.—P. J. CARROLL

THE RUGBY season has opened once again at 'Knock, and the business of producing a team is in the capable hands of Father Sullivan, who has trained some very good teams in the past. The material at his disposal is as follows—from last year's team—C. O'Rorke, F. Johnston, M. Davitt, J. Browne, J. Walsh, J. Mackesy, and Des. Barry ; and from last year's junior team—P. McQuillan, R. Carroll, P. Browne, H. O'Hagan, and J. Brennan. There are other experienced players who seem likely to get their places, notably, P. J. Carroll, J. O'Connell and K. Steen. With this large number of players who know the game, the prospects are good, and competition for places should be keen. Frank Johnston was elected Captain, with John Browne Vice-Captain, and P. J. Carroll Hon. Secretary.


Although beaten in this, the first match of the season, there is good reason to hope for better results in future. We were beaten in the fixed and loose scrums by the heavier 'Rock forwards, who bound more tightly. The backs, too, did not combine very well, and the attack consisted largely of individual efforts by Frank Johnston and Jack Mackesy. Once in each half we got an unconverted try. In each case Jack Mackesy cut through and passed to Frank Johnston who got both scores. Tackling was not very good, especially in the first half, and although the defence tightened up in the second half Rock ran up a score of 27 pts. to our 6.


The match started at a very fast pace, which was kept up right to the end. Play was rather scrappy and the Mountjoy forwards rushed hard all the time. 'Knock players did not go down on the ball, and before long Mountjoy got an unconverted try. They got another unconverted try- before P. Browne opened the scoring for 'Knock, when he went across for an unconverted try from a loose scrum near the line. In the second half Mountjoy got two more tries which they succeeded in converting, while 'Knock only got one, when Frank Johnston intercepted about half-way and scored near the corner-flag. The final score was 17 pts. to 6 for Mountjoy. Early in the match P. J. Carroll broke his collar-bone and went off, leaving us a man short. Tough luck, P.J.!

Team.—R. Hamilton ; W. O'Brien, N. McQuillan F. Johnston, P. J. Carroll ; J. Mackesy, R. Carroll ; K. Steen, M. Davitt, J. Browne', H. O'Hagan, J. Walsh, C. O'Rorke, P. Browne, D. Barry.


Although Mountjoy were not playing their full team for this match, they were by no means weak, and our victory was due rather to our improved team-work. A few minutes after the start Jack Mackesy cut through neatly on the Mountjoy " 25," and Frank Johnston crossed for an unconverted try. There was no more scoring before half-time, although the play was fairly open, the backs on both sides getting plenty of the ball. Early in the second half, from a kick ahead by Jack Mackesy, John Browne booted the ball across the line and Willie O'Brien touched down for another unconverted try. Soon after, we got a very neat score, when Paddy McCormack came round the blind side of the scrum and passed to Leo Murray. Paddy then took a return pass on the outside and kicked the ball over the line. John Browne touched down for another unconverted try. We scored again when the ball went right across the back line to Willie O'Brien, who touched down at the corner. Again the try was unconverted. We beat Mountjoy 12 pts. to nil—our first win of the season. With forwards and backs more at home in the positions and playing better together, we hope for continued success.

Team.—R. Hamilton ; L. Murray, F. Johnston, X. McQuillan, W. O'Brien; J. Mackesy, P. McCormack ; P. Barn, M. Davitt, H. O'Hagan, E. Boylan, J. Walsh, J. Shiels, P. Browne, J. Browne.


To-day 'Knock kept up the good work by beating Belvedere. The match was fast and the standard of play quite high. 'Knock scrummaged well and on several occasions the backs were very near scoring. About half way through the first half Frank Johnston put over a penalty kick and the score remained unchanged at half-time. In the second half 'Knock were getting the better of it, when Jim Walsh dived across for a try from a loose scrum near the line. We failed to convert and soon afterwards Belvedere replied with a great forward rush which gave them their only score of the match—a converted try. Although both sides tried hard for another try, there was no more scoring, and we won the match 6 pts. to 5. Joe Brennan was well tested in his position as full-back and proved himself a capable player.

