Garryowen book Junior Cup Final Place
1st April 2009 By Munster Rugby
Garryowen will face U.L. Bohemian in this season’s final of the Munster Junior Cup after a dramatic last minute injury time try gave them a 14-11 victory over favourites U.C.C. at Musgrave Park.
All the excitement in this contest came in the final few minutes in what was a poor game up to than, as the Garryowen pack totally dominated and thus denied the students the possession they needed to unleash their exciting backline.
With three minutes of normal time remaining on the clock and trailing 9-8, College were beginning to get on top in the forward exchanges and were awarded a penalty just inside the Garryowen half. Colin O’Brien stepped up and to the amazement of the crowd one touch judge raised his flag and the other kept it down and referee Andrew D’Arcy ruled it wide.
O’Brien had a similar kick minutes later but his effort never got anywhere close to the target. The Students continued to press forward with James Ryan and David Nathan doing an amount work, O’Brien had a third attempt this time slightly closer and he duly sent it straight between the posts to restore College’s lead.
From the restart, the Light Blues regained possession and a delightful chip by out half Alan Kingsley saw winger Ronan O’Mahony gather the ball and score in the corner to give Garryowen a deserved victory.
The Garryowen pack totally dominated in the scrums, rucks and mauls and never allowed College settle. The only area where the students had some advantage was in the lineouts where skipper Eamon Nugent won an amount of the Garryowen throw ins.
With Gerry Hurley controlling operations from the base of the scrum, the Midleton man put Garryowen ahead with a penalty after ten minutes.
In a rare visit into Garryowen territory, O’Brien tied up the scores with a penalty for the students on eighteen minutes.
Most of the opening half was played in the College half but a wild pass was picked up by Willy Devane who raced away before being stopped inside the Garryowen Twenty Two, with Gavin Nugent in support he got the ball out to Danny Barnes who touched down to leave the students 8-3 ahead at half time.
After the restart Garryowen began to bring their backs more into the game and some devastating breaks by center Michael Roberts began to cause problems for the students.
Hurley reduced the deficit to two points, five minutes into the half and he put his side ahead with a third successful kick with fifteen minutes remaining.
The students than lifted their game and than came those dramatic finishing moments that will see a repeat of the 2007 final on Easter Monday at a Limerick venue.
U.C.C.:B Derham; G Nugent, D Barnes, W Devane, G Blower; W Walsh, C O’Brien; J Carton, J Moynihan, W O’Donovan; E Nugent (capt), D O’Callaghan; D Daly, D Nathan, J Ryan. Replacements:A Donovan for Carton 77.
Garryowen:A Burke; K O’Riordan, M Roberts, F Quaglia, R O’Mahony; A Kingsley, G Hurley; B McNamara, K Buckley, R Laffan; A McCloskey, E Mackey; J Southern, B Sheehan, D Sherry. Replacements: A McNamara for O’Riordan 45, M McEvoy for Southern, R Downey for B McNamara both 77.
Referee: A D’Arcy (M.A.R.)