Castleknock College Union

1943-44 SCT Winners

Senior House Rugby

Mar 25, 1944
1943-44 SCT Winners - KnockUnion.ie

Captain of the House - R. CARROLL Vice-Captain - P. O'DONOGHUE'

Hon. Secretary - J. BRENNAN

Now THAT the Rugby Season of 1943-44 has run its course, and the Leinster Senior Schools Cup is enthroned in the College Refectory, there remains the very pleasing task of recording the fortunes of the Senior Cup-winning Team during the season.

Ray Carroll, Paddy O'Donoghue and Joe Brennan were elected 'first, second and third captains respectively. Six of last year's team were back to lay the foundation of the Cup-winning fifteen. R. Carroll, a grand scrum-half, fearless in facing a forward rush and a dangerous opportunist; P. O'Donoghue, an outhalf with a good kick, and a grand cut-through; J. Brennan, full-back of last year now developed into a fine centre; J. Fitzharris, a strong-running centre with a great defence; J. Cooney, leader of the forwards and a grand scrummager; P. McGeough invaluable in the line-out and a tower of strength in the pack.

To these veterans" came new blood in T. Delahunt, a very speedy wing, with an elusive swerve; M. Holloway, a wing with an excellent defence, and great determination; H. Barniville, a full-back, with a good sense of position, and a great kick with both feet; N. Flanagan, a very fast forward with plenty of dash; D. Dunne, a skilful hooker, and a good man in the loose; C. O'Flynn a lively scrummager and an ideal front-row man; E. Connellan, a big forward, invaluable for his weight in the scrum; P. Hopkins, a fast wing-forward with a great tackle; C. Healy, a grand wing-forward for covering up and stemming a forward rush; J. Geraghty, a promising full-ba(:k who played in the first Cup match; J. O'Neill a very sound fullback with a. good kick, who played in the Semi-Final and the Final; S. Bennett, a good wing-forward. and an excellent dribbler.

CASTLEKNOCK 6 V. ST. MARY'S 5

The first match of the season was played at home against St. Mary's. Taking into consideration that it was our first match, the team played very well, winning by 6 points to 5. The first score came midway through the first half, when a good back movement was finished by Ken O'Flaherty, racing over at the corner-flag for an unconverted try. Joe Brennan increased the lead by a penalty goal in the second half. Both teams began to tire, and before the end, the Mary's scrumhalf slipped over for a try, which was converted, leaving the final score 6 points to 5 in favour of 'Knock. A pleasing feature of the game was the liveliness shown by the forwards in the loose, but owing to slow heeling, the backs were not given very many chances.

Team:-H. Barniville, M. Holloway, J. Brennan, J. Fitzharris, K. O'Flaherty, P. O'Donoghue, Joe O'Neill, P. Hopkins, D. Dunne, N. Flanagan, P. McGeough, E. Connellan, S. Barrett, J. Cooney, C. Healy.

CASTLE.KNOCK 6 V. BELVEDERE 0

Our next match was against Belvedere, which we won by 6 points to nil. Although we won, it was a disappointing game, the backs failing to score, although given many chances. The only score in the first half was a penalty goal by Joe Brennan despite the fact that we attacked practically the whole time. The backs again lacked the necessary thrust in the second half, the only score being a try by Colman Healy, who dived over from a scrum on the line. Harry Barniville played a fine game at full-back, while Paddy McGeough, Noel Flanagan and Colman Healy were prominent in the forwards.

Team.-H. Barniville, M. Holloway, J. Brennan, J. Fitzharris, K. O'Flaherty, P. O'Donoghue, R. Carroll, N. Flanagan, D. Dunne, C. O'Flynn, E. Connellan, P. McGeough, P. Hopkins, J. Cooney, C. Healy.

OUR INTER-PROVINCIALS, 1943-44. Paddy O'Donoghue, Joe Brennan, Jack Cooney, Ray Carroll

CASTLEKNOCK 6 V. BELVEDERE 11

A fortnight later we played a return match with Belvedere, suffering our first defeat by I I points to 6. We were missing, however, the two halves, Ray Carroll and Paddy O'Donoghue. There was a strong wind blowing, and Belvedere ran up 11 points without reply in the first half. Our team rallied in the second half, and Tom Delahunt, gathering a loose ball ran very well to force his way over at the corner flag. Soon after Joe Brennan cut through in the centre to send Jack Fitzharris over for an unconverted try. Although we pressed hard from this till the end, we failed to score again, though Joe O'Neill had very hard luck on one occasion. The backs showed the better account in this match particularly the right centre and wing combination of Joe Brennan and Tom Delahunt. John Cooney and Eddie Connellan worked hard in the forwards.

