VIRGINIA RFC U15 WAKE UP TOO LATE…
Virginia were hosting Donegal town in the Premier 1 league. Under dry but cold conditions it took Virginia a full half to wake up and have some kind of impact on the game. Unfortunately by that time Donegal’s spirits were high and Virginia tired themselves running after the score.
From the off Donegal were the first in action well help by a sluggish Virginia pack. The lack of urgency from the locals handed the initiative and the possession to the visitors allowing them to release their strong running centre. It wasn’t long before Virginia found themselves behind on the score board. From a scrum Donegal back line sent the ball wide, poor defending from Virginia didn’t stop the lateral runner, who ran pass the entire defense, turned right at the last defender and after shrugging off few tackle attempts, crossed the line. The conversion was added; 7-0 Donegal.
With 5 minutes left before the break Virginia managed to put few phases together. From a lineout on the left hand-side of the pitch centre Matthew Magee broke the opposition defensive line, the play bounced few times and after good inter play between forwards and backs, flanker Dylan Farrelly picked up the ball at the bottom of a ruck to power his way to the line in the right corner. The difficult conversion was missed and Donegal reached half time with a two points advantage.
Virginia started the second half with a better attitude and were starting to apply pressure on Donegal. Virginia enjoyed the upper hand in the scrums and line-outs but still struggled to capitalise their possession and were going to pay it dearly. Donegal managed to mount a counter attack and their bulky centre ran 40 metres up to Virginia’s 5 metres line off-loaded to his winger to score Donegal second try of the day. No conversion and the score was now 12-5.
Virginia reacted well and really applied pressure on Donegal but the visitors’ defense was holding well. With very little time left on the clock Virginia found themselves close to Donegal’s line, the forwards piled up in the middle of the pitch and crashed over for a try under the post. With only minutes left Virginia kicker Keith Fitzsimmons had the chance to equalise. That’s when the rugby Gods decided that they would be on Donegal side…as soon as Fitzsimmons started his run the wind toppled the ball from the tee. There was no option to re-start the kick, Donegal managed to relieve the pressure for the time being . Virginia threw everything at Donegal in the dying moments of the game but the score was to remain unchanged as a last chance charge from Virginia’s forwards was held up on Donegal line.
Virginia never recovered from a poor first half and chased after the score for the rest of the game. Hopefully the lesson will be learned for the rest of the season starting next week away to Rainey.