WATERPARK VETERANS 40 – 17 OLD ISLEWORTH
(ENGLAND) Report JUNIOR DROHAN
Waterpark Veterans dusted off the boots for their first game of rugby for a considerable time in this friendly against touring side Old Isleworth from England, which was played in Ballinakill on Saturday last and after a very entertaining seventy minutes of rugby it was evident that even after hanging up the boots some years ago, several of these players showed that they still retained the old sparkle and enthusiasm for the game.
Park started the better and within five minutes winger Sean Dowling had crossed for the first try of the game which was converted by Barry Hilliard. Two tries in quick succession by the visitors around the half hour mark saw them take the lead at 7 – 12. However within a couple of minutes Park flanker Mick McCarthy had restored his sides lead with a try to leave the score at the break 14 – 12 to the home side. Within a few minutes of the re-start Dowling had registered his second try which Hilliard again converted to push the score out to 21 – 12. Again the visitors reduced the deficit to 21 -17 within five minutes with their third try of the game. The introduction of substitute Andy Crowley on the hour mark was the spark that ignited this well oiled Park machine as they upped their performance and crossed for a further three tries in the last ten minutes, all scored by Jerry Miller, two of which were converted by Hilliard. The third conversion was attempted by the inimitable J.P.Monahan who struck a lovely daisy cutter only inches off the ground, to send the keeper the wrong way and register the only goal of the game, after which the final whistle sounded with Park running out winners at 40 – 17.
It was great to see such club stalwarts as Paul McGovern, Ned Gahan, Pat Murphy, Nicky Murphy, Mick McCarthy , Mickey Comerford, David Dawson, J.P.Monahan and Kieran Comerford don the club jersey again. In fact Kieran Comerford, fresh from his defeat in Croke Park on Sunday last had a fine game at Corner Forward and used his hurley to good advantage when the chips were down in the second half to slot over a couple of points only to have them dissallowed when he suddenly realized that he was in fact playing rugby. However his disappointment was short lived when he was awarded the player with the best TAN after the game. David Dawson was a close second. A great afternoon and hopefully we will see more of these type of games throughout the season.