IN PICTURES: Pres Bray land Junior League rugby title with last kick of the game
Presentation College Bray defeated Gonzaga College 26-24 to win rugby’s Junior League for the first time in 10 years on Wednesday.
And they managed it in the sweetest way imaginable – a last minute touchline conversion from the boot of Jack Murphy, son of Ireland Rugby assistant coach Richie and former past pupil himself.
“Well done to everyone involved,” Principal Pat Gregory told WicklowNews.ie.
“This is a fantastic achievement and congratulations to the players, parents, coaches and teachers but specifically Kevin Conroy and Ger Glover who brought many of these through the cubs system in the school.”
Match report: A nervy opening from Pres was calmed after a fantastic individual try from Murphy. However, Gonzaga replied almost immediately with a try of their own.
In a stop-start first half chances were at a premium. It was just as well that Senan Rogan was happy to gallop, and continue galloping almost 70 metres to run in a fine individual try.
Sadly Murphy couldn’t add the extras. Even more frustratingly, Pres were unable to build on their lead and conceded again.
Twelve points apiece at the break, Gonzaga came out the stronger. With 10 minutes to go they held a 19-12 lead.
It could have been more had some last ditch defending (from Rogan in particular) not saved them. But the Pres boys showed steely resolve.
Another fine individual try, this time from talismanic captain Finn Treacy brought the score to 19 all. With 5 minutes to go, Gonzaga managed to cross the whitewash to take the lead 24-19. Crucially, their conversion attempt sailed wide.
Pres heads didn’t drop. Captain Treacy punched a huge hole in the Gonzaga defence as the clock turned red.
It seemed for all the world that he’d get the try but he was hauled down deep in the 22. After some solid, disciplined retention, Senan Rogan was once again able to crash over in the corner for the levelling try.
With the final kick of the game deciding whether it would be a replay or a first Pres victory in ten years, Murphy chose the latter. In front a deathly silent stand he stroked the ball cleanly over the blackspot. Cue mass pandemonium and delirium.
Eoghan Gantly. Pix: Des Owens