Monkstown Football Club was the venue for the first of the Navy’s cup matches this season. The history of this twelve year fixture is one of close hard fought battles. Last year at Burnaby Rd the Navy won comfortably, the only time the fixture has been won by either side by more than a single score. Monkstown saw that normal service was resumed.
However the bright start was short lived and it wasn’t long before Navy errors allowed the Irish to get some possession which they used inventively. Half breaks could not be capitalised upon though partly due to the Navy working hard on their scramble defence. With two long range penalties pushed wide the match remained scoreless in the first fifteen minutes.
Did the Navy relax or did the Irish up their game? Probably a bit of both. What was certain was that for the next few minutes the Irish Defence Force gave the Navy defence a real examination. Just as it looked as if their were going to hold out and lift the siege Rory McCann, the Irish Number 8 crossed for a deserved score which was well converted by flyhalf Behan.
The game had been another robust and keenly contested affair between two sides who were determined to give their best for the cause. Overall the Navy deserved their win but the Irish made them fight every inch of the way. But for a tap tackle here, a lunging try saving tackle there; they may well have breeched the Navy defence and sneaked a win. It was not to be and once again, eleven times in twelve matches, the game was won by less than a score.