St. Gerard’s win Vinnie Murray Cup Final
March 7, 2014 12:00 am client
St. Gerard’s 5th Year student, Cameron Dorlas, tells us about his school’s victory in the Beauchamps Vinnie Murray Cup Final over Gonzaga…
On the 3rd March, the Green and Blue Army of St. Gerard’s faced Gonzaga College in the final of the Vinnie Murray Cup. Both teams warmed up whilst bus after bus of supporters poured in the gate, eager to fill the stand, readying themselves for an exhilarating match. The fans were in full voice as both squads ran onto the pitch.
Adam Simmonds, St. Gerard’s number 10 got the game underway as the ball was kicked into the air. Straight from the first tackle, the game looked as though it would live up to expectations, with brute force dominating the opening minutes. Tackle after tackle, St. Gerard’s worked their way up the pitch until the referee’s whistle sounded; penalty to St. Gerard’s. Mark Gallagher stepped up to take it but, under immense pressure and having only started the match, he hit it just wide of the sticks.
Gonzaga upped the tempo shortly afterwards but only held out until the 22nd minute, until their defence eventually cracked, and Mark Prendergast went over to score his first of three tries. St Gerard’s failed to capitalise on their advantage as Gonzaga continued to dominate late into the opening half. Their constant waves of attack paid off as they were awarded a try of their own, which was converted, leaving St Gerard’s trailing 7-5 as the whistle sounded ending the first half.
The second half couldn’t have started better for Gonzaga, with another try going their way eight minutes into the second half. The deficit grew even larger when the conversion rocketed through the posts.
Moments later St. Gerard’s responded with a break up field. It originated from their 22 metre line when Pearse Kelly offloaded to Con Callan, who burst up the pitch, chased down by Gonzaga’s back line. He seemed unstoppable as he tore through the opposition with the try line in sight. The fans erupted as the hurled himself over the line with two players desperately trying to drag him down. However, before the celebrations had begun, the referee deemed the try ‘held up’.
Yet, despite the failed try, the team soon regrouped and set the scrum. After the ball went through the hands, it eventually reached Mark Prendergast who careered over the line for his second try. Unfortunately, the conversion proved unsuccessful yet again, Gerard’s still trailing 14-10, which soon become 17-10 as Gonzaga kicked over another penalty.
The pressure was really mounting as St. Gerard’s dug deep, searching for that all important try. After a couple of excellent phases, Mark Prendergast yet again breached the opposition’s line, and went over for his third try of the game. The ensuing conversion, watched closely by all, was missed yet again and the score remained in Gonzaga’s favour, 17-15.
The turning point in the game arrived when Gerard’s were closing in again, trying to overcome the two point deficit. The Gonzaga defence crumbled as their second row was shown a yellow card, awarding St. Gerard’s a penalty right in front of the posts. Even though St. Gerard’s had failed to convert one kick thus far, Tommy Whittle didn’t hesitate to put his team into the lead, the ball sailing between the sticks. Gerard’s led 18-17.
The clock finally went into the red as the ball was booted into touch, St Gerard’s won and were crowned the 2014 Vinnie Murray Cup champions.