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Thursday 23 November 2017

Skipper Crowley spurs Andrew's

But Saints are far from Comprehensive

FOR St Andrew's College to progress further in the Vinnie Murray, they will have to step it up a gear, judging by the evidence of this second round win at Railway Union yesterday.

This is not to say that the Booterstown school can't make inroads in the competition. There is a lot to like about their work ethic and their aggression in defence.

In addition, they have a forward for the future in 16-year-old second row Greg Jones, a member of the Leinster Schools U17 training squad last summer.

St Andrew's fly-half Peter Crowley, their captain, was their most obvious weapon in the first 35, stroking three penalties when lock Ben Stephenson refused to go to ground on the carry.

It tempted Newpark into an illegal contest on the floor which was spotted by referee Aidan Fogarty in the ninth minute.

A harsh call for what looked like accidental offside allowed Crowley to strike from straight in front in the 22nd minute before Newpark blindside Donal O'Sullivan was yellow-carded for infringing once too often at a ruck. Second row Jones took up the mantle in similar fashion to force a third penalty in the 34th minute to give St Andrew's a nice buffer at the break.

Just when Newpark threatened to take advantage of the breeze at their backs after their fly-half, Fergal Howley, slotted a 43rd-minute penalty, Jones was on hand one out from a ruck to crash over the line. Crowley's conversion made it 16-3 in the 48th minute.

Newpark took this as nothing more than a minor setback. They rolled up their sleeves and went in where it hurt most to retrieve loose ball and pressurise St Andrew's carriers.

Captain Howley preferred the high risk, big reward of a lineout to three points in order to trim the lead. They came close to a breakthrough that would have tested the winners' character. Close, but not close enough.

A try-saving tackle by captain Killian McCarthy on right wing Kieran Quinn was required to keep Newpark at bay before St Andrew's countered splendidly for Jones to barge over.

St Andrew's College: L Boorman; A Murphy, G Beere, A Waters, L de Renzy; P Crowley, K Weymes; S Locke, A Brady, S Fonteyn, B Stephenson, G Jones, K McCarthy (capt), L Kavanagh, N Veltom. Replacements: S Curran for De Renzy, R Brady for Fonteyn, B Anderson for A Brady (all 41 mins); A McCauley for Veltom, B Ingram for Kavanagh, (both 57 mins); D Joyce for Crowley, P McCrodden for Locke, (both 63 mins).

Newpark Comprehensive: S Young; K Quinn, N James, O Baugh, C O'Byrne; F Howley (capt), E McDonnell; J Middleton, D Burke, A Leung, H Connor, J Salinger, D O'Sullivan, A Campbell, B Clarke. Replacements: J Sheehan for Baugh (22 mins); R O'Sullivan for Leung (39 mins); C Byrne for Quinn (58 mins); U Duggan for Middleton, S Watts for D O'Sullivan, (both 62 mins); C O'Neill for Campbell (65 mins).

Referee: A Fogarty, Leinster Branch.

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