| 11.1°C Dublin

'Zaga prevail in late drama



Ciaran O'Brien was the hero for Gonzaga as his last-gasp point clinched the Dublin Schools' Junior Hurling competition at Silver Park.

The battle of two traditional rugby schools was an intense one, with both sides giving a committed display on a perfect afternoon for hurling.

The Ranelagh boys fought back from behind to claim the title just as the game was heading for extra-time in Leopardstown.

The boys in green got off the mark quickly and led early on through the excellent Eoin Prendergast, who sent over a long range free, before Hugh Gowing's dipping point attempt came in under the crossbar.

Despite that start, Terenure soon got going and corner forward James Roche got his side off the mark with two frees -- both won by full-forward and captain Ben McEntee.

Prendergast showed that any fouls would be punished, with another accurate free, but Daire Kerr took a Roche pass and found the net to level the scores at 1-2 a piece after 14 minutes.

Eoghan Haddock went close with a goal attempt, before the impressive Harrison Brewer sent a high ball into the danger zone, Roche took it brilliantly. His shot beat Michael Herlihy, but came back off the post for McEntee to finish.

Roche added another point from a McEntee pass, but Prendergast kept his side ticking over with a free and a '65'. Kerr pointed, before Roche dealt with the loss of his hurl by kicking the ball over to leave the scores 2-5 to 1-5 at the break.

Roche started the second half with another point, but Matthew Geraghty and Prendergast closed the gap, with Herlihy saving well from McEntee at the other end.

But he could do little to deny Roche, who took Fiachra O'Coileain's pass and sent the ball into the back of the net.

Again, Gonzaga responded with O'Brien, Ronan Horgan and Joey Varley -- who took a Geraghty pass before sending the ball over the bar -- all scored points to narrow the gap to two points.

Adam Hogan found Roche, who extended the lead to a goal as Terenure looked like seeing the game out.

But Gonzaga never gave up and, with eight minutes left, Tomas Barry had a goal attempt saved by Eoin Nagle, only for the rebound to run to Varley who stuck the ball in the net.

Both sides had chances to win it and Hogan made a brilliant block to deny O'Brien. But he wouldn't be denied a second time, sending over the winning point in the last minute to seal the deal.

Scorers -- Gonzaga College: Eoin Prendergast (5f, 1 '65') 0-6, Joey Varley 1-1, Hugh Gowing 1-0, Ciaran O'Brien 0-2, Matthew Geraghty, Ronan Horgan 0-1 each. Terenure College: James Roche (2f) 1-5, Daire Kerr, Ben McEntee 1-0 each, James Roche 0-1.

GONZAGA COLLEGE: Michael Herlihy; Paddy Finlay, James Murphy, Gregory Buckley; Hugh Gowling, Eoin Prendergast, Ronan Horgan; Philip O'Shea, Matthew Geraghty; Joey Varley, Dara Mullin, Tomas Barry; Cian Mulcahy, Ciaran O'Brien, Hugh Maguire. Subs used: Eoghan Doherty, Fiachra O'Coileain. Subs: Mark Hutchinson, Ross Barry, Matthew Coffey, Michael Kane, Kevin O'Connor.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Eoin Nagle; Thomas Henry, Adam Hogan, Owen Wigglesworth; Mike Murphy, Kenneth Wigglesworth, Michael Haddock; Harrison Brewer, John Teahan-Burke; Gareth Crowley, Fionn Malin, Eoghan Haddock; Daire Kerr, Ben McEntee, James Roche. Subs: Sam McGovern, Niall O'Sullivan, Evan McDonald, Alex Hyland, David Scanlon, Paddy Thornton, Andrew Roche, Rory Murray, Evan Rowan, Conor Seery, Tim Gleeson, Rob Lalor, Stephen O'Neill, Alex Griffin.

REF: E Walker (O'Tooles).