CASTLEKNOCK 3 V. BLACKROCK 6

We entertained Blackrock on the 13th November, and were most unlucky to lose by 6 points to 3. The game was played under unfavourable conditions, but proved to be an exciting struggle, although not providing very good football. Blackrock scored twice in the first half, one of the scores being a penalty, and the second a lucky try, coming as a result of a kick to touch being charged down. We pressed hard on resuming, and Joe Brennan kicked a penalty goal. Then C from a scrum in the centre of the field, Ray Carroll passed to Joe Brennan, who cut through to send Tom Delahunt away on the wing, only for the latter to be tackled inches from the line. We tried hard from this till the end but Blackrock retained their lead to win 6-3.

CASTLEKNOCK 31 V. MOUNTJOY 0

We played Mountjoy on the following Saturday, and won by the rather large score of 31 points to nil. The Mountjoy team was on the weak side, and was no match for our backs, who combined well. We led at halftime by 19 points to nil. Tom Delahunt on the wing had a good day, scoring four times. Others to score were Joe Brennan, R. Carroll, Niall McKnight, Seamus Barrett and Noel Flanagan. Joe Brennan converted two tries. The forwards had an easy day, but they showed improvement in heeling the ball quicker than usual hath in the tight and the loose.

CASTLEKNOCK 6 V. CLONGOWES 12

Our next match was against Clongowes, and it resulted in the traditional keen struggle. Clongowes started well and were two tries up at half-time, one of them coming as a result of a defensive kick being charged down, and the other coming when their full-back, fielding a kick ahead, burst through to place his backs for a score. Clongowes increased their lead after a forward dribble early in the second half, but Joe Brennan revived our hopes with a penalty goal. Clongowes, however, replied with another try to lead by 12 points to 3. Soon after, Joe Brennan, with a brilliant cut-through, placed Jack Fitzharris for a good try. From this till the end, we battered away at the Clongowes line, but it was all to no avail, and the final whistle came with Clongowes leading by 12 points to 6. A notable feature of the game was the the display of Don Dunne, who was hooking so well that we were able to take scrums for lines-out in the second half, Best of the backs were Joe Brennan, who played an outstanding game at centre, and Ray Carroll at scrum-half.

CASTLEKNOCK 3 V. BLACKROCK 6

We entertained Blackrock on the 13th November, and were most unlucky to lose by 6 points to 3. The game was played under unfavourable conditions, but proved to be an exciting struggle, although not providing very good football. Blackrock scored twice in the first half, one of the scores being a penalty, and the second a lucky try, coming as a result of a kick to touch being charged down. We pressed hard on resuming, and Joe Brennan kicked a penalty goal. Then C from a scrum in the centre of the field, Ray Carroll passed to Joe Brennan, who cut through to send Tom Delahunt away on the wing, only for the latter to be tackled inches from the line. We tried hard from this till the end but Blackrock retained their lead to win 6-3.

CASTLEKNOCK 31 V. MOUNTJOY 0

We played Mountjoy on the following Saturday, and won by the rather large score of 31 points to nil. The Mountjoy team was on the weak side, and was no match for our backs, who combined well. We led at halftime by 19 points to nil. Tom Delahunt on the wing had a good day, scoring four times. Others to score were Joe Brennan, R. Carroll, Niall McKnight, Seamus Barrett and Noel Flanagan. Joe Brennan converted two tries. The forwards had an easy day, but they showed improvement in heeling the ball quicker than usual hath in the tight and the loose.

CASTLEKNOCK 6 v. PASTMEN 27

We had our annual past match with the Past to-day. They were very strongly represented, and it promised to be a good match. We were without the services of Paddy O'Donoghue at out-half, and this proved to be a big handicap. The Past were much too strong for us, and we were beaten to the tune of 27 points to 6. The Past attacked strongly at the start and with superior backs soon piled up the score. We made an effort after halftime, and Seamus Barrett slipped over for two tries. The forwards played up well in the second half, with Connellim and Flanagan about the best. Although the backs played hard they were completely outclassed by the opposition, who gave a fine exhibition of football.

