"Due to the most horrendous weather conditions that I can remember for a long time in Sutton, gale force winds and driving rain made sure that last Saturday's game against Highfield was always going to be the classic 'game of two halves.'
"We started well and for most of the first half we played in the scoring zone but crucially failed to convert chances that should have seen us going into half-time with a commanding lead. Half-time came and we went into the break with a slender lead of three points.
"Despite the fact that we can play well into the stiffest of breezes, the conditions were such that we knew we were going to be up against it in the second half. Highfield came out of the blocks well and their ability to make better use of the conditions and take the scoring chances that came their way saw them take the crucial league points, winning 12-3.
"After the dizzy heights of third spot, we now find ourselves lingering in mid-table with work to be done to get back up there. There is a determination in our squad to be in that top four come May.
"Saturday's type of game can either help or hinder your season, depending on how reactive you are as a squad. When conditions are that poor, over-reflection on a performance can be destructive rather than constructive. The conditions force your hand on the day and instinctive decisions are made that would not normally be made with more regular conditions. That said, a lot can be learned and valuable experience gained on how to play with the elements should we have to play in similar conditions again.
"It is Thomond who travel to Sutton this week. It's probably safe to say that this game now becomes the most important game of our season to date. Looking at the league table and this weekend's fixtures, four points will most likely put us back in the hunt for a play-off spot so motivation is not going to be a problem.
"There is no hiding that the gauntlet has been laid down this week for coaches, managers, players, supporters and everyone else who is involved in our season. The pressure is on us to produce some of the form which we showed pre-Christmas. One thing which has not dropped is the work rate on the training ground which gives me every confidence that we can produce a display worthy of our efforts on Saturday.
"I would love to be playing this Saturday but unfortunately I need to sit out another game as the groin injury which I picked up four weeks ago is proving more difficult to shift than I had first thought. It's a niggly injury which requires a lot of patience, despite my best efforts and following advice given from various medical professionals, progress is slow. Physiotherapist Aoife Oâ00Neill in DCU's Ex Well Medical Centre is doing a great job rehabilitating me and hopefully with the break after this week's game, I hope to be back for the following one against Old Belvedere.
"As I have mentioned in previous diary instalments, the role of captaincy brings completely different experiences then any of my previous seasons, all the usual events of a season become magnified or are a lot more important to you.
"Take for example being injured - it's a very frustrating time and while missing games has always been frustrating I think its probably more frustrating for me now as every game I miss, I am not just missing an AIB League game, Iâ00m missing another opportunity to captain my club's senior team which is an honour I am really enjoying and one that I want to experience again.
"Even though Iâ00m not playing I do have a role to play this week and just like the rest of the guys, I feel the pressure is on!"