1955-56 SCT Campaign
Senior House Rugby
Captain—OLIVER QUINN. Vice Captain—BRIAN TAYLOR.
Honorary Secretary—PATRICK SHORTALL
THE START of the 1955-56 rugby season found us with nine of last year's team which had put up such a magnificent show in the final. O. Quinn, D. Brady, P. Bourke, T. Lombard and F. Cooney remained of the forwards and B. Taylor, P. Shortall, A. Bovlan and R. Lyons of the backs. With such a large number of not only experienced but good players we were bound to have a strong team—but would we have a practically unbeatable team as many might expect. We had only six places to fill, but six places at times can be quite a lot.
Let us take a look at the forwards first. The vacant places in the forwards were filled by three good forwards, D. Brindley, P. Ward, and N. Curran. So our complete pack was as follows : Front Row—D. Brindley, D. Brady, and O. Ouinn. Second Row—P. Ward and Fintan Cooney and Third Row—N. Curran, P. Bourke and T. Lombard. This combination formed an excellent pack of forwards and they were well led by their captain Oliver Quinn. When they were all playing and fit, they were second to none in Leinster. Tough and intelligent, they were very quick on the ball in the loose and realized the value of the quick heel from the loose. In the set scrums they bound low and tight, timed their shove well, and with interprovincial Dick Brady hooking, our backs got a more than sufficient share of the ball. Six-feet-two-inches Pat Ward and that brilliant although small line-out forward, Tom Lombard, saw that we were well served in the line-out. The main qualities of our pack were well summed up by the Irish Times when writing on the C.U.S. match -
Castleknock, yesterday, were particularly well served by their forwards, who got the ball back like a bullet from the tight and loose, while some fiery foot rushes and general mobility in the open all added up to something that more or less demoralised the losers' pack.
Four of this pack deservedly got their interprovincial caps. Oliver Quinn—tough, very quick on the ball, and a good leader. Dick Bradv a very intelligent and hard working forward. Tom Lombard, another clever forward who was never far from the ball and was a line-out expert. Paddy Bourke, who who got his cap last year also and was our fastest forward and the possessor of a good tackle.
The selection of the backs presented a much more difficult problem. In the first place we had no ready made outhalf to take the place of Gerry Hardy who filled the position so well for us last year. Now the out-half position on a rugby team is a vital one. It must be filled at least adequately. You just cannot throw anybody at all into the position. You must at least have an experienced player here and one that can catch, pass and kick well and be able to do these things with the minimum of delay. Though these qualities are not enough to make him a first class out-half at least he will be a reasonably good one. On this basis Paddy Shortall was the only one to whom we could entrust the duties of out-half. But in giving Paddy the position we were losing a firstclass wing for Paddy was an automatic choice for wing for all three Interprovincial matches. Nor did we gain a first-class out-half. For although over and above the qualities mentioned above, Paddy was fast and a good tackle, he lacked that other very necessary quality for the first-class out-half, the ability to judge when one should pass and when one should go through or kick. However by our school standards he became quite a good out-half.
The full-back position was well looked after by Anthony Boylan, who played so well for us last year in the Final. Brian Taylor of course, took over the scrum-half position. Brian was an Interprovincial last year. His experience, his strength and long made him a very formidable player indeed. For one of the centre positions we had Robert Lyons also of last year's team. But almost immediately after we had come back to us Robert got sick and had to go home for the whole first term. He came back to us after Christmas, a much bigger and heavier man but also a much slower one and sadly lacking in match experience. Had he not missed all our friendly matches he must have reached a much higher standard of play. However we were very glad to have him back on the team and great credit is due to him for playing so well under the circumstances. The three newcomers to the back line were to be Jim Kissane (right-wing), Willie Power (left-wing) and Dan Carbery (centre). This trio turned out well, Willie Power in particular being a very hard running wing. But for a senior team they were very inexperienced. Two of them only began rugby last year and only one of them had ever played even junior cup rugby before. This showed up from time to time.
One other defect in the team was the absence of a really good place kicker, so important in modern rugby. However the upshot of it all was that we had an excellent pack, an average good back line and in general a strong team and one well capable of winning the Cup. We give here a list of our friendly fixtures, which this year are not as true an indication of our strength or weakness, as for some of our important matches, three or four of our key players were on the injured list.
