Warwickshire Intermediate Challenge Match
Rugby Gaels 1-07 (10 points)
St Finbarrs 1-11 (14 points)
The Rugby Gaels lost a tight game on Sunday to local rivals St Finbarrs (Coventry), writes Andy Moore.
It was the Gaels’ first home game of the season and it was played in glorious sunshine at Newbold RFC and gave younger players from both sides a run out. As such The Gaels had made nine changes from the last game in Northampton.
In total seven new players made their debuts in the sky blue and navy shirts. It was of little surprise that Rugby struggled to find a rhythm going forward.
After 15 minutes Finbarrs lead by 4 points to 1 with Alex Baalham Donaldson with the home side’s only scorer. Rugby finished the half better but still went in 8 points to 3 behind.
In the second half the Gaels showed more intent with substitute Ryan Ward linking well with Connor Shaw to register a score a piece.
When Ward was fouled in the parallelogram Shaw dispatched the penalty to cut the gap to one point.
The sides were level shortly after when debutant Freddie Stephenson reacted quickest to a loose ball and knocked it over the bar sending the home crowd wild.
The response from the Coventry side was immediate and they went three points up with a neatly taken goal.
Despite efforts from Connor Shaw and Gabriel Treacy it was Finbarrs who got the final score. Paul McGrath’s team suffered defeat for the first time this season but the experience given to squad members Paddy O’Rourke, Ed Claydon and the exciting Travis Taylor will be invaluable. For the younger brigade of James, Freddie and Gabriel it will be a day they can look back on with pride.
Rugby Gaels scorers: Conor Shaw 1-2 (5 points), Alex Baalham Donaldson 0-2, Pat O’Brien 0-1, Freddie Stephenson 0-1, Ryan Ward 0-1.