CASTLEKNOCK 3 V. BLACKROCK 6

Our last match before Christmas was against Blackrock. Both sides were short, we being without Ray Carroll, Paddy O'Donoghue and Harry Barniville. The match, played under wretched conditions, provided very poor football, and we were defeated by 6 points to 3. 'Rock were 3 points up at half-time, but we equalised, when Colman Healy, gaining possession near the line barged his way over for a try. Before the end, 'Rock gained a rather easy winning try. Conditions were too bad for any back play, and of the forwards, Paddy Hopkins and Seamus Barrett were about the best.

CASTLEKNOCK 12 V. CLONGOWES 12

We played our return game with Clongowes soon after Christmas, and a ding-dong struggle ended in a very satisfactory draw. After about a quarter of an hour's play, we went into the lead, when Paddy O'Donoghue dropped a clever goal. Just before halftime, Clongowes converted an easy: penaltygoal far off-side to leave the half-tIme score 4-3. They went into the lead on resuming, when they scored an unconverted try. Luck went dead against us for a while, and Clongowes kicked two penalty goals to leave the score 12-4 in their favour with just 10 minutes to go. 'Then an amazing transformation came over the game. 'Knock went into the attack, and from a quick heel, the ball travelled out to Joe Brennan, who caught the Clongowes defence on the wrong foot to score a try between the posts" which he converted himself. The score now stood 12-9 in favour of Clongowes, and with the last kick of the match Joe Brennan put over a penalty goal to leave the final score 12 points all. All the backs had a good day, particularly Paddy O'Donoghue, who touched top-form at outhalf.

CASTLEKNOCK 34 v. KING'S HOSPITAL 5

Our final 'wind-up before the cup-matches was a home match with King's Hospital. For this match, Joe O'Neill came on at fullback in place of Harry Barniville, who unfortunately sustained an injury during practice, which kept him out of the game for the rest of the season. Our team gave a fine display. The forwards gained the upper hand of the opposing eight, and the backs, receiving plenty of the ball, gave a great exhibition of open football. Notable features of the game were a delightful passing movement ending in Michael Holloway scoring, a brilliant cut-through by Paddy O'Donoghue to score between the posts, and a clever blind-side movement by Ray Carroll enabling Tom Delahunt to cross. Additional scores were two tries by Tom Delahunt, one each by Joe Brennan, E. Connellan and C. O'Flynn, while Joe Brennan, who was kicking well, converted 3 tries and put over two penalties leaving the final score 34 points to 5 in our favour.

CUP MATCHES

SECOND ROUND

CASTLEKNOCK 13 V. ST. ANDREWS 6

On the 6th March, we played our first cup-match against St. Andrew's. We beat them by 13 points to 6. It was a poor game of football. Castleknock never produced anything like their best form, and the team was very disappointing. St. Andrews, on the other hand were much better than we expected, and they gave us a few anxious moments, when, reaching 6 points to our 8, they attacked hard at our line. Twenty minutes after the start we got our first score. Ray Carroll slipped away from a scrum on the twenty-five, and ran with great speed to the Andrews line, where he passed to Paddy O'Donoghue, who raced over to score between the posts for Joe Brennan to convert. Five minutes later, Joe Brennan increased .the lead with a penalty goal. Before half-tIme Andrews were awarded a penalty, which was converted to leave the score 8 points to 3 in our favour. Andrews attacked strongly in the second half, and were rewarded by a penalty goal. For the next quarter of an hour, our defence was tested to the utmost, but it held out despite all onslaughts. Then the forwards, gaining the upper hand, swept the play to the Andrews half, and Colman Healy dived over for a trv at the corner-flag, which Joe Brennan con~erted with a grand kick. The forwards did not play well, the best of them being Jack Cooney, who was a grand leader of the pack, and Colman Healy. The only back to touch his best form was Ray Carroll at scrum-half, who played an outstanding game. J. Geraghty did well as a substitute full-back.

Team.-J. Geraghty, T. Delahunt, J.Brennan, J. Fitzharris, M. Holloway, P. O'Donoghue, R. Carroll, I . Flanagan, D. Dunne, P. Hopkins, E. Connellan, P. McGeough, C. Healy, J. Cooney, C. O'Flynn.

