1946-47 SCT Winners
Senior House Rugby
MRS. OWEN McCABE PRESENTS THE CUP TO PETER
WITH FR. WALSH again as trainer and with the return of most of last year's team, it was evident from the very beginning of the season, that we were going " all out" to bring back the Cup to 'Knock. The election for the captains of the house duly took place, Peter McCabe, Frank Maher and James McCrohan being returned 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
CASTLEKNOCK V. BELVEDERE
As this was our first match, it was looked upon as a rough indication of our strength. Belvedere, always a hard nut to crack, did not come up to expectations and we defeated them easily by a clear margin of 13 pts. We were definitely superior to them in the forward division, particularly in the "loose" where P. McCabe, J. McCrohan and W. O'Neill were outstanding. At scrum-half, T. Cleary, just off last year's Junior team, was a trifle slow and this rather handicapped our back division. In Frank Maher, we have a very good out-half whose ability to cut through gives us plenty of openings. J. Nestor, another of last year's Juniors, shows great promise in the centre position and P. Cullen on the wing is a fast and strong runner. D. Kinneen at full back leaves nothing to be desired.
NEWBRIDGE 6 CASTLEKNOCK 15
This year we renewed our friendlies with Newbridge, which had, owing to transport difficulties, ceased during the war. On October 23, we travelled there for one of the best matches of the season. Last year we learned to our cost they were rivals to be reckoned with none too lightly. The forwards opened very slowly thus not giving T. Cleary much of a chance at scrum-half who was smothered very often by the quick-breaking Newbridge forwards. However, the handling in the backs was very good and whenever the ball reached P. Cullen he was always very dangerous. Late in the first half, he got a fine try and P. McCabe added the points. Newbridge retaliated very quickly with a try which they failed to convert and this was followed by a penalty goal leaving the half-time score 6-5 in Newbridge's favour. In the second half we really got going and a good back movement resulted in P. Cullen getting a lovely try which P. McCabe again converted. After this, J. Nestor cut·'through for a third try under the posts which was converted. It was the forward play which was the deciding factor in our victory.
BLACKROCK 6 CASTLEKNOCK 0
Matches with 'Rock are always a fair pointer as to how we will do in the cup matches and although we were beaten this time we were not a beaten team. The day was very mucky and 'Rock were very lucky to get a rather sudden try in the opening minutes of the game. This subdued us a little and as a result our forwards lacked their usual fire. The backs were slow in passing, but despite this, F. Maher and P. Cullen had both very good games. Early in the second half 'Rock got their second score, the final score of the match. D. Connolly was very unlucky when he had crossed the 'Rock line to be called back for a forward pass. W. O'Neill, R. Shipsey and B. Guerin had sound games, the latter being very prominent in the line-outs. Score: 'Rock 6pts. 'Knock nil.
CLONGOWES 3 CASTLEKKOCK 6
Our visit to Clongowes was not very eventful. The game did not come up to the usual standard-our forwards were slow in heeling and so the backs got very few chances. F. Maher was working very smoothly with T. Cleary until late in the first half when he got injured and had to retire to the wing. J. Nestor moved into out-half and P. Cullen filled the vacant centre position. In the first half, P. McCabe landed a penalty goal and D. Connolly got a brilliant try, the result of a very clever piece of work between F. Maher and himself. Giving the ball to Frank and seeing he was unable to run, he ran outside him took the ball again and crossed for a try a perfect scissors movement. Clongowes scored a penalty goal late in the second half to leave the final score 6-3-in our favour. The forward play in this game was very ragged, B. Guerin, W. 0'Neill and L. Lynch being the most conspicuous.
We now give the team as it was constituted at this stage :- D. Kinneen; P. Domegan, D. Connolly, J. Nestor, P. Cullen; F. Maher, T. Cleary; P. McCabe, W. O'Neill, R. Shipsey; C. Ingoldsby, M. Shipsey; B. Guerin, L. Lynch, J. McCrohan.
We will pass over the Andrew's match without comment because it was played under appalling conditions. In fact it had to be abandoned before full time owing to fog. The score at this period was 'Knock 17, Andrews 9.
