St. Mary’s 24 O’Carolan College Nobber 14

SME were pushed until the final whistle in a thrilling quarter final battle in Edenderry RFC. The home side scored 2 tries in each half and every member of the 23 strong panel played their part in this win.

SME got off to a fast start. Luke Nicholson tested the O Carolan College defence with a great run forward. As the ball was lost forward in the tackle a scrum was awarded to OCC. Paidi Gorman put huge pressure on the OCC outhalf as he went to kick clear but he spilled the ball leaving Paidi to pounce on it touching down for SME’s first try. His brother Jack added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

SME kept the pressure on and spent long passages in the opposition half. As the ball was greasy there were some handling mistakes and SME let OCC off the hook missing out on some scoring opportunities . TJ Dunne and Jack McKeown kept making meters with hard carries and this pressure finally paid off. Paidi Gorman scored his second try showing great agility to dot down in the corner. This was the final score of the half leaving it 12-0 to the home side with OCC yet to show their quality.

The away team came flying out of the blocks for the second half. SME’s defence was tested early on and the O’Carolan scrum half showing a clean pair of heels to everyone off the back of a scrum to score under the posts. The conversion was added leaving it 12-7 to SME. 

OCC took full advantage of the momentum swing and added another try shortly after. They exploited an overlap on the blind side and their outside centre powered over from 5 yards out to tie the game. An excellent conversion from the touchline saw OCC open up a 2 point lead over the home team leaving it all to play for with 20 minutes left on the clock. SME looked to their bench at this stage and each player added made a significant impact to proceedings. 

As the game was very tight ill discipline began to creep in. OCC had a player sin binned for dissent to the referee. SME were shortly reduced to 14 men also as the referee deemed a retaliation to a tackle worthy of a yellow. OCC kicked for the corner from the penalty that followed but SME managed to steal the line out with Aaron Maguire rising highest to claim. 

SME gained the next attacked opportunity and finished it clinically. After an OCC high tackle Jack Mckeown kicked the penalty to the corner. What followed was the score of the game as SME expertly ran a set piece move that saw Mckeown slide into the corner to regain the lead for the home team. With the conversion missed the game was still all to play for at 17-14.

SME upped the ante at this stage and started playing with great pace. The centre partnership of Murray and Bagnall were causing problems for OCC. After 3 strong carries deep into OCC territory Conor O Brien picked from the base of the ruck. He threw a great dummy and used his pace to run it in from the 22. Jack Gorman added the extras leaving the score at 24-14.

The remaining 10 minutes were a tit for tat affair. OCC’s full back proving to be a dangerous runner but the St. Mary’s defence held strong. SME were very close to scoring a fifth but a last gasp tackle from OCC saw the ball become dislodged close to the line. 

It was a tight affair from beginning to end but St.Mary’s had enough in the tank to put away a resilient O Carolan College team. A strong squad performance where each of the 23 members had positive contributions throughout. SME advance to a semi final where they will face  Portaloise CBS.

Panel: Alex Bagnall, Matthew Loughrey,  Jack Mckeon , Aaron Maguire , Jack Gorman , Paidi Gorman, Darragh Walsh,  Anthony Logan  ,Matas Nenartavicius, Gavin Murphy , Conor O Donoghue ,Thomas Metcalfe, Brandon Murray,  Jamie Kirwan, Luke Nicholson, Andrew Nicholson, Sean Cox, Tiernan O Connell ,TJ Dunne, Luke Mahon, Dylan Mckeogh ,Callum Bermingham ,Jack Fahey, Conor O’Brien ,Tom Norton

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