Deramore Park was the venue for the Perennials annual fixture against a Monaghan XV, that turned out to be a fitting tribute to our Past President Maurice Megaghey, who sadly passed away last week. The “big man” would have been proud of us all, as he looked down from above.
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Two new balls and water bottles were presented to the club by Andy Cooper and Joan Grenville, before a minutes silence to honour our Past President.
With the captain injured, Peter Sandford led the troops and after an opening 10 minutes of handling errors from both sides, Ricky McIlmoyle made a great break from our 22 to run the length of the pitch and score the opener. Peter Sandford ran in a second, before Merve the Swerve set up Monaghans opening score to leave the first quarter score two tries to one for the Perennials.
The second quarter say Monaghan draw level with a try in the corner, following a great drive from a line out on our 22 meter line. A magnificent pick-up off his toes by Ricky McIlmoyle set up the move from which he scored under the posts, however the lead was short lived as Michael McAlister who had made a great break from our own line, gifted a pass to the grateful Monaghan No 8, who side stepped his way to the line, bringing the scores level at three a piece at the half way stage..
The third quarter saw a try feast, with tries by Jan Cunningham then Davy Barbour’s scored a brace, followed by a further try from Michael McAlister, before Monaghan pulled one back, but the quarter was rounded off by Davy Barbour completing his hat-trick to leave the score at 8 tries to 4 entering the final quarter.
The final quarter saw Maurice Field getting a well deserved try, Monaghan responding again with a great forwards score, before our captain Peter Sandford rounded off the day with the final try to give the Perennials a 10 tries to 5 victory.
A big thank you again to referee Tim Lowry and to Denis Fusco for surviving playing 3 out of the 4 quarters due to an absence of props.
A few jugs of beer for the gallant Monaghan team followed by a great spread courtesy of our own Bernie McGrath, a few brief speeches, a bit of cabaret to finish off our early Christmas celebrations.
A great start to the festive season.