Trinity 25pts – St Marys College 10pts
Trinity brought in 2018 with their first home win of the season when they completed their first ‘double’ of the season over their close rivals from Templeville road.
In the past two seasons the two clubs have been beating each other and competing for the same honours albeit top of 1B two seasons ago or fighting for points in the basement of 1A last season. So it was good for the home team to be able to follow up their fortuitous 18-15 win in Templeogue with a more convincing 25-10 win in College park on Saturday.
Trinity started the game in great form and dominated proceedings playing some of their best rugby of the season as they took their cross-town rivals through several phases at high tempo.
Leinster Academy wing Jack Kelly made the first break of the game when he beat several defenders down the right hand side of the pitch to set up a penalty for out half Jack McDermott to coolly slot the points. Trinity attacked off the restart with front rowers Patrick Finlay and James Bollard along with No 8 Dave St Leger making heavy inroads into St Marys’ defensive lines.
From deep in their own territory St Marys kicked the ball long, Trinity counter attacked and the ball eventually ended up in mercurial Irish U21s full back Michael Silvester’s hands. Silvester ran up to the chasing line before chipping into space and skillfully re-gathering his kick before putting 120KG Freshman tight-head prop and Irish U20s hopeful Joe Byrne into space 20 metres out, the big former Blackrock College man covered the ground in impressive fashion to score under the posts, his first score since third year in School!
10-0 up in 20 minutes Trinity looked on top of their game, but they lost their talisman and hooker Patrick Finlay with a severely broken nose and seemed to lose their momentum for ten minutes or so. St Mary’s came back in impressive fashion to first kick a penalty and then, from an overthrown Trinity line out, visiting out half Sean Kearns slipped in for soft try under the posts to put his side back level.
Trinity came back towards the end of the half and after some heavy pressure, they conjured up a well worked try off the training pitch, with Sam Pim, Jack McDermott, Captain Michael Courtney linking to put left wing Evan Dixon in for his first AIL try of the season. McDermott nailed the conversion from the corner to give his team a 17-10 lead at half time.
In the second half Trinity tried hard to increase their lead but struggled to regain the form of earlier in the game. Errors crept into their handling and they squandered three or four clear overlaps to increase their lead.
Half way through the second half they did add to their score when, from a speculative kick to the corner, out half Jack McDermott chased his own kick and with the St Marys’ wing waiting patiently for the ball to roll dead, he athletically dived, rolled and came up with the ball for an incredible individual score in front of the stunned visiting defender.
McDermott added a 30 metre penalty to push the score to 25-10. Trinity had 18 minutes to find another try for a bonus point but they never really got close as careless, sloppy play along with resolute defending from St Mary’s kept them out.
This was an extremely important win for the Students over the team who came into the game with the same points (15pts) but better points difference. With a three- week gap before they travel to Garryowen, Trinity will rotate their squad to play in the annual challenge match with Durham University on Tuesday night in College Park 6.15pm.
Trinity team; 15 Michael Silvester, 14 Jack Kelly, 13 Michael Courtney, 12 Kyle Dixon, 11 Evan Dixon, 10 Jack McDermott, 9 Angus Lloyd, 1 James Bollard, 2 Patrick Finlay, 3 Joe Byrne, 4 Jack Burke, 5 Jack Dunne, 6 Alex MacDonald, 7 Sam Pim, 8 Dave St Leger.
Subs; Joe Horan, Darragh Higgins, Richard Dunne, Rowan Osborne, James Moriarty.