Team.—J. Brennan; G. Cleneghan, F. Johnston, W. O'Brien, L. Murray ; J. Mackesy, R. Carroll ; K. Steen, M. Davitt, J. O'Connell, E. Boylan, H. O'Hagan, J. Browne, J. Walsh, J. Shiels.


We played our old opponents from Clongowes under very bad conditions. The ground was very heavy, and it rained almost all through the match. After a few minutes the ball became very difficult to handle, and most of the play was among the forwards. On the few occasion when our backs did get the ball, they held it very well, and on at least two occasions in the first half we were very near scoring. The play was fairly even in the first half; but in the second half, it took place mostly in the Clongowes half of the field. After many desperate efforts we got a score, when Johnny Shiels dribbled the ball away from the scrum and touched down for an unconverted try, to the cheering of our rain soaked but enthusiastic supporters. Soon after, one of the Clongowes wings made a very fine run, but having kicked ahead to avoid a tackle was beaten for the touch-down by Noel McQuillan. The remainder of the game was spent inside the Clongowes " 25," and although we tried our hardest, we could not get another try, and the match ended with 3 pts. to nil for us—a very satisfactory result.

Team.—J. Brennan ; N. McQuillan, F. Johnston, W. O'Brien, Leo Murray; J. Mackesy, R. Carroll, J. Browne, M. Davitt, D. O'Connell, E. Boylan, H. O'Hagan, P. Browne, J. Walsh, J. Shiels.


We started off with a great show of football. The ball came back quickly from the scrums and went out to the backs like a flash. Although they seemed to have things nearly all their own way they could not score, until after about 15 minutes Jack Mackesy cross kicked and Leo Murray went across for an unconverted try. The score was still 3 pts. to nil at half-time ; but just at the beginning of the second half the 'Knock forwards seemed to collapse and from then on Mountjoy got most of the ball. Making good use of their opportunities they scored 17 pts, while our only reply was a penalty goal by Frank Johnston. The score, 17 pts. to 6, was the same as that in our first match with Mountjoy. The team was the same as that against Clongowes.


The Past came out to-day and they had a very easy match. Although the Present tried hard they could make no headway, while the Past were continually breaking through and scoring. Our only score came when Frank Johnston intercepted about the half-way line and after a fine run scored a try, which he converted. Although the scoring was very one-sided it was quite an enjoyable match. Leo Murray who was marking his brother Ollie, tackled very well, and J. Shiels baffled some of our very illustrious Past with his dribbling.

Team.—J. Brennan ; L. Murray, W. O'Brien, F. Johnston, N. McQuillan ; J. Mackesv, R. Carroll ; P. Barry, D. O'Connell, J. Duffy, C. O'Rorke, E. Boylan, P. Browne, J. Walsh, J. Shiels.


The ground was no better for this match with Clongowes than it was for the previous one, although on this occasion it did not rain while the game was in progress. The play was hard and moved rapidly from one end of the field to the other. We were very near scoring on several occasions, notably when Leo Murray had an open field and Noel McQuillan slung out a rather wild pass which Leo failed to take. The scrummaging was good and the tackling better than ever before. In the second half we got the only score of the match, when Jack Mackesy cut through and passed to Frank Johnston who touched down and converted from near the touch-line. So once again we beat Clongowes, this time by 5 pts. to nil.

Team.—J. Brennan ; W. O'Brien, N. McQuillan, F. Johnston, L. Murray ; J. Mackesy, R. Carroll ; J. O'Connell, M. Davitt, D. Largev, C. O'Rorke, E. Boylan, P. Browne, J. Walsh, H. O'Hagan.



Knock kicked off against a slight breeze, and the two teams settled down to a hard fight. After about 15 minutes Belvedere scored and converted a try, much to the dismay of our supporters. Soon afterwards Frank Johnston gave them some relief when he got a penalty goal. Belvedere scored again before half-time with a very good penalty kick. We started the second half five points down, and after an exciting 15 minutes, came the thrill of the match. 'Knock was awarded a penalty. Frank Johnston's kick missed the posts and while the Belvedere players were waiting to touch the ball dead, Leo Murray flashed up amongst them and scored a brilliant try, to the amazement of all—players and spectators alike. Frank Johnston converted to make the scores level. A few minutes afterwards he kicked another penalty goal, giving us a lead which we held easily to the end. So after many thrills we came safely through the first round of the Cup by 11 pts. to 8.