SEMI-FINAL

CASTLEKNOCK 8 V. CLONGOWES 0

On the 15th March, we met Clongowes. They had beaten Blackrock in the second round. and therefore they were considered strong favourites. However, that did not worry us very much, and we went on the field determined to win. We won by 8 points to nil after a terrific struggle, the team playing with great vigour and spirit from the start to the final whistle. The match was played at a very strong pace, and our forwards finished much livelier than the stronger Clongowes pack.

Our first score came after about twenty minutes play. Ray Carroll, by a piece of very clever dribbling from the Clongowes twentyfive up to their own line, kicked it over, and Joe Brennan coming up, dived on it before it went over the dead-ball line. After this we attacked strongly, without increasing our lead until the short whistle.' After half-time, Clongowes went into the offensive, and we were never out of our own half for the next twenty-five minutes. The defence of our backs was superb, and Clongowes could net score. With about ten minutes to go we raised the siege, and Jack Fitzharris, intercepting a Clongowes passing movement on their twenty-five, ran very strongly to score between the posts for Joe Brennan to convert. This score, coming so unexpectedly completely knocked the sting out of the Clongowes attack, and the final whistle came with the score 8-0 in our favour.

Thus we qualified for the final, and our success was, in no small measure, due to the determination· of the team to win. All the backs played well up to form, and against the keenness of their tackling, the Clongowes attack could make no headway; Joe O'Neill coming on at full-back was well above par, and he gave a faultless exhibition of fielding and positional play, while Paddy O'Donoghue at out-half, and Joe Brennan at centre were particularly dangerous. The foundation of our success, however, was laid in the forwards, and the whole eight of them put in terrific work against a heavier pack during the game. Particular mention must be made of Paddv Hopkins at Wing-forward for his splendid covering of the backs.

FINAL

CASTLEKNOCK 18 V. BELVEDERE 3

On March 25th we journeyed to Lansdowne Road to play Belvedere in the final. After a very fast game, we ran out worthy winners by 18 points to 3. Having won the toss, we elected to play with the breeze in the first half, and kept up a steady pressure most of the time. Belvedere hooked most of the balls from the set scrums, but they adopted the kick-ahead policy, which proved of little avail against the superb fielding of Joe O'Neill at full-back. Early on, Paddy O'Donoghue had very hard luck with a nice cut-through, but we were eventually rewarded, when Joe Brennan with a tremendous kick put over a penalty goal from just ten yards inside the half-way. Before half-time we increased our lead, when from a scrum on the line, the forwards, having hooked the ball, pushed the opposing eight over for Jack Cooney to touch down. Joe Brennan duly converted, and at half-time the score stood 8-0 in our favour.

Belvedere pressed on resuming, and converted a penalty from an easy position. However, soon after we made the game safe, when from a scrum on the line, Ray Carroll came round the blind side, and sent out a long pass to Michael Holloway, who went over at the corner flag. Joe Brennan again converted with a fine kick. Just before the end, we scored our third try, when Joe Brennan, cutting through in the centre, made the opening for the ball to travel out via the whole back line to Mick Holloway, who raced over for a really brilliant score. Joe Brennan converted, and the final whistle came leaving us winners by 18 points to 3. Teamwork was the keynote of the Castleknock team, and it was this factor which paved the way for the victory of the Fifteen.

It would be invidious to single out anyone for special mention, for the whole team, both forwards and backs alike, played hard from start to finish, and emerged worthy winners of the Leinster Senior Cup.

Team: J. O'Neill, T. Delahunt, J. Brennan, J. Fitzharris, M. Holloway, P. O'Donoghue, R. Carroll, N. Flanagan, D. Dunne, C. O'Flynn, P. McGeough, E. Connellan, C. Healy, J. Cooney, P. Hopkins.

It now but remains to offer our heartiest congratulations to Fr. Sullivan on having trained the cup-winning team, and to extend our utmost thanks to him for the patience and perseverance displayed by him in the training of the team during the year. ·We also owe a debt of thanks to Mr. Gillespie, our physical instructor, who did so much to give to the team that stamina and fitness which played no small part in our victory.

R. CARROLL, J. BRENNAN.