November 11, 2019
Don’t ever let the weather get the better of you. That’s what both teams decided today as a
potential cancellation was avoided by some clever reworking of the playing area and a hugely
anticipated clash was allowed to commence.
The game started with a solid set by the English but they erred on the return from the Irish fullback
by going high. The yardage gained was soon negated by an offside penalty by the Irish. The English
made the most of it by a try form Jack Reynolds in the 2 nd minute with a successful conversion by
The English had a solid set in the return from the restart and made great ground before forcing an
error under the high ball but despite going short wide out they dropped the ball on the ensuing
The Irish then had a spell of sustained pressure near the English line but the Lions stood firm. The
Irish got a break with a double set and Tiernan crashed out wide. Ireland had a greater share of
possession but couldn’t penetrate the English defence and the English, with good hands to the right
and a tackle break by the Fullback, Sowerby and the lead was extended with a well taken try.
The English came strong again and good hands gave the winger a small opening but he was tackled
The pattern of the game showed the English playing strong running sets and moving the ball
slickness and the Irish running short sharp hit-ups, respecting possession and challenging the English
back three with high balls (which were expertly managed).
The English opened the gap further, just after the half hour mark with a well worked right to left
hands try, giving Jack Watts the ball and the momentum to score a try and Poskitt converted and
they very nearly went further ahead but the ball was left behind on a reach out for the line.
The Irish closed the gap on 38 minutes with a 60m individual touchline hugging effort from Matt
Connolly, despite attention from the English scrambling defence. And the teams went in at half time
with the score Domestic Clubs XIII 8 England Lions U23’s 16.
The English went close on their first set in the second half and dominated the early territory. The
Irish scrambled and survived and returning down the pitch and a clever diagonal grubber by Phil
Morrison wasn’t dealt with and Seosamh McDonagh dived on the ball to score the try, with Fiach
Millward adding the extras.
Morrison then tested the English defence with a screw kick which was testing but very well dealt
with by Sowerby. A head injury then caused a slight delay in the game but thankfully Poskitt was
able to regain his feet and walk off; tough as teak.
Club XIII then got a chance to take the lead with a penalty 10m out from the English line but England
held out for several sets. England then moved up the pitch and kept the Irish trapped in their own
20m area with some sustained and strong defence and this paid off when Danny Cassidy picked up
on a loose ball to go over and score an opportunist try and Cassidy then went and added the
conversion from out wide.
After a break due to injury the ball went to the left and Jack Reynolds was close enough to the line to
pirouette over. As fatigue set in and a sudden shower burst hit the pitch the ball became difficult to
keep for the sets of six but both teams worked hard to ensure they used the ball to maximum effect.
The game ended shortly after and both sides showed their respect to each other and their
appreciation to those watching.
Domestic Club XIII – Sam Cullen, Kevin Varga, Emmet Banahan, Seosamh McDonagh, Matt Connolly,
Shane Kelly, Fiach Millward, Matthew Towey, Patrick Anglin, Sean O’Sullivan, Jack O’Sullivan, Conor
Creaby, Euan Tiernan. Repacements: Paul Bolger, Phil Morrison, Eoin Creaby, Denny McCarthy
England Lions U23’s – Tom Sowerby, Joshua Poskitt, Jack Reynolds, Jack Watts, Sam Arrowsmith,
Harry Tyson-Wilson, Dean Rooney, Brad Hailes, Harvey Gotts, Jack Georgiou, Jacob More, Liam
Kenyon, Sam Lewis. Replacements: Jack Smith, Danny Cassidy, Connor Molyneux, Marc Lomas,
by Steve Hogan
Photos Courtesy of Mark Millward
Domestic Club XIII 14
Tries: Tiernan, Connolly, McDonagh
England Lions U23’s 26
Tries: Jack Reynolds 2, Tom Sowerby, Jack Watts, Danny Cassidy
Goals: Joshua Poskitt 2, Danny Cassidy
Referee – James Spencer