Team.—J. Brennan ; W. O'Brien, F. Johnston, N. McQuillan, L. Murray; J. Mackesy, R. Carroll; J. O'Connell, M. Davitt, J. Browne, C. O'Rorke, E. Boylan, P. Browne, J. Walsh, H. O'Hagan.


The pitch was in good condition and the weather warm—rather too warm—for playing a match. The match was not very striking, but both sides played a sound game. 'Knock had the best of it in the fixed scrums, but in the loose scrums and line-out Wesley got most of the ball. A few minutes after the kick off, Wesley got a penalty goal and the score was still 3 pts. to nil at half-time. The play continued steady for about twenty minutes in the second half, when Ray Carroll slipped away from a loose scrum on the blind side and ran for the line. He was tackled about a yard from the line. J. Browne who was following up picked up the ball and carried it across for an unconverted try. About ten minutes afterwards Jack Mackesy put us in the lead with a fine drop kick. Wesley were never near scoring again, except on one occasion when a centre cut-through, but the danger was removed when Michael Davitt brought off the finest dive tackle of his career. The final score was 7 pts. to 3, putting us in the semi-final with St. Mary's.

Team.—M. O'Donnell ; L. Murray, X. McQuillan, F. Johnston, W. O'Brien ; J. Mackesv, R. Carroll ; J. Browne, M. Davitt, H. O'Hagan, E. Boylan, C. O'Rorke, P. Browne, J. Walsh, D. O'Connell.


The 'Knock players had no tog-out since the last Cup match, and were in great form for a game. They started off very well, the ball coming back from the scrums cleanly and efficiently, and the backs passing well and running strongly. Then Michael Davitt the hooker, strained his back and was badly handicapped for the rest of the match. From then on the backs got very little chance to show what they could do. Before half-time lack Mackesy kicked ahead and Frank Johnston caught the ball on the hop, sidestepped two men and went over for a try between the posts. He then converted. In the second half, P. Browne kicked the ball out of the scrum-half's hands and D. O'Connell took it on at his feet. Frank Johnston dribbled over the line and touched down for an unconverted try. Soon afterwards Jack Mackesy put over a drop-goal from just outside the " 25." So we won the match by 12 pts. to nil. Persistent tackling by the backs saved us on many occasions and put us in the final.

Teams.—M. O'Donnell; L. Murray, N. McQuillan, F. Johnston, W. O'Brien ; J. Mackesv, R. Carroll ; J. Browne, M. Davitt, H. O'Hagan, E. Boylan, C. O'Rorke, P. Browne, J. Walsh, D.' O'Connell.



Blackrock kicked off and 'Knock went into it right from the start. A few minutes after the start Frank Johnston put over a penalty goal from outside the " 25." Later when a 'Rock passing movement broke down, Frank Johnston snapped up the ball and cross kicked. Leo Murray carried it across for an unconverted try. 'Knock tried again and again to get another score to make their lead safe, but 'Rock tackled well and there was no more scoring before half-time. Soon after the beginning of the second half 'Rock got their first try which they failed to convert when Barry Nolan dummied his way across. Then 'Rock made the scores level with a penalty kick, and before long their wing got an unconverted try. Although tired, 'Knock drove their opponents down to their own " 25," and Jack Mackesy had a shot at the posts, but just missed it. Then 'Knock were driven down to their own line and another score for 'Rock seemed inevitable when Willie O'Brien saved the situation with the finest tackle of the game. So, fighting hard, we were beaten by 9 pts. to 6. The following extract from the Irish Press is worthy of note:

" The big attendance was treated to one of the finest displays of football seen this season, for both sides adopted open tactics. Brilliant passing movements, splendid solo efforts and deadly tackling by the backs thrilled the spectators, while in the tight and loose the forwards fought doggedly."

We all owe thanks to Father Sullivan, whose painstaking efforts were the chief cause of the many successes we have had during the year. We also thank Mr. Gillespie, whose intensive physical training stood us in good stead in the hard battles we fought for the Cup.