O'Reilly rescues St Gerard's with late try to set up replay
Newbridge's Johnny Deane is tackled by Conor O'Farrell of St Gerard's during yesterday's quarter-final at St Mary's, Templeville Road. photograph: inpho
Newbridge College 8 St Gerard's 8Billy O’Reilly was the saviour of St Gerard’s of Bray at Templeville Road, Templeogue, yesterday as his dramatic try deep into second-half stoppage time ensured the Wicklow school and Newbridge College will have to meet again to determine who will progress to the semi-finals stage of the Powerade Leinster Junior Cup.
The Kildare school had started in a positive fashion and it came as no surprise when early pressure led to a successful penalty by Gavin Burke on the right-wing with just three minutes gone.
This offered Newbridge a promising platform, and although St Gerard’s were presented with the opportunity to restore parity just five minutes later, scrumhalf Tom Foley was narrowly wide with his 35-metre attempt on goal.
Newbridge continued to press forward, but the St Gerard’s defence were extremely difficult to break down , and despite conceding the vast majority of possession to their opponents, the Bray men were the next to add to the scoreboard, as a stoppage time three-pointer from fullback Ben Kealy meant the sides were level at 3-3 at the the interval.
Newbridge hooker Daniel Murphy was sent to the sin bin in the build-up to Kealy’s equaliser, and shortly after he returned to the play, outhalf Tom Berney was also issued with a yellow card by referee Arthur Lynch.
Kealy was off-target with the penalty that followed this time, though, and Newbridge punished that miss 10 minutes into the second half when Burke drove over for an unconverted try at the end of a thrilling individual run down the left-hand side.
For a long time, this looked like it was going to be enough to secure the 2012 finalists’ passage into the last four of the competition, but a lengthy period of domination eventually paid off for St Gerard’s, as number eight O’Reilly powered over in the right corner after 73 minutes.
This presented Kealy with the opportunity to seal an extraordinary triumph, but despite being offered two attempts at slotting over the conversion, he ultimately came up short, much to the relief of the Newbridge faithful.