Waters Inspires Cill Dara Comeback
Cill Dara Rugby Club began its Leinster League Div. 1A campaign last Saturday and the Kildare club were handed a tough opener, away to Suttonians.
Although relegated last season from the All Ireland League, the North Dublin club have played at senior level for many years and would be keen to return to the higher leagues as soon as possible. Cill Dara, for their part, have had an indifferent pre-season warm-up and were going into this game well below their peak; “undercooked” was how one of the team’s coaches put it.
Nonetheless, it was Cill Dara who drew first blood as early as the 3rd minute, stunning their hosts with a wonderful try, created by scrum-half, Barry Waters, and touched down by Conor McCormack. Dave Ging added the two points and Cill Dara led 7-0. Stung into action, Suttonians responded immediately by increasing the intensity of their game. Within 10 minutes, they had drawn level with a converted try, 7-7. In the build up to the score, Cill Dara forward, Darragh Kennedy, incurred the wrath of the referee and was sent to the sin-bin.
A second converted try by the Dublin team soon followed as mistakes crept into Cill Dara’s game. A Dave Ging penalty on 22 minutes, which brought the score to 14-10, gave Cill Dara some encouragement but it was only temporary. Just before half-time, Suttonians scored their third converted try and led 21-10 at the break. An undisciplined Cill Dara had conceded an incredible 19 penalties in those first 40 minutes and the chances of the Kildare boys getting even a losing bonus point from this game looked unlikely.
However, this is a Cill Dara team with a point to prove after last season’s committee room drama. It may have been that perceived injustice which the Kildare coaches and players drew on at the break but whatever was said, it had the desired effect. Cill Dara tore into their opponents over the next 40 minutes. Within 2 minutes of the restart, Ging pulled back three points with a successful penalty kick, 21-13. Inspired by Damian Broughall and orchestrated by Waters, Cill Dara’s multi-phase play left Suttonians floundering.
A Darragh Kennedy try, converted by the ever consistent Ging, narrowed the gap to a single point with 20 minutes to go, 21-20. The small band of travelling supporters was becoming even more vocal as they cajoled their team to achieve a remarkable and unexpected win. The winning try came in the 68th minute when Suttonians received the ultimate humiliation by being pushed off their own scrum close to their try line. Barry Waters nipped in to the get the touch down, Ging converted, and Cill Dara led 27-21. Ging added the insurance points with a superb 40 metre penalty near the death. The final score was 30-21 to the visitors. It was an incredible comeback and crucial away victory.
The league continues next Saturday with Cill Dara at home to Coolmine and coaches Logue and Finn will be looking for the team that emerged at half time to produce that level of performance again. The win also capped a fantastic weekend for Cill Dara Rugby Club when three of its players were selected to play for Leinster: Clíona O’Toole and Aíne Donnelly for the senior women and Peter Howard for the U.18’s.
Cill Dara: 1. Dave Barry, 2. Richie Bond, 3. Conor McCormack, 4. Darragh Kennedy, 5. Billy O’Shea, 6. Cormac Corcoran, 7. Jack Fulham, 8. Damian Broughall, 9. Barry Waters, 10. David Ging, 11. Seamus Conway, 12. Conor Malone, 13. Morea Pease, 14. Paudie Wall, 15. Paddy Ryan. Subs: Con Heavey, Kevin Kennedy, Kevin Dingley, Robin Dempsey, Chris Moore.