NUIM BARNHALL RFC 16 - 16 Wanderers RFC  Lansdowne Road - Saturday 28th of February 2012 There was something in the air on Saturday as the Blue Bulls Travelled to the New Lansdowne road to take on Wanderers RFC in a vital match as the visitors chase one of the top three spots on the table. With Traffic being a nightmare, but was sorted out by Jim Nolan and Brian Leach giving out about the stink of cigarettes it was a bad start to the day. The Christmas Prep had been done and the lads were chomping at the bit for this match and finally the day had come. With the game being played on Astro Turf which looked like a mine field every time the ball bounced did not hinder the ever skilful Simon Gillespie who managed a beautifully floated drop goal after 2 minutes to make it 0-3 to the visitors. Wanderers were certainly not here to make up the numbers and after first blood being drawn by NUIM Barnhall they went on a charge which took the Blue Bulls by surprise and number 4  Mark McCoy for Wanderers touched down for a tri and then the conversion by number 10 Michael Boland  brought the score to 7-3 after 4 minutes.  NUIM Barnhall continued to play off the back foot and let Wanderers push them back again to force a penalty which was converted by Michael Boland for the home side to take the score to 10-3 after 14 minutes. A rallying call by NUIM Barnhall Captain Barry Dunne was the kick up the ass the Blue Bulls needed and they came back with a vengeance forcing a penalty which was taken by the ever sure boot of Simon Gillespie to close the gap and make it 10-6 after 28 minutes.  With some great link play from Rob Holt and Mark Kavanagh and some wonderful line out takes from new Blood Roger Young spelled a come back for the visitors.  The Visitors did not have to wait long to close the gap ever further with another penalty coming after 34 minutes which was converted by Simon Gillespie again to take the score to 10-9. The Blue Bulls then went on a devastating run with a great up and under by Simon Gillespie which forced wanderers to knock on and allowed Adam Hughes to collect and proceed to bull doze his way up the field and with great support from the chasing pack allowed Conor McDermott to gain further ground and sit up a ruck just outside the tri line which saw Captain Barry Dunne do what he does best and open up the opposition defence to score a great tri and with the conversion by Simion Gillespie take the lead with a 10-16 score line. The home side were not going to give up easy and came straight back to force a penalty just on Half time which was again converted by  Michael Boland to make the half time score 13-16 to the visitors. The Second half saw Conor Harding and John Campbell come off the bench and make an impact with some great tackling by both lads. The second half also saw young Rob Holt come into his own as he time and time again managed to exploit the holes in Wanderers defence with his kicking and quick feet with ball in hand. Unfortunately the visitors could not capitalise on this with a combination of missed opportunities and some very confusing penalties being given against the Blue Bulls.  The Visitors never backed down and came at Wanderers again and again with some great play from the ever powerful Tom Mckeown and Gareth Murray leading the charge.  a lapse in concentration late in the second half saw Wanderers force another penalty which was converted to draw the match at 16-16.  The Blue Bulls re-grouped and went in search of the win and slowly pushed Wanderers back into there own 22 and managed to force a penalty which Simon Gillespie was unlucky not to convert with the ball coming off the posts. The Game ended 16-16. A disappointing day at the office in the eyes of the Blue Bulls but can take comfort in the knowledge that a draw does take them into 3rd spot with some vital games coming up against the chasing teams. Next Game is at home to Boyne RFC on Saturday the 4th of Feb at 2.30pm. It is also Ladies day in Parsonstown which is in aid of Little Way Cancer Support Centre. Please book your pre-match lunch at NUIM BARNHALL RFC Position Name 1 Jim Nolan 2 Gareth Murray 3 Ray Dufficy 4 Roger Young 5 Conor McDermott 6 Tom McKeown 7 Cormac Dunne 8 Barry Dunne (c) 9 Rob Holt 10 Simon Gillespie 11 Mark Kavannah 12 Michael Brown 13 Farrell McManus 14 Adam Hughes 15 Rob McGrath 16 Padraic Beatty 17 Conor Harding 18 John Campbell 19 Kevin Conroy 20 Ben McCarthy "COME ON THE BLUE"  

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