CASTLEKNOCK 9 MOUNTJOY 5
Conditions again rendered good football impossible. Mountjoy started in a whirlwind fashion and were five points up in the first few minutes. We fought back and were rewarded by an unconverted try by W. 0' Neill. P. Cullen scored shortly afterwards leaving the half-time score 6-5. A cut through by F. Maher in the second half was finished off by J. Nestor for a try. Our team had not a good game, but considering the conditions, the score can be deemed fairly satisfactory.
CASTLEKNOCK 8 BLACKROCK 3
This was a very hard-fought game in which we emerged victorious, our revenge for our former defeat. 'Rock attacked from the start and scored first, the result of a break-down in a passing movement of our backs. Some good forward rushes carried the ball to their half and a neat cut-through by F. Maher made an opening for P. Cullen to score on the wing. The points were added by P. McCabe. P. Domegan on the other wing had a very spectacular try, selling a grand dummy to the 'Rock full-back. There was no further score and we were worthy victors. Great credit is due to D. Kinneen at full back whose tackling saved our line on several occasions.
Our last friendly of the season was with St. Mary's whom we defeated 25-0. The only outstanding event of the match was a brilliant try by P. McCabe. From a Mary's kick-off he fly-kicked ahead and following up with amazing speed he beat the full back to crash over at the corner flag for a try, a really magnificent effort.
CASTLEKNOCK 16 NEWBRIDGE 8
Having received a walk-over from Roscrea in the second Round we ventured forth against Newbridge in the third. Newbridge as we all know are a very strong power in the cup-matches and it was with a certain degree of anxiety that we arrived at Donnybrook. Weather conditions were ideal.
The team showed from the start that they were determined to win. Pressing hard on the Newbridge line, their endeavours were awarded by a fine try from Nestor at centre, who finished off a neat passing movement. McCabe added the points. A few minutes later one of the Newbridge centres intercepted and coming up to Kinneen at full, punted over his head and won a thrilling race for the touch down which was converted. The Newbridge try was a good bit of opportunism on their part. Our next score was the result of a truly delightful passing movement. Cullen, rightwing, coming in to take Cleary's pass, sent the ball right out the line, every back drawing his man, thus leaving Domegan a clear run in. McCabe again added the points to leave us in the lead by 10 pts. to 5. Cullen got our next score. From inside the Newbridge '25, Maher half-cut through gave the ball to Nestor who drew the fullback and let Cullen in for our third try. A grand effort by the whole back line! The kick at goal failed. Our next score was a penalty by McCabe, a little to the right of the posts and about the '25 mark. Newbridge answered with a penalty goal to leave the score at half-time 16-8 in our favour. The first-half played at a very fast pace had its effect on both teams in the second half. The game was considerably slower and the fact that there wasn't another try scored by either side, lays emphasis on this point. However, the tackling was good and every man on the team played his part. Final score, Castleknock 16 pts., Newbridge 8 pts.
Our halves, Cleary and Maher, had an excellent game. Their timing was outstanding and Maher's clever deceptive running paved the way for some really first class back movements. Connolly and Nestor at centre were very reliable, their passing was good and their defence excellent. Cullen and Domegan did all that was asked of them and lived up to their good reputations. To single out any of the forwards would be almost impossible. They gave our backs a good share of the ball, both in the set and the loose scrums. The Newbridge eight were as usual very competent, but our lads gained a superiority in the early part! of the game which they never really lost.
CASTLEKNOCK 11 BELVEDERE 3
For our match in the semi-final we had one change. J. Nestor was compelled to cry off owing to illness and J. Morris took the vacant centre position. Belvedere kicked off and for a short spell encamped in our half, but with W. O'Neill gaining practically every ball from the set scrums we were soon on the attack. Two cut throughs by F. Maher and F. Morris came to nought before our efforts were rewarded by a fine penalty goal by P. McCabe from about thirty yards out. Following the kick-off, Belvedere attacked strongly and from a line-out near our line they scored at the corner. The kick at goal failed. We went into the attack immediately from the kick-off and from a blind-side movement by the halves, P. Cullen crossed for a try at the corner. P. McCabe with a terrific kick goaled from the touch-line. From this till the interval we maintained the attack, but failed to increase our lead. At half-time the score read 8-3 in our favour. At the beginning of the second half we attacked strongly, but good kicking by the Belvedere out-half brought them relief. For about 20 minutes following this the struggle was contested around the centre of the field. For a period we maintained our superiority in the tight and loose, but Belvedere improved and soon went into the attack. Fine tackling by our backs nullified all their scoring efforts however. We eventually raised the siege and went to the attack. Following a period of heavy pressure we were rewarded with a try by P. Cullen who rounded off his man in great style to score at the corner. We retained the lead with little difficulty to the end.
