Pres boys enjoy resounding win
PRES BRAY 28 ST. MARY’S RATHMINES 15
PRES BRAY Junior Cup captured the Leinster Schools Junior Cup Plate competition with a resounding victory over St. Mary's College, Rathmines last Wednesday, the 2nd April.
Pres overcame their illustrious opponents, heavy rain and a sticky pitch to play some scintillating rugby outscoring the home of Sexton, Dean, Ward and Denis Hickie by four tries to two.
Playing with the wind in the first half Mary's used the conditions to gain a lineout in the Pres 22.
A driving maul resulted in a try and things were looking good for Marys as they took an early five point lead. Undaunted Pres came back.
With powerhouse centre Conor Stewart dominating midfield Marys were struggling to contain the Pres backline.
Stewart broke the cover around the half way line and released to full back Simon Power. Power drew the cover and put Captain Scott Howerd away in the corner. A magnificent conversion from Power gave Pres a two point lead.
With Marys using conditions well they again gained a foothold in the Pres 22 and fierce pressure resulted in a block down of a Pres clearance kick. The slippery conditions made gathering the ball a lottery and Marys managed to take advantage scoring beside the posts.
The conversion made it 12-7 to Marys and Pres had little reward for their dominance.
Unfazed, Pres made their way up the pitch with some clever kicking from their half back pairing of Ryan and Myler.
Pres were awarded a penalty close to the Marys line and Ryan took the gamble to take the tap penalty rather than go to touch. It paid off as the diminutive number 9 sped through a gap in the fringe defence and levelled the score. The conversion put Pres in the lead 14-12.
As half time approached Pres fans were confident that the benefit of the wind in the second half would offer them great advantage but a bizarre refereeing decision cost Pres the lead. Adjudging that a Pres defender had moved from a missed Mary's penalty attempt the ref ordered a retake. The Mary's kicker duly slotted home his second bite and Pres went in at half time behind by a point.
As if energised by that decision Pres emerged in the second half with real intent.
Quickly, using the wind to establish field position, they forced Marys to play on the back foot. A desperate clearance kick by Mary's landed in the arms of Pres danger man Power. From 40 yards out he scythed through the opposition defence to score under the sticks.-a brilliant solo effort from a very fine player.
Pres put clear light between the two teams shortly after when following a lineout on the half way they mauled their way fully 40 yards towards the line. With Mary's defenders sucked in to try and hold up the charge Pres released the ball to their backs. Stewart held off two challenges and popped the ball off to the supporting Power who cantered over under the posts for his second. With a successful conversion Pres were now 13 points up.
Mary's threw everything at the defence in vain and as the final whistle blew Pres players and supporters erupted in spontaneous celebration.