SCHOOLS RUGBY: VINNIE MURRAY CUP FIRST ROUND
Patrician go close on first time out in Vinnie Murray Cup
THE KING’S HOSPITAL……………………32
By Daire Walsh
DESPITE a gallant effort over the course of the contest, Patrician Secondary School were knocked out of the Vinnie Murray Cup at the expense of The King’s Hospital in Templeville Road last Wednesday.
The Newbridge side were competing in this competition for the first time in their history and while the final scoreline might suggest a comprehensive reversal for the Piercetown outfit, they more than held their own in this first round clash. Thanks in no small part to tries in each half for impressive winger Kyle O’Brien, they found themselves within touching distance of King’s Hospital for large spells.
A final-quarter scoring blitz ultimately helped their Palmerstown counterparts to advance, but Patricians nevertheless emerged from the south Dublin venue with their heads held high. After missing out on qualification for last year’s Senior Cup, King’s Hospital are understandably eager to make the grade in 2020.
They enjoyed a dream start to this encounter as Adam Bagnall burst through a gap in the Patricians defence to touch down underneath the posts. Skipper Matthew Mahood comfortably added the bonuses to give King’s Hospital a strong platform at the home of St Mary’s College RFC.
This was an early set-back for Patricians, who lost out to CBS Enniscorthy in the penultimate round of the McMullen Cup last month. Though O’Brien made some powerful carries up the right-wing, King’s Hospital continued to dominate possession as the action developed.
To their credit, the Patricians rearguard dug deep and forced a number of turnovers inside their own half. However, persistence inevitably paid off for their Metropolitan rivals on the first-quarter mark.
Following a lengthy attacking spell to the left of the posts, No 8 Steven Walshe powered over the whitewash in clinical fashion. Mahood’s second conversion was wide of the mark, but King’s Hospital appeared to have all the aces up their sleeves.
Yet, Patricians were not prepared to go down without a fight. Having finally established attacking momentum inside enemy territory, they pounced for their maiden try in the 25th-minute.
O’Brien was picked out in space on the right-hand side and successfully evaded a series of challenges on his way to dotting down beyond the King’s Hospital line. Scrum-half Conn Kehoe expertly split the uprights to leave Patricians just five points in arrears (12-7) at the break.
This presented Patricians with a realistic chance of pulling off a major scalp, but their task was made more difficult just six minutes after the resumption. Off a five-metre attacking scrum, Brian Oh was on hand to release Bagnall for his second try.
The gauntlet had been thrown down to Patricians and even though Adam Hurley added considerable impetus off the bench, scoring opportunities were coming at a premium for the Lilywhites. Although Sean Maher was agonisingly close to picking out O’Brien with the try-line sight, it came as little surprise when King’s Hospital extended their lead on 55 minutes.
A simple finish for full-back Eoin Francis left all of 15 points between the teams, but Patricians once again showcased their fighting spirit at the opposite end. O’Brien raced onto a cross-field pass and burst through a gap for a stunning five-pointer.
Unfortunately, this only served to reignite the King’s Hospital challenge. A swift counter off a Patricians scrum was rounded off in the left-corner by Kenneth Cooper – placing the outcome beyond doubt in the process.
There was enough time for replacement David Brennan to add his own name to the scoresheet, but their final margin of victory wasn’t a true reflection of how the game had transpired.
THE KING’S HOSPITAL: Eoin Francis; Adam Bagnall, James Kelly, Eduard Bauer, Kenneth Cooper; Matthew Mahood, Brian Oh; Magnus Weilandt, Hugh Perry, Dylan Bagnall; Dylan Forster, Alexander Walsh; Abraham Shodiya, Oluwatoni Lawal, Steven Walshe.
Replacements: Mikey Doyle, Scott Wilson, Ifeoluwapo Dada, Jack Leitch, David Brennan, Paddy Connolly-Carew, Georges Troivaux, Carlo Healy.
PATRICIANS NEWBRIDGE: Tom Martin; Kyle O’Brien, Senan Brannock, Aidan O’Brien, Daniel Joyce; Conor Martin, Conn Kehoe; James Choiseul, Dylan McHugh, Max McLoughlin; Niall Clancy, Paul Farrell; Fergal O’Grady, Ronan Conney, Sean Maher.
Replacements: Connall Sharkey, Conor Spratt, Sean Murray, David Olasogba, Adam Hurley, Fionnan O’Tiarnaigh, Liam Hayes.