Thursday 20 June 2019

McKevitt dashes Junior title hopes with last kick

Dr. Godfrey Junior Cup: Naas C.B.S. 27 Gorey C.S. 25

Scrum-half Jack Higgins firing a pass to his back division
Scrum-half Jack Higgins firing a pass to his back division

Dean Goodison

Jack McKevitt killed Gorey Community School hopes with the last kick of the game as Naas C.B.S. snatched the Dr. Godfrey Junior Cup in Lakelands, Terenure, on Thursday.

An incredible game, that swung back and forth throughout with neither side clearly on top, was surely always destined to be won rather than lost, and McKevitt delivered the blow that sunk Gorey hearts.

It was a fascinating contest between two committed sides with contrasting styles. The visitors came into the game with only big victories on their résumé, and it was easy to see why as they flung the ball into wide areas looking to use their pace and exploit gaps.

Gorey were a little more multi-faceted, opting to use their backs when the opportunity arose but generally choosing to play power rugby, with their forwards showing dominant form throughout the 60 minutes.

Naas were first to have a little spell of pressure, and it ended in the eighth minute when Mark Alexander fed Robert Shaw for the opening try.

The boot of Andrew Osborne would prove to be a key component, and he began his perfect goal-kicking afternoon by tacking on the extras.

Merely seven minutes later Gorey were ahead. They opened their account when Jack Higgins peeled away after a line-out on the right and drove over the line.

Two minutes later a quality line break by Simon Campbell-Carty started the move than ended with Colm Donnelly powering through to touch down.

Gorey missed both conversions, meaning that when Osborne kicked a 22nd-minute penalty his side were level at 10 apiece.

The county Wexford school wasted no time in pushing back ahead, with several phases of controlled rugby ending with Mark Kinch driving low to score.

When Jack Higgins popped over the conversion, Gorey had a game-high seven-point lead.

However, right on half-time Osborne found his way into the in-goal area and added the extras to leave the sides deadlocked at 17 each at the break.

The frantic nature of the game continued in the second-half. A Naas kick into their own player set Gorey up with great field position, and the power game paid dividends again with Donnelly going over.

The G.C.S. five-point lead lasted just six minutes as back came Naas. A flowing move across the field involving Osborne and Shaw ended with Sam Dunne going in, and goalkicker Osborne was successful again to edge his side 24-22 ahead.

Defences improved, tightened and nothing could cross the line in the final 20 minutes despite both schools having opportunities in opposition territory.

Gorey were given the chance to edge ahead with a 51st-minute penalty that Lee Cushe converted nervelessly.

Gorey battled hard in the final ten minutes and played a fine territorial game until Osborne pushed them back with a late break.

Naas had an 'advantage' when McKevitt lined up and nailed a stunning 35-metre winner to break G.C.S. hearts at the death.

Gorey Community School: Ronan Cleary, Pepe Papin, Brian Cushe, Simon Campbell-Carty, Gavin McNulty, Lee Cushe (one penalty), Jack Higgins (one try, one conversion); Jack Curley, Darragh Fitzpatrick, Mark Kinch (one try), Killian Barnes, Colm Donnelly (two tries), Adam Cleary, Seán Egan, Ewan Stephens (capt.). Replacements (unused): Eoin Dunne, Seán Doyle, Marcus Wallace, Tom Fanning, Harry McGuckin, Conor Wafer, Shane Meleady, Andrew Coyne, David Griffith, Joel Shanks, Robert Leonard, Shane Kelly.

Naas C.B.S.: Andrew Osborne (one try, one penalty, three conversions), Sam Dunne (one try), Charlie Sheridan, Oscar Cawley, Eoin Clarke, Jack McKevitt (one drop goal), Ethan Travers; Calum Stout, Darragh McDonnell, Adel Mahmoud, Paddy McMahon, Robert Shaw (one try), Jamie Carroll, Mark Alexander, Odhran Kelly. Replacements: Simon Hughes, Fionn Monaghan, Conor Phelan, Brian Doonan, Austin Brennan, Robert Harnett, James Forde, Jack Sheridan.

Referee: Jonathan Hollywood.

Gorey Guardian