What a finish! Goodness what a finish!
A game that had ebbed and flowed for 59 action-packed minutes was tied at 26 points apiece at the death and flowing in favour of Monkstown as they neared the Clongowes line with intent. We would be fibbing to say that we wouldn’t have settled for a replay until – mirabile dictu – full back John Maher somehow wrested the ball from the attack and set off down the left hand touchline with the gentlemen of Monkstown in hot pursuit (above).
Fortunately John is something of a sprinter and there was only ever going to be one winner as he approached those of us on the terrace at the Bective end with his ears pinned back. The exultation on his face and those of his teammates who engulfed him bespoke relief as much as joy as the referee blew the final whistle following the conversion attempt. Many were reminded of THAT TRY scored by James Lappin in last year’s senior match against Belvedere, while those of us of a certain age recalled Richard Morgan’s try against St Michael’s JCT in 1988 that finally decided a second replay in Clongowes’ favour.
While CBC might feel that they deserved at least a replay we will gladly accept the sudden turn of events that has allowed the Junior Cup team to join their senior colleagues in the semi-finals (Full match report below). The match will be played in Donnybrook next Sunday, March 6th, with St Michael’s providing the opposition.
Declan O’Keeffe, Head of Communications
Juniors Complete CBC Double
There was huge drama at Donnybrook as John Maher’s last gasp 100-metre dash secured Clongowes semi-final spot in the Junior Cup at the expense of CBC Monkstown. Maher himself opened the scoring with a huge break from inside his own half after a glorious flat pass from the equally impressive out half David Wilkinson unlocked the CBC rearguard.
CBC’s response was swift and hard as they ran in two tries to take a 12-7 halftime lead. But Maher was back again soon enough, leading his opposite number a merry dance before racing in the corner. Wilkinson showed why comparisons between him and his English namesake are not misplaced as he slotted the kick from out wide.
Wilkinson then scored a try of his own, showing great agility to snipe between CBC defenders and touched down near the posts. CBC were not going quietly however and scored in the corner to tie up the affair at 26-26 with 10 minutes remaining.
Clongowes bodies looked tired and seemed to be holding out for a replay as CBC laid siege and searched for a winner. Somehow, in the last act, Maher ripped the ball in the tackle and saw open country ahead. He slammed on whatever gas he had left and galloped past the despairing CBC supporters and the rejoicing Clongowes faithful and dotted down for the winning score.
Barry Murphy, Rhetoric