Josh Glynn was St Gerard's School's magic man, providing all the points, including an injury-time try, to thwart King's Hospital in a cracking Leinster Schools Senior League final at Donnybrook yesterday.
It was largely a contest between the superior bump and grind of the Hos' forwards and the elusive, clever lines of the St Gerard's three-quarter line.
The Wicklow school sounded out a warning through the quick men right from the get-go as out-half Steve Crosbie, centre Rian O'Loughlin and full-back Glynn looked to take maximum yards out of any space available.
It paid off quickly as they moved into the lead when KH advanced offside for Glynn to slice the posts. Hos' took their medicine well. Their pack pushed on for lock Josh Hinde to level it up from left of the posts for hands in the ruck in the 12th minute.
The power of KH began to tell in the scrum and around the fringes, but they could not quite accrue the hard yards often enough to play the game in the opposition half.
The aptly named St Gerard's left wing Jett Desmond almost got around the outside of the Hospital defence but for the combined work of Jack O'Connor and Peter O'Reilly.
Then, their second row Robin Maxwell showed exemplary awareness in refusing to go to ground before setting Desmond, popping up on the right, away for what looked like a definite try until number eight Luke Satchwell appeared out of nowhere to execute a textbook try-saving tackle
It was fast and furious as KH attempted to soften up Gerard's around the edges with their big ball carriers. Really, they needed a rifling boot from their out-half Tom Quigley to give them what they wanted -- time in the danger zone.
It was on the stroke of half-time St Gerard's slipped three in front again when Glynn nailed a long range penalty with something to spare. It was a slim, but valuable lead.
The outstanding Satchwell brilliantly claimed prop Des Merrey's second-half restart to set up a series of drives that ended with a penalty for offside which Hinde kicked through the sticks in the 38th minute.
The tide was beginning to turn. Openside Brian du Toit burst clear of a chasing pack only for his pass to Pat McMillan to go to ground.
When Hos' won a scrum against the head, number eight Satchwell, Hinde and lock Joe Curran played central roles in creating the room for wing McMillan to sprint home. Hinde struck the conversion for a 13-6 gap in the 49th minute.
True to form, St Gerard's responded with high-quality pressure that forced a penalty at the breakdown. Glynn stood up and banged the ball between the posts.
It could have gotten even better in the 63rd minute for Hos' when they turned down the opportunity for three points to go for a scrum. They got all the way to the line without being able to ground the ball.
They paid the ultimate price in injury-time when a sweeping Gerard's movement finished with Glynn, who else, showing the speed and body strength to make the line.
SCORERS -- St Gerard's School: J Glynn try, 3 pens. King's Hospital: P McMillan try; J Hinde 2 pens, con.
St Gerard's School: J Glynn (capt); D Simmonds, R O'Loughlin, J Crosbie, J Desmond; S Crosbie, C O'Rourke; C McAlinden, C Hyde, C Lyons, R Maxwell, F Boylan, S King, O O'Neill, J Conan. Replacements: S Hackett-Delaney for O'Neill 41 mins; S Condron for King 42 mins; A Carroll for Simmonds 57 mins; A Lynch for McAlinden 68 mins; A Bowtell for Boylan 69 mins.
King's Hospital: P O'Reilly; J O'Connor, D Potterton, M Slone, P McMillan; T Quigley, H Hevey; D Merrey, D McDonough-Kinkade, P Mullan, J Curran, J Hinde, T Satchwell (capt), B du Toit, L Satchwell.
Referee: D Wallace, Leinster Branch.