Gonzaga double stuns battling Roscrea

TWO bad blows in first half injury time left Roscrea with a mountain to climb in the second half of the Vinnie Murray Senior Cup Final yesterday, after they had made all the running for the first 25 minutes.

Roscrea had the vast majority of the territorial advantage during the first half, but failed to turn their advantage into a scoreline.

Gonzaga had hardly been in Roscrea’s half before they suddenly pounced two minutes into injury time and some extremely stylish passing between their backs and forwards ended with a try for flanker Dominic Ryan after 42 minutes, a try that was cleanly converted by their outstanding centre William McEvoy.

Barely had Roscrea kicked off and Gonzaga struck again, with a flowing passing movement that ended with right winger Neil Hanratty joining the fray in the left corner and scoring without any real opposition. the clinical McEvoy duly did the extras again.

Roscrea came out for the second half understandably demoralised by the quick turnaround in Gonzaga’s favour, but continued to make a battle out of it.

Their entire front row — but especially number eight Seamus Hennessy and number 12 Tiernan O’Halloran — brought the game to Gonzaga.

Johnny Magee in the second row also did some sterling work and out half David Joyce always used his strength to create opportunities that Roscrea unfortunately didn’t turn to their advantage.

They came back in strength, once again in injury time when Hennessy crossed for a well-deserved try and David Joyce made the conversion.

But with just a little hope that Roscrea could draw the match, Gonzaga were awarded a scrum on the Roscrea 22 and a quick bustling movement by the Gonzaga back row ended with number six David Doyle crossing for an unconverted try.

Scorers: Cistercian College, Roscrea: S Hennessy (try), D Joyce (con). Gonzaga: D Ryan (try), H Hanratty (try), D Doyle (try), W McEvoy (2 cons).

CISTERCIAN COLLEGE: J Cody, F Ryan, C Pardy, T O’Halloran, J Devane, D Joyce, K Quinlan, L Hyland (capt), J Hayes, P Duggan, J Magee, B Ennis, L Smyth, P Finn, S Hennessy, Replacements: R Shanahan for Finn (15 mins), I Wheatley for Duggan (38 mins), R Durcan for Quinlan (43 mins), C Byrne for Joyce (67 mins).

GONZAGA COLLEGE: F Doherty, N Hanratty, N Cullen, W McEvoy, D McEvoy, K Tuite, J Cooney, K Larchet, N Rutledge, C Farrell, J Whelan, R Kenny, D Doyle, D Ryan, D Kane (capt), Replacements: A Byrne for Cooney, S Costello for Kenny (both 50 mins), K Ryan for W McEvoy (70 mins) .

Referee: B Montayne (Leinster Branch).

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