Sweltering draw against Sons of Erin with hat-trick for Shaw
Warwickshire Intermediate Division 3 Championship
Rugby Gaels 3-07 (16 points)
Sons of Erin (Northampton) 3-07 (16 points)
The Rugby Gaels continued their unbeaten season with a hard fought draw against Sons of Erin, in the sweltering heat of Sunday afternoon, writes Andy Moore.
Rugby were indebted to full-forward Connor Shaw, who scored a fine hat-trick.
The Gaels, who were missing five players from the victorious Mulligan Cup Squad, started slowly.
A combination of good defending from Stephen Nolan, Michael O’Meara and Cathal Stakelum, and poor shooting kept the game scoreless for ten minutes.
Mark Madine opened the scoring for Rugby with a neat point.
Connor Shaw scored his first goal shortly after, latching onto a Fenton Collins through ball to blast past Noel Reid in the Northampton goal.
Sons of Erin responded immediately with a goal of their own to narrow the gap. Both sides traded points before Connor Shaw once again broke through to finish at the back of the net. A free from Mike Cremin and another Mark Madine point kept the Gaels in front.
The game changed when the Sons of Erin full- forward kicked out at Fenton Collins right in front of referee Martin Lyndon, who had no choice but to send him off.
At half time Rugby lead by 3 points; 2 goals 4 points (10 points) to 1 goal and 4 points.
The Gaels were dealt a blow early in the second half with James Treacy being replaced by Andy Moore, following a shoulder injury.
Sons of Erin, despite being down to fourteen men, pushed forward. Only a fine stop from Jordan Gold in the Rugby goal prevented them from closing the gap.
Points from captain Lewis Fairgrieves and another free from Alex Baalham Donaldson extended the Gaels lead.
However Sons of Erin grabbed their second goal to reduce the arrears.
The half back line of Ryan Reynolds, Mike Cremin and Oisín McKenna were working hard in the heat to reduce Sons of Erin to shots from distance.
Once again Connor Shaw popped up at the right time to fire home his third following good work from Owen Bachelor and Alex Baalham Donaldson down the right.
Sons of Erin poured forward and reduced the arrears with a couple of frees.
They took the lead for the first time with a goal when they retrieved a kick and broke on Jordan Gold’s goal.
It was the Gaels who responded, when good work from Ruairí O’Brien resulted in an excellent point from Alex Baalham Donaldson to tie up the score.
The Gaels felt hard done by at the end when the referee blew for full time with Lewis Fairgrieves in possession, barely 20 yards from the Sons of Erin goal. On reflection the draw was a fair result.
Rugby Gaels scorers: Connor Shaw 3-0 (9 points), Alex Baalham Donaldson 0-3 (2 frees), Mark Madine 0-2, Mike Cremin 0-1, Lewis Fairgrieves 0-1.