1943-44 JCT Campaign
Junior House Rugby
THE RUGBY SEASON opened with the election of captains. P. MacCabe, F. Maher and J.MacCrohan were elected first, second and third captains respectively, much to the satisfaction of all. While Fr. Carbery, who had trained this team since they were" Under 13's," was again their trainer.
BELVEDERE V. CASTLEKNOCK
The J.C.T. met Belvedere in the first of their friendlies. Despite the fact that die match was at Belvedere our team was fairly confident as they had shown some good form at home. The game opened with a good forward rush in which P. MacCabe and J. MacCrohan were prominent. We lost many scoring opportunities mainly owing to a breakdown in the backs. However, they improved, and after a quick heel the ball came out to P. Domegan at centre, who in an excellent run . from the halfway went through the opposition to score a try. P. MacCabe converted with a fine kick. With the score 5-0 'Knock continued the pressure. The forwards heeled in most of the scrums and F. Maher and P. Cullen were making a fairly good combination. P. Cullen gained valuable ground with his touch kicking and F. Maher made clever openings. Just before the end of the first half P. MacCabe was pulled down near the line after a long run. Then in a forward rush, M. Bennett scored. Again the points were added by P. MacCabe. The second half was evenly contested, with neither side scoring. Thus giving Castleknock their first victory by 10 points to nil.
Team.-G. Loughney, K. O'Flynn, P. Domegan, H. Crawford, R. Lyons, P. Cullen. F. Maher, M. Bennett, W. O'Neill, B. Halpenny, J. MacCrohan, M. Shipsey, P. MacCabe, D. Fitzgerald, N. Higgins.
CASTLEKNOCK V. CLONGOWES
For the first time in the history of the College the Juniors had a match against Clongowes. It was regarded as a very important fixture and those who expected a keen game were not disappointed. H. Crawford came in as out-half. P. Cullen moved out to centre, and D. McGrath replaced R. Lyons. Castleknock kicked off and a good forward rush brought the ball down to the opponent's line. We lost an easy chance of scoring, but after a few minutes play a fast back movement resulted in P. Domegan going over a try which P. MacCabe converted. Then in a forward rush almost from our own 25, in which P. MacCabe, M. Shipsey and W. O'Neill were prominent, K. O'Flynn following up on the wing scored an unconverted try. The team was playing well with P. Cullen's touch-kicking and tackling outstanding, H. Crawford was running hard and few of F. Maher's passes from the scrum were going astray. With the score 8-0 Clongowes began to attack, and before half-time they scored two unconverted trys to leave the first half score, 'Knock 8, Clongowes 6. Early in the second half we seemed to tire quickly and Clongowes scored another unconverted try. However, we fought back well and P. Domegan in a strong run scored a try which P. MacCabe converted. This made the score 13-9 for us. But for the rest of the game Clongowes were always in our half, and got three more points with a penalty goal. With the score 13-12 we fought strongly to keep them out. But with about a minute to go one of their backs scored an unconverted try, to give them a well earned victory by 15 points to 13 points.
ST. MARY'S V. CASTLEKNOCK
This match was away. P. Cullen moved into out half and H. Crawford replaced him as centre. D. Clarke came on instead of W. Higgins at wing-forward. The forwards had most of the play as the conditions were adverse for backs. In the first half P. MacCabe scored an unconverted try after a good rush. In the second half F. Maher slipped over for a try which J. MacCrohan converted with a very good kick. The scoring ended with a penalty goal for St. Mary's to leave the score 8-3 for 'Knock.
BLACKROCK V. CASTLEKNOCK
This was another away match and N. Higgins came on as wing forward. Again it was a forward's day and M. Shipsey, P. MacCabe and B. Halpenny showed to advantage in the play. The first half produced no scoring though both teams had near misses. In the second half 'Rock broke through and scored an unconverted try. Near the end P. Cullen made a good attempt to drop a goal but just failed and the final score was 3-0 for 'Rock.
CASTLEKNOCK V. BELVEDERE
This match was at home. F. Gleeson replaced J. Loughney at full-back. The match was marred by the soft and wet state of the ground, with the forwards having most of the play. The backs handled badly and generally they seemed to be put off their game by the conditions. The forwards were only fair, though P. MacCabe and J. MacCrohan played their usual good game. W. O'Neill booked his share of the balls, but the backs made little use of it. In the first half J. MacCrohan broke through in a strong rush and scored an unconverted try. There was no more scoring and a rather poor game ended with a win for the J.C.T. by 3-0.
CASTLEKNOCK v. ST. MARYS
In this match an experiment was tried out by giving the backs a general reshuffle. P. Cullen came from out-half to scrum-half while F. Maher moved from the latter position to the left wing, and D. MacGrath came in to out-half. In the forward P. MacCabe and B. Halpenny went to the front row, the former to replace J. MacCrohan who was off. B. Guerin then came on as wing forward, while M. Shipsey left the front row for the second row. Though the forwards adjusted themselves to their new positions the backs were obviously not settled. H. Crawford and P. Domegan at centre made good openings for the wings, but they were not availed of. The scrum-half and out-half combination was hopeless and it was with difficulty that they kept Mary's out in the first-half. In the second the backs were put in their customary positions and immediately a change came over the whole team. B. Guerin in a grand dribble from a loose scrum scored an unconverted try. Then F. Maher went over from a scrum for another unconverted try. Soon after P. Domegan in a strong swerving run scored a try which P. MacCabe converted. This ended the scoring to give the J.C.T. a win by I I points to nil.
