After the rain at the weekend the weather finally broke and sun shone on the pitches for the semi final of the Medallion Plate vs Methody. Both teams started strong and it was clear to see that the match would be a relatively even contest. In the first half It was Methody who kept the ball tight working it through the forwards while the ERGS team were keen to involve both the forwards and the backs. The ERGS defence was well up to the task and maintained their line with confidence with dominating tackles from Aaron Seaman and Myles Graham.
With 25 minutes played Luke Smyton stripped the ball from a Methody forward and the ERGS backline quickly countered with Timothy Harte finding a hole in the defensive line and scoring in the corner. The half ended with the score 5-0 to ERGS.
At the start of the second half it was clear that Methody had received a stern talking to from their coaches and came out looking like a new team. The wind had now changed and Methody used this to their advantage, kicking to the corners. Building on this territory Methody worked it through their forwards to score just left of the posts. The full back converted the try to leave the score 5-7. ERGS knew they had to come out strong and instantly applied pressure through their back line. Some accurate kicking from Daragh Love forced the Methody team back into their 22. ERGS were finally awarded a penalty and elected to go for the points to regain the lead. The kick from Reece Holmes narrowly missed and hit the post. Methody went on to score a penalty themselves bringing the score to 5-10.
Both teams continued to test each other for the next 10 minutes with very few gaps appearing in defence. What happened next was the turning point in the game. Methody stole possession and cleverly chipped the ball over the ERGS defence and their 12 won the foot race to the ball scoring their second try. The try was converted to leave the score 5-17 to Methody.
With 10 minutes to play the ERGS boys knew that they had to get the next points on the board if they were to overturn the deficit. The boys restarted strongly, keeping the Methody defence deep in their own 22. Tidy and efficient work from the forwards wore down the Methody line making vital metres with each drive. Myles Graham finally managed to inch his way over the line to close the gap to 7 points. 10-17
With time against them it was not to be for the ERGS boys with the final whistle coming to end the game and to end their 19/20 Medallion campaign.
A huge congratulations must go to all the boys and their coaches in what has been an excellent season, demonstrating absolute commitment from all involved and the quality of the rugby talent in our junior ranks. It all bodes well for the future!!
’Perstare et Praestare‘