MAYNOOTH Post Primary just about got over the line against Sandford Park (33-27) in the Leinster Schools McMullen Senior Cup first round at Ranelagh yesterday.
THIS was a crackerjack contest with Sandford bringing home advantage and the fact that they had made the semi-finals in the last two years to the table.
The physical strength of Maynooth was probably the decisive factor. No 8 Jamie Murphy broke through for a brace of tries.
Full-back Shane McGuinness, replacement flanker Daire McBride and loose-head Daniel French also made the line, four of their five touchdowns coming from forwards. Scrum-half Alex Birchall made four of the five conversions.
Sandford full-back Oisín Berghenti, centre Oisín McDermott, fly-half James Orr and loose-head Louis Cannon all showed how effective Sandford could be, especially when moving the ball away from the contact area, by slipping in for their four tries.
Centre Chris Allwright weighed in with three out of four conversions and a penalty to leave Sandford with everything to gain until the final whistle ended their campaign in the first round for the first time in four years.
St Patrick's Classical School, the gaelic football nursery, just about shaded a real battle with Gorey Community School 14-13 at Gorey RFC.
The home side's fly-half Sean O'Connor was a danger all game long, chipping from halfway and re-gathering for their only try which he also converted.
That was eventually wiped away by Navan second row Ben Gore's try in the 34th minute, converted by out-half Killian Farrell to make it 7-7 at the interval.
The home side edged ahead again with a penalty from the boot of O'Connor before full-back Andrew Beggy, the nephew of former Meath All-Ireland medal winner David, struck for Navan's second try, converted by Farrell.
Another O'Connor penalty put the game in doubt for the last quarter with neither side able to improve the scoreboard.
St Fintan's High School, from Sutton, sent out the right message with a convincing 33-5 defeat of Gorey Community School in the Leinster Schools Duff Junior Cup first round.
Centre Brian Howard (2), number eight Jack Aungier, replacement centre Conor Byrne and centre Declan Adamson were their try scorers, while fly-half Sean Cribbin and his replacement James McCourt shared the four conversions equally.
St Fintan's are now set fare for a local derby against St Paul's College, from Raheny, on Monday.