CLONGOWES v. CASTLEKNOCK
The J.C.T. travelled to Clongowes to-day. They were fielding perhaps their strongest team, and fully hoped to reverse the result of their previous match. J. MacCrohan came on again as one of the second row, while D. Fitzgerald moved from there to replace B. Guerin at wing forward. 'Knock lost the toss and had wind and sun against them. However, in spite of this handicap we pressed hard and F. Maher slipped over for a try in the first quarter of an hour. About ten minutes later Clongowes retaliated with a try to leave the first half score 3-3. In the second half P. Domegan, after a clever cut through ran hard and scored an unconverted try. Then P. MacCabe put a penalty over to finish the scoring and give 'Knock another win by 9 points to 3.
CASTLEKNOCK V. BLACKROCK
The weather conditions were very unsatisfactory, but despite this the first half furnished us with some very good football. We lost the toss and played against the wind. J. MacCrohan kicked off and immediately we were on the attack. But after a few minutes a forward rush brought 'Rock down to our twenty-five. and but for the strong tackling of our backs they would have been through several times. Eventually their winger broke through and scored an unconverted try. W. O'Neill then had very hard luck with a penalty kick which struck both the crossbar and the upright only to bounce back again. In the second half the game developed into a type of deadlock with 'Rocks touch-kicking continuously stopping all our attacks. Our backs passing was faulty and the only ones to show any form were F. Maher at scrum-half and D. MacGrath on the wing. The forwards despite the absence of their captain were good. During the last quarter of an hour 'Rock were always in our twenty-five, but were kept out until the final whistle. Thus the score ended 'Rock 3, 'Knock nil.
CASTLEKNOCK v. KING'S HOSPITAL
The J.C.T. finished a successful round of friendlies by defeating King's Hospital 9-0. Scorers: P. Domegan, D. MacGrath and M. Shipsey.
SECOND ROUND CUP MATCH
CASTLEKNOCK V. BELVEDERE
The Juniors travelled to Donnybrook to-day for their second round cup match against Belvedere. Roscrea owing to transport difficulties were unable to play us in the first round. The team was at full strength and the day was ideal for. plenty of open play. Belvedere kicked off and after a few minutes play in midfield we heeled from a set scrum, the ball came out to D. MacGrath at second centre who made a clean cut through and raced down the field past the Belvedere twenty-five and then passed to P. Cullen on the wing who gave a short kick ahead and was just beaten for the touch-down. This was to be our only real scoring opportunity of the match. From this point to the end the game developed into a hard fight with our backs exceptionally strong in tackling and touch kicking, thus saving the situation. Just before half-time Belvedere seemed over· for a certain try when P. MacCabe, coming from behind saved the match by a hard tackle. Early in the second half the Belvedere backs got through and for a moment our defence was caught on the wrong foot but again we were saved by P. Cullen going down on the ball in front of the Belvedere forwards. Belvedere continued pressing with the pressure being occasionally relieved by forward rushes up the field. Near the end, when almost on our line they were driven back by three successive touch-kicks of F. Maher. The game ended a few minutes later to leave the score 0-0. Though our backs made little headway, F. Maher and R. Lyons made an excellent combination and D. MacGrath was our most thrustful back. P. Domegan on the left wing practically starved mainly on account of passing movements breaking down. In the forwards, P. MacCabe, B. Halpenny and J. MacCrohan were always prominent in the rushes, while M. Bennett and M. Shipsey were invaluable in the line out. W. O'Neill hooked almost every ball and generally all the forwards played a good game.
Team.-G. Loughney, P. Domegan, H. Cawford, D. MacGrath, P. Cullen, R. Lyons, F. Maher, M. Shipsey, W. O'Neill, J. MacCrohan, M. Bennett, D. Fitzgerald, B. Halpenny, N. Higgins, P. MacCabe.
REPLAY OF SECOND ROUND CUP MATCH
BELVEDERE V. CASTLEKNOCK
Belvedere won the toss and elected to play with a strong wind. P. MacCabe's kick off was returned by a long touch-kick which put us on the defensive. After a few minutes pressure. in our twenty-five we were relieved by a break of P. Cullen which brought the play up the field again. However, with the strong wind in their favour Belvedere quickly returned to the attack. Having heeled in a set scrum the ball was sent out to their left winger who went over for an unconverted try. Shortly after this P. MacCabe tried a penalty goal but with the wind and distance against him he failed. The play was now earned into Belvedere's half and was destined to stay there till the end of the match, mainly through the efforts of our hard-working pack. We missed a few chances of scoring owing to the sluggishness of our backs. In the second half, with the wind in our favour, our chances of winning seemed very strong. The forwards had definitely shown an overwhelming superiority in the set scrums during the first half. This was due in no small measure to the excellent hooking of W. O'Neill and the strong packing of the rest of the forwards. Immediately after the kick-off, a long touch kick of P. Cullen put us on the offensive. Shortly afterwards P. MacCabe missed a penalty goal. Then, from this stage to the end of the match it was the same story all the time. The forwards would heel quickly and cleanly, F. Maher would send out a perfect pass and there the attack would end. The backs lacked thrust. Their passing was slow, with the result that our wingers were taken down every time. However, heartiest congratulations are due to Belvedere on their excellent defence which won them the game by 3-0.