O’Farrell shows Clongowes the way
Schools Rugby Leinster Junior Cup – Clongowes Wood 33 Gonzaga College 13: AN EXTRAORDINARY four-try salvo from scrumhalf Ruairi O’Farrell proved pivotal as Clongowes Wood College advanced to the next round of the Leinster Junior Cup after an impressive performance against Gonzaga College at Templeville Road yesterday.
In spite of what the final score line might suggest, this game wasn’t always one-way traffic, as Gonzaga had taken the lead through an Andy Marks try on 18 minutes, before the same player got in for a try in the right-corner four minutes later, which he converted f from an acute angle.
This was not the kind of start to the game that Clongowes would have been hoping for, but they soon got into their groove to register a try courtesy of prop James Lyons on 32 minutes after outhalf Peter McVeigh’s kick had been caught by the wind.
This settled Clongowes down greatly, and O’Farrell got his first try two minutes into injury-time (which was easily converted by McVeigh), though Gonzaga did have the final say of the half when Marks kicked over a penalty from close range.
This meant the Ranelagh school held a narrow 13-12 lead at the mid-way stage, but Clongowes dominated the second half as two more tries from O’Farrell in the 46th and 51st minutes (the latter after an eye-catching 50-metre run) effectively killed off the game as a contest.
Gonzaga did continue to battle right until the end, but the damage had been done by this stage, and a fourth try for the outstanding O’Farrell two minutes from time further enhanced the superiority that the Clane school had displayed during the second period of play.
CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE: D Kiely; C Neary, C Burke, P Brady, A Hughes; P McVeigh, R O’Farrell; J Lyons, J Pimm, J Inglis; J Fitzpatrick, B O’Regan, C Gillick, E Tyrrell, M Jones. Replacements: G Hegarty for Brady (10 mins), J Kennedy for Fitzpatrick (53 mins), J O’Brien for Gillick (66 mins), M Kelly for Inglis (69 mins).
GONZAGA COLLEGE: J Kerrigan; M Coffey, C Tong, K O’Connor, R Fitzpatrick; A Marks, H Gray; E Byrne, H Brennan, R Barry, M McVey, F Maguire, E McMahon, J Doyle, K Carolan. Replacements: P Ryan for McMahon (47 mins), R Smith for Gray (62 mins), F Ryan for McVey (67 mins).