AIT 1st XV 62 v DCU 1st XV 0
Match Report by Kevin O’Sullivan
After the dreadful weather of the past few weeks it was a relief that the first team game away to DCU was played and the pitch was in good condition although the teams had to contend with a very strong wind blowing straight down the pitch.
AIT played with the wind in the first half and after a scrappy first ten minutes as the teams adjusted to the conditions the college began to get into its stride and from an attacking position on the DCU 22 Sam McCormack was put clean through the defence to score under the posts, Domhnal Corbett added the conversion to make the lead 7-0. It didn’t take long before a similar attacking move produced a break for Brendan Fagan to score close to the posts and Corbett’s conversion doubled the lead to 14-0. Athlone were in full flow now, and considering the conditions were playing very good rugby. With the wind behind their backs they kept DCU pinned back for long periods and it wasn’t long before Cathal Evans scampered over for a try to bring the score to 19-0. This was followed by two tries from Bryan Dixon in quick succession, the second of which was converted by Corbett to stretch the college lead to 31-0. With half-time approaching there was still time for Colm Gorry to force his way over for a try which was duly converted by Corbett to leave the half time score 38-0 in favour of Athlone.
The second half started with AIT under pressure as DCU took advantage of the wind at their backs but they did not have the guile or skills of the Athlone players and were unable to seriously threaten the college try line. Athlone’s first real foray into the DCU half produced a scrum on the 22 metre line from which Martin Staunton collected the ball, fed scrum half Mark Dolan who scampered around the outside and over for an easy try. Corbett missed a difficult conversion into the wind but the score was now 43-0. This pattern was followed for the next score, after a period of attacking from DCU, Athlone went back up the other end and Sean Dempsey crossed the line for the eighth try and Corbett’s conversion extended the lead to the half century. The college were determined to keep the score against to zero despite DCU’s best efforts. After a sustained period of pressure from DCU, but with no real cutting edge, Athlone finished the game with attacking flourishes of their own with first Evans going over for his second try, which Corbett converted (57-0) then finally substitute Ben Porter crossed the line for the final score so AIT ran out winners by 62-0.
There will be tougher challenges ahead but for their first match in over three months this was a good performance and they remain top of the table looking on course for a home semi-final.
AIT v’s CIT Home Wednesday 19th February……. Details to follow.