Results of Friendly Matches
Castleknock: v. St. Mary's 15-0, v. Methodist College 3-6, v. Belvedere 11-3, v. Blackrock 6-8, v. Terenure 3-3, v. Past 12-11, v. Clongowes 19-0, v. Blackrock 3=14, v. Belvedere 14-0, v. Newbridge 6-3, v. Clongowes 3-3
Castleknock 17 pts. C.U.S. nil
"Castleknock College trounced C.U.S. in a Leinster Schools' Senior first round Cup game at Donnybrook yesterday and, scoring three tries in the 15 minutes before the interval, never looked in danger of defeat. This big team, which includes three Leinster schoolboy interpro's, in Shortall, Bourke and Boylan, will take a deal of beating in the Cup if they continue to display yesterday's form. The handling of their backs was magnificent and outhalf Shortall gave them every chance with his shrewd moves. The wingers, too, got their chances and Willie Power dashed over for a fine try shortly before the interval. C.U.S. had a fair share of possession in the loose mauls and rushes, but in the set scrums they were well beaten Castleknock hooker, Dick Brady, got the ball out to scrum-half Taylor virtually nine times out of ten and with the minimum of delay. Then Taylor, a dandy of a scrum-half, scored three tries. The losers had a centre of real class in the fair-haired Morgan. He made one scintillating run in the first half and worked like a trojan throughout the game. He was given good support by Murrin, Moriarity and Rankin. Curran, Taylor and Power had a try each in the first half. After the interval Taylor slipped over for two further tries, one of which was converted by Curran.
Castleknock College—A. Boylan, W. Power, R. Lvons, B. Carberrv, J. Kissane, P. Shortall, B. favlor, B. O'Neill, D. Bradv, O. Quinn (capt.)', P. Ward, M. O'Hanlon," H. Curran, P. Bourke, T. Lombard.
CUS.—T. Moore, P. Cullen, G. Morgan, H. Murrin (capt.), D. Mooney, D. Ryan, J. O'Connell, A. Kenna, J. Gill, J. Lohan, A. Moriarty, D. Rankin, R. Petrie, M. Moroney, P. Doherty.
Castleknock 6 pts. Newbridge 8 pts.
In meeting Newbridge, we knew we were meeting a good team with a rugged and weighty pack of forwards. For this reason we would have preferred to have the services of our thirteen and a half stone scrummager, Fintan Cooney, who was at that moment on the injured list. The match was played on a heavy pitch. We quote the Independent -
There have been more attractive Schools Rugby matches at Donnybrook this season than the Senior Quarter Final between Newbridge and Castleknock, but few were harder fought or more exciting in the closing stages as Castleknock strove might and main to save the day and Newbridge held out to triumph by a goal to a penalty goal to two penalty goals. Everything considered, however, I think a draw would have been a more equitable result.
It was a desperately close and hard fought struggle, in which our forwards were magnificent, especially O. Quinn, Tom Lombard and Dick Brady.
Not even the most fervent Newbridge supporter could deny that we were on top for most of the game and on three distinct occasions we just missed scoring by the proverbial hair's breadth. In the closing stages of the match our boys made a wonderful effort, full of courage and grit, to pull the game out of the fire, and they very nearly did so. It was pleasing to see that they did so in an intelligent manner also, keeping the ball out of touch. But we must own that we made two bad mistakes and against a good team this is just asking for trouble. From a line out and from the halfway, the Newbridge outhalf, who was not particularly fast, scored without a hand being laid upon him. Although the Newbridge boy ran well, we must admit our defence was very much at fault here. Our disappointment at this score was not lessened by the fact that we knew that our team all along had been very good in defence. Our second mistake, which of course, was not nearly so bad, was the fact that we went off-side under our own posts near the end of the game. All praise to Newbridge for profiting so well from our mistakes.
We could not close our account of this match without expressing our admiration for the courage of the Newbridge full-back Keogh, who played in this match although he had broken his nose badly a few days previously. Not only did he play, but he played splendidly and obtained 5 pts. for his side.
Before we close these notes we must offer our hearty congratulations to those of our team who had the honour of representing their province—Oliver Quinn, Dick Brady, Tom Lombard and Paddy Bourke in the forwards and Brian Taylor, Paddy Shortall and Anthony Boylan in the backs.