Fleming tries send CUS to Vinnie Murray second round
January 8, 2016 12:00 am client
Adam Fleming had the antidote of two of CUS’s four tries in the second match of a Bank of Ireland Vinnie Murray Cup first round double-header at Donnybrook on Friday evening.
There was plenty of spice in this one right from the off, CUS centre Conor Byrne working his magic in the outside channel to set wing Dylan Collum up for a healthy gain of ground.
Flanker Fleming slipped out of a tackle and got back up to squeeze over in an example of tremendous work rate for Cody Barton to convert for seven-up in the sixth minute.
This was quickly followed by sound set-piece work from Pres which forced a penalty, expertly slotted by scrum-half Elliot Ryan to make it 7-3 in the tenth minute.
Big hits from flanker Jack McGrath and wing Max Gallagher stopped CUS’s go-forward. But, that man Fleming spotted a hole again in what was developing into a real ding-dong battle.
For all of CUS’s zip into space, they went back to basics to stretch their lead as a textbook lineout-into-maul was controlled and closed out by their captain Shane Power.
The scrum, not usually a force at this Age Grade, offered Ryan another three points which he took to make it 12-6 in the 26th minute.
The bump and grind of Pres was good enough to take them so far. This is when they turned to Ryan to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The scrum-half missed one penalty from long range and struck another to narrow it down to three points in the 33rd minute.
CUS should have figured out at this stage that the greatest threat to their progress was Ryan’s right boot.
But, they couldn’t resist handing him one more shot which he took with aplomb to make it 12-all right on the half-time hooter.
A fumble under pressure was the encouragement Pres needed to clock up the metres. They just couldn’t hold onto the ball.
Fleming’s power shook the ball free and fly-half David O’Leary’s punt forward turned the Pres defence.
Then, Fleming’s super-human burst took him out of three tackles for fly-half O’Leary to snipe the blindside to snatch CUS’s third try for 17-12 in the 43rd minute.
The tactical application of Ryan was still Pres’s best way forward as CUS countered with speed and aggression through full-back Nick King, centre Byrne and wing Cody Barton.
The air went out of the game as Pres’s set-piece stalled and CUS could not get their hands on the ball long enough to exert enough pressure.
When they finally did, Byrne cut through to create the platform for the forwards and Fleming twisted over from a metre out for their fourth try and a 10-point lead.
The class of Ryan, from a break and offload, put Pres in prime position to strike only for their game-long failure to secure the ball to cost them.
They were able to steal a lineout, but unable to make it count as they were penalised for not releasing after the tackle.
Just when CUS needed respite, Fleming broke away without the support to keep the counter going.
They still had enough nous to play to the corner and that is where they kept Pres.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 22 PRES BRAY 12
At Donnybrook – CUS 22 (A Fleming 2 tries; D O’Leary S Power try each; C Barton con); Presentation College, Bray 12 (E Ryan 4 pens).
Pres Bray: Jack Mockler; Niall Martin, Scott Howard, Eoin Doyle (capt), Max Gallagher; Mark Meyler, Elliot Ryan; Cian MaGuire, Ben Carolan, Mark Graham, Alex Houlden, Alan Douglas, Sean Murphy, Jack McGrath, Sean Daly.
Replacements: Kyle Gino Mendez for Graham 21 mins; Gavin Eaves for Douglas 43 mins; Noah Cummins for Gallagher 65 mins; Kyle Healy for Carolan 68 mins; Ryan Harmon for McGrath 69 mins.
CUS: Nick King; Dylan Collum, Conor Byrne, James Cox, Cody Barton; David O’Leary, Alex McDonnell; Harry Bodkin, Brian Sheil, Sam Butler, Luke O’Higgins, Bill Perryman, Jacob Macguire , Adam Fleming, Shane Power (capt).
Replacements: Mark Dent for Barton, Johnnie Shiel for McDonnell both 65 mins; James Horgan for McGuire, Kevin Mangan for O’Leary both 69 mins.
Referee: S Owens, Leinster Branch.