The final score was 11-3 in our favour and thus we qualified to meet Blackrock in the Final. J. Morris played splendidly in the centre and T. Cleary played his usual fine game at scrum-half. P. McCabe and W. O'Neill were outstanding in the forwards, but all played well to a man.
CASTLEKNOCK 6 BLACKROCK 0
It was a Final with 'Rock and with the usual anxiety attached to such an occasion we trooped to Lansdowne Road to witness the duel. The weather unfortunately was rather against good back play, as there was a continual drizzle of rain.
'Rock kicked off and got down to business immediately. A few snappy heels and some crisp passing by their backs rather shook our lads and we found ourselves in our own '25 shortly after the kick-off. After ten minutes hard play, a penalty was conceded but it was a good distance out and failed. From then on our forwards got the upper hand. Clean heeling by W. O'Neill enabled our backs to get a good share of the ball Our backs soon showed their superiority. Kicking a heavy ball well up the field they followed it relentlessly and gave the Blackrock defence many worrying moments. Maher and Cleary the halves were working very smoothly and except for an occasional 'Rock break through, our backs held the superiority during the whole of the first half. It was therefore not against the run of play that 10 minutes from half-time, F. Maher marked a short punt ahead by the 'Rock scrum half and with a splendid effort, put the ball between the bars from a drop, leaving us in the lead by 3 pts. to nil. From then on the game became very exciting, both forward packs working tremendously hard, our own pack just about holding the superiority. A few 'Rock movements from this until the end were well looked after by our backs, who never let up. Once about 3 minutes from the end of the first half a 'Rock centre got right through and literally inches from the line, was taken down very cleanly by the combined efforts of Cleary and Kinneen; It was a close shave, but it is moments like these which make a good match.
We commenced the second half with a slender lead of three points. From the kickoff we immediately attacked. Rain had begun to fall heavily and this fact made the ball very difficult to handle and nullified many of our scoring efforts. However, we maintained the attack, getting most of the balls from the tight and loose. Our efforts were rewarded after about ten minutes of this half had elapsed. From a scrum near the corner flag, T. Cleary went round the blind side drew a wing forward and sent F. Maher over at the corner for an unconverted try. 'Rock attacked strongly from the kick-off, but good punting by F. Maher and T. Nestor and terrific play by our forwards in tight and loose soon brought us to half-way. We attacked and P. McCabe was unlucky not to score when the ball rolled in to touch in goal.
Time was beginning to run out and 'Rock launched a heavy attack in an effort to save the game. We frustrated all their efforts and when the final whistle blew we were again pounding at our opponent's line. So once again the Cup has taken up its traditional place in the Ref. The team certainly rose to the occasion for this their last match of the year. D. Kinneen gave an impeccable display at full-back, fielding, kicking and tackling splendidly. The three-quarters were always dangerous when they got the ball and tackled hard in. defence. F. Maher and T. Cleary combined well at half-back. It was our forwards, however, whom we may thank for our victory. In this match they showed that they were a great pack. Splendidly led by P. McCabe, they dominated the exchanges for most of the game in tight and loose.
In conclusion, we must thank Fr. Walsh, our trainer, without whose painstaking efforts our victory would not have been attained. This year he laboured under immense difficulties caused by adverse weather conditions. His efforts, however, united with the efforts of the team and the heroic members of the opposition, brought us victory and the Cup.
During the year many members of the team distinguished themselves and were capped for Leinster. In the preliminary trials before Christmas, P. McCabe, F. Maher, W. O'Neill, B. Guerin, D. Kinneen and J. Nestor took part. P. McCabe and W. O'Neill were picked to play for Leinster against Connaught. P. McCabe was, however, compelled to cry-off through injury. Against Ulster, P. McCabe, F. Maher, T. Cleary, W. O'Neill and P. Cullen were selected. P. McCabe captained the side in which all five acquitted themselves creditably.
PETER MCCABE / FRANK MAHER.