Aaron O'Brien leads St Mary's to triumph over Gonzaga

Aaron O’Brien bagged a brace of tries at Donnybrook to give St Mary’s College a deserved 21-15 triumph over Gonzaga College in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup first round.

Aaron O'Brien leads St Mary's to triumph over Gonzaga

[team1]St Mary’s College[/team1][score1]21[/score1][team2]Gonzaga College[/team2][score2]15[/score2][/score]

Aaron O’Brien bagged a brace of tries at Donnybrook to give St Mary’s College a deserved 21-15 triumph over Gonzaga College in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup first round.

Finalists in 2018, Mary’s are aiming to secure a seventh title at this grade.

Following a series of ‘pick and drives’ towards the Gonzaga line, lock Noah Johnson touched down for a deadlock-breaking score.

Hooker Cillian Jacobs added the extras to give the Rathmines school a seven-point buffer, but Gonzaga responded in swift fashion.

After Aidan O’Flanagan spread the ball out wide, winger Oscar Parceir squeezed through for a well-taken try.

Stephen McMahon’s subsequent bonus strike drifted past the target, meaning Gonzaga were two points in arrears (7-5) at the break.

The interval offered ample time for Mary’s to re-adjust and they increased their advantage five minutes into the second period.

Flanker O’Brien supplied the finishing touches to a line-out maul and Jacobs converted in clinical fashion to stretch them nine points clear.

O’Brien’s second try arrived in direct response to a McMahon penalty and while Gonzaga skipper Paul Wilson crossed the whitewash in the closing minutes, Mary’s held firm to prevail.

Meanwhile, Terenure College came from behind in Naas to get the better of Kilkenny College in the day’s other opening round clash.

Having developed a 5-0 interval cushion, ‘Nure leaked 13 consecutive points to their Noreside counterparts.

However, Eamon Geraghty and Carlos Montero subsequently claimed a try apiece to guide the south Dubliners towards a 17-13 success.

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