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St Mary's shock Gonzaga to move into Leinster Junior Cup second-round after Aaron O'Brien double

St. Mary's College 21 Gonzaga 15

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St Mary's College players, from left, Aaron OBrien, Luke Policky, Evan Moynihan, and Conall Cusack, celebrate after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup First Round win over Gonzaga College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

St Mary's College players, from left, Aaron OBrien, Luke Policky, Evan Moynihan, and Conall Cusack, celebrate after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup First Round win over Gonzaga College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

St Mary's College players, from left, Aaron OBrien, Luke Policky, Evan Moynihan, and Conall Cusack, celebrate after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup First Round win over Gonzaga College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Aaron O'Brien's brace of tries helped St Mary's upset Gonzaga in the Leinster Junior Cup first-round at Energia Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The Rathmines school stood their captain Andrew Sparrow everywhere in defence from out-half to openside.
They moved ahead from a lovely lineout-maul which enabled lock Noah Johnson to barge over, hooker Cillian Jacobs converting in the 15th minute.

The reaction was calm and effective, Gonzaga going through the phases to create an overlap for Oscar Parceir to make it 7-5 in the 19th minute.

St Mary's looked to the fleet-footed Sean Murray-Norton on the left and forwards Luke Policky, Aaron O'Brien and Sparrow up the guts.

'Zaga held firm on their own line and hit back when flanker Sid Love almost got in on the left as the half ended.
St Mary's went straight to their maul, not once, but twice to hoover up the yards for flanker O'Brien to touchdown, Jacob's fine conversion making it 14-5 in the 35th minute.

They were almost out of sight when prop Tiernan O'Shea broke free only for Jody Browne to nail the tackle and scrum-half Gavin Mulvihill had the ball knocked out of hands in the act of scoring.

It left the door open for Gonzaga and out-half Stephen McMahon's penalty made it a one-score game in the 54th minute.
However, St Mary's finished in possession and in for their third try, O'Brien grabbing his second, Jacobs a third conversion.

Gonzaga were not done, striking back through captain Paul Wilson, for McMahon to kick the extras in injury-time.
They looked on the verge of a miracle when forcing a 5-metre lineout, St May's tight-head stealing the throw to close it out.

Gonzaga: J Browne (O Murray 35); O Parceir, H McLaughlin, A O'Flanagan, M Wall; S McMahon, R Coman (H Barniville 35); A McVerry (T Wylie 40), J Kelly (J Corr 45), P O'Brien, F Clarke, M Tyrell, S Love (T Lenihan 50), G O'Donnell, P Wilson (capt).

(O Parceir, P Wilson try each; S McMahon pen, con)

St Mary's: G Foley (D McNulty 52); W Byers, C Cusack, E Moynihan, S Murray-Norton; S O'Connell, G Mulvihill; T O'Shea, C Jacobs, R Smyth, L Policky, N Johnson, A O'Brien, L Jennings, A Sparrow (capt).

(A O'Brien 2 tries; N Johnson try; C Jacobs 3 cons)

Referee: B Montayne, Leinster Branch.

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