Photo Courtesy of Conor Nevin
Trinity 31pts, Oxford University 20pts
Trinity hosted Oxford on a gorgeous sunny day in College Park on Wednesday night in their annual challenge match.
Trinity dominated possession and territory for most of the game, but the visitors were clinical, when they got into the scoring zone and really punished Trinity in the first half.
Trinity started the game moving the ball from all over the pitch, but Oxford well marshalled defence kept the door shut on the home team. In fact it was Oxford who scored first when from a penalty on their first possession, they drove a line out in from close range. Brian Mollen kicked a penalty for Trinity, but Oxford came back to kick 3pts of their own in reply.
Trinity continued to take the game to their English opponents, and it was the home teams turn to drive a maul in, to bring the scores back level.
Very much against the run of play Oxford *8 picked up a loose ball to show an impressive turn of speed and swerve to score from the half way line. They then followed this up with another penalty to go into half time with a deserved 20-10 lead. It just seemed Trinity although playing all the rugby, were going to be punished at every turn.
In the second half with a light breeze at their back, Trinity stepped up the tempo and totally dominated the game, they scored early to close the score to 3pts.
The forward exerted huge pressure on their opponents line and in the end received a penalty try after what seemed an endless amount of scrums.
Oxford did not really enter the Trinity half in the second half, only to restart the game. But their defence kept them competitive through out.
Next after more concerted pressure deep in Oxford territory Trinity U20s Captain Roghan McMahon showed great footwork to score near the posts.
This was an ideal game for both teams, for Oxford captsained by former Trinity Full back Conor Kearns, it was a great way to finish up their season. For Trinity it was a great way to get many of their fringe players 1st XV action. Trinity now take a 5 day break, before preparations for the next AIL game V St Marys.
Trinity Starting XV & Changes:
15 Micheal Silvester (Jesse Milne 50), 14 Tim Maupin, 13 James Hickey (Will Sims 68), 12 Kyle Dixon, 11 Brian Mollen (Evan Dixon 40), 10 James Fennelly (Jack Balbernie 58), 9 Rowan Osborne (Dan Joyce 40), 1 Fintan Murphy, 2 Jack Boland (Maurice Buckley 35), 3 Darragh Higgins (Tom Collis 40), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Jack Hennessy (Vittorio Mantegazza 40), 6 Cormac Blake, 7 Dermot O’Flynn (Dave St Ledger 50), 8 Roghan McMahon;