Harvey’s second-half injury-time penalty attempt from the halfway line sailed sweetly over the bar to give the Limerick college a 9-7 victory over a courageous St Mary’s XV.
Harvey kicked all of Villiers’ scores in a low-scoring contest dominated by the forwards on a perfect day for rugby. Much of the first half was spent in the middle third of the field though both teams did manage to get inside the opposition 22 on the odd occasion.
The only score in the opening period came from the boot of Harvey, who opted to drop-kick a 17th minute penalty attempt.
The Villiers pack, in which number eight Henry O’Grady excelled, controlled possession for much of the second half and Harvey extended his side’s lead with a 25m penalty in the 39th minute. Villiers crossed the line in the 42nd minute but the Tralee defence managed to prevent the ball from being grounded.
But St Mary’s struck in the 55th minute when out-half Cyprian Jouvé took a quick penalty 40m from goal, passed to centre Robert Lusk, and looping around Lusk, took the return pass to dot down in the corner. Jouvé converted from the touchline.
It seemed Tralee were on the verge of recording a famous win but up stepped Harvey to land an injury-time penalty.
Meanwhile, Desmond College scored a 16-10 win over Coláiste Muire, Askeaton in Newcastlewest.
Desmond laid the groundwork forvictory in the first half with scrumhalf Nial Enright landing two fine penalties and centre James Kelly crossing for a well-worked try to hand them a 11-0 lead at the break.
Enright showed his box of skills when adding another try for the winners and, though Sean Whelan and Cathal McDade crossed the line for the Askeaton school, there was only ever going to be one winner in this tie.
Meanwhile, in the Munster Schools Senior Development League, Niall Clohessy crossed twice in a 30-10 win for Pobalscoil na Tríonóide (Youghal) over Ballincollig CS in Youghal RFC.