Match Report: Vinnie Murray Plate Final
March 28, 2014 12:00 am client
St. Pat’s Navan rounded off their season in style with an exciting last gasp victory in the Vinnie Murray Plate Final in Westmanstown on Wednesday…
Pat’s got off to a horrendous start when the Templeogue fly half skipped through the middle of the Navan side’s defensive line to dot down under the posts for the game’s opening score. The Templeogue full back made no mistake with the conversion leaving Pats seven points behind after 15 minutes.
However, a minute later an excellent chase from the kick-off resulted in Templeogue infringing on the deck. Christian Byrne took full advantage of the mistake and slotted a penalty to make the score 7-3. More pressure from Pat’s before the break earned Byrne another chance to reduce the defecit which he took with both hands to leave the score at half time at 7-6.
Pat’s began the second half in high spirits but were dealt a blow after five minutes when the influential Conor Hand was given a yellow card for an off the ball incident. The way that the Navan men were able to see out this period was probably crucial to the final result. Playing smartly and keeping the ball away from their opponents for long periods, a fired up Hand returned to the pitch with the score remaining the same as he left it.
With 15 minutes remaining, Pat’s were dealt what looked to be the killer blow as the Templeogue outside centre snaked through the defence before scrambling to touch down under the posts. Again, the South Dublin school made no mistake with the conversion and Templeogue had what seemed to be like an unassailable 14-6 lead.
However, displaying the fighting spirit that has become synonymous with Pat’s sides, the boys in the black and gold started to fight their way back. With eight minutes remaining, captain Ronan Scott, who was playing in an unfamiliar outside centre role due to injuries, won a penalty on the ground and Byrne, declining a certain 3 points, kicked for the corner. Shane Faulkner’s lineout found Man of the Match JJ O’Dea and the resulting backline move resulted in Charlie McGarry crossing in the corner. Byrne was unable to add the conversion meaning Pats trailed by three.
The game seemed to be up when a flowing move involving Oisin Lavin-Kelly resulted in Conor Hand being bundled into touch at the Templeogue five metre line. However, Hand had other ideas and got up superbly at the lineout to steal the ball and put Pat’s on the front foot only yards away from the line. The first carry from Shane Faulkner was held up millimetres short but the second attempt from Alex McGoey crossed the line to give Pats the try and the right to take home the silverware.
St. Patrick’s, Navan starting XV:
1. Alex McGoey
2. Oisin Lavin Kelly
3. Shane Faulkner
4. Ben Gore (Adam Brennan 50’)
5. Thomas Hamilton
6. JJ O’Dea
7. Daire Meegan
8. Conor Hand
9. Niall McGrane
10. Christian Byrne
11. Charlie McGarry
12. Andrew Beggey
13. Ronan Scott (C)
14. Warren Pretorious
15. Eoin Reid
Subs: David Gordon, Abi Tyiamu, Simon Owens