The Railway Legends had a hard fought 17-5 win against French visitors Bras Casses on last Friday night.
Much of the pre-game discussion had been around the return of captain Bobby Brennan and he didn't disappoint, setting the tone immediately by claiming the opening kickoff and setting off a carry that left a trail of Frenchmen in his wake.
The Legends dominated the opening exchanges, with strong carries debutant Kevin McCann, Grant Hourigan, Keith O'Reilly and Fergus Nolan providing front foot ball to allow outhalf Nick Polley to dictate the game.
The first score came a great take at the lineout by Nolan which led to a twenty metre maul and saw Brennan, a man possessed, emerge from the pile bodies to claim the opening score.
However, Bras Casses were no mugs and hit back almost immediately with an excellent try of their own to level the scoring.
The game became increasingly scrappy, with errors from both sides and very little discipline at the ruck. This led to frustration on both sides, some of which was dealt with within the laws of the game.
Railway scored their second try just after half time and it was a familiar one built on the bones of twenty years of playing together. Pressure by John Lowry forced an overthrow at a Bras Casses lineout that was seized by John Cronin, who drew his man and threw a no-look pop pass to feed Polley who, as usual, was sharp to the opportunity and took a fantastic line to break through two would-be tacklers to score under the posts. Polley duly converted to establish a 12-5 lead.
For the rest of the game, highlights were few and far between except for Railway's final score of the evening. Good ball secured by the pack led to a Paul Handley pass for one of the many Keith O'Reilly breaks of the evening. Quick hands from Ian Quinn led to Damian Keogh to go past the full back to score his first ever try and close the game out at 17-5 to maintain the Legends 100% record.
The flatness of the game was quickly forgotten with the celebrations in the club afterwards, where an excellent meal was enjoyed. Bras Casses were their ever generous selves and brought what can only be described as a huge stash of French meats, cheeses, pates, foie gras and wines, which were enjoyed by all.
One suspects this may be a tactic to add to the gout issues effecting most of the Legends front five in preparation for their return in 2017!
President Corcoran welcomed the French visitors and swapped pennants and ties, whilst Keith O'Reilly picked up the man of the match award for the second Legends game running.
Legends Supremo Stuart Jones concluded the evening with the question: when will the Legends travel to play an away game?