Tuesday 20 February 2018

O'Gara proves the difference

Pres Bray 13 Gonzaga College 8 Leinster Schools Junior Cup

Samuel O'Dowd, Presentation College Bray, scores his side's first try of the match (SPORTSFILE)
Samuel O'Dowd, Presentation College Bray, scores his side's first try of the match (SPORTSFILE)
Jordan Mortell, Presentation College Bray, is tackled by Fergus Ó hOisin and Frank O'Grady, Gonzaga College (SPORTSFILE)
Rory O'Kennedy, Gonzaga College, breaks free of the defence (SPORTSFILE)
Mick O'Gara, Presentation College Bray, is tackled by Conor Hennessy, Gonzaga College (SPORTSFILE)

The combination of Samuel O'Dowd's eye for the line and Mick O'Gara's eye for the posts took Pres Bray into the quarter-final at Donnybrook yesterday.

Early on, out-half O'Gara struck a third minute penalty and Pres' enjoyed so much possession they didn't know what to do with it.

Gonzaga were able to stay close based on a sound defence, led by captain Jack Barry and centre Fergus O hOisin, all the way to the break.

They came out with an altered mindset, coming more into it as an attacking force to carve out a penalty which scrum-half Jack Connolly's kicked to square it in the 39th minute.

They even moved ahead from a wonderfully created try born out of left wing Rory O'Kennedy's surge onto an inside ball and right wing Henry Higgins speedy finish into the corner.

But Gonzaga fell to sleep on the restart as Pres went into overdrive from a maul, with Josh Pyper's cutback enabling full-back O'Dowd to scoot around the outside.

O'Gara stepped up to whack the touchline conversion and followed that with a penalty in the 54th minute.

Pres Bray - S O'Dowd; C Mulvaney, J Mortell, J Gallagher, J Pyper; M O'Gara (capt), B Murphy; K Sredojevic (R Dobra 39), D Maloney, C Magee, C Lawless, R McDonald, S Graham, C McNulty, C McKay.

Gonzaga - C Hennessy; H Higgins, F O'Grady, F Ó hOisin, R O'Kennedy; O O'Leary-Deane, J Connolly; L Hammond, H Fitzgerald, R Gilmore (O Rogers 52), L Tyrell, M Carey (J Coolican 55), A Henry, C Kirby-O'Briain, J Barry (capt, D Scanlon temp).

Ref - D Williams (Leinster Branch).

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