AIB RFC -V- BGF Ravens
Saturday 16th January 2015
Location: DCU Sports Complex
AIB 13 – BGF Ravens 10
After our 27-0 victory away vs Gorey the previous week-end, AIB faced a very different and sterner challenge in DCU against old local rivals BGF Ravens (previously Unidare).
Both teams have improved significantly since their first game this season in which AIB ran out 26-8 winners, albeit the scoreline did not reflect the tight nature of that game.
This time around AIB were looking to advance their claims for a play-off spot. AIB kicked off and started strongly with carries from Neil Douglas, Sean Reynolds & Brian Duncan. The Ravens defence held strong though and AIB struggled to make clear line breaks.
Ravens then came back at AIB however some superb tacking from debutant, Adrian O’Reilly and super scramble defence from Dean Byrne held them at bay. Al “Burger” Glynn then decided he needed a 10 minute breather on the sideline after all his tackling & breakdown clearouts. The ref duly obliged!!!
Despite being down to 10 men AIB lifted their game and were awarded a kickable penalty 35 yards out to the right of the posts following a barnstorming run by hooker Craig Kenny. Craig only being brought to ground by an illegal ”no arms” tackle form the Ravens winger, for which he had a 10 minute rest. A clean connection from Phil Tully sent the ball straight through the posts giving AIB a deserved lead.
Shortly before half time from a superb lineout take by Barry Donovan a flowing backline move ensued with Dave McNamara breaking through the centre to score under the posts from 40 yards out Phil Tully adding the extra points to give AIB a 10-0 lead .
Ravens then laid siege to the AIB line with strong defence keeping them out initially. However during these phases AIB were reduced to 14 men for persistent infringements on the line. Brian Duncan having to take one for the team. Ravens took advantage to barge over the line from a tap penalty after initially being stopped by Kevin McCarthy. Luckily the conversion was missed leaving AIB leading 10-5 at half time.
The AIB pack were bolstered in the second half by the arrival of their TV personality, Niall “First Date” Winters who was eager to score to score somewhere that day. Unfortunately, in keeping with his earlier experience, while some progress was made his advances were repelled by the Ravens defence.
AIB set up camp in the Ravens 22 for the first 10 minutes of the second half but couldn’t add to the score. With 15 minutes to go AIB were awarded a penalty 37 yards out straight in front of the posts, Phil Tully again doing the honours and coolly slotted the kick to give AIB some breathing space leading 13-5.
Ravens however didn’t give up and AIB spent the remainder of the game defending deep in their half.. Louis Noonan decided he needed to rest up ahead of his ski trip and his yellow card 5 mins from time ensured a nervy finish to the game While the defence held strong initially Ravens eventually scored from close range with the last play of the game.
Man of the Match: AIB Hooker Craig Kenny