A LAST gasp try from replacement Nathan Randles, superbly converted by out-half Conor Fitzgerald, helped Ardscoil Ris secure a dramatic 19-19 draw against CBC in Cork on Wednesday afternoon.
Ardscoil were deemed winners of this thrilling tie by virtue of scoring the game’s opening try in the second minute through full-back Darren Gavin. The Limerick side’s reward for this tenacious display is a home, knock-out quarter-final tie with PBC.
Four members of the Ardscoil side which featured in last March’s Cup final defeat to CBC, Pierce Lyons, Jack Sexton, captain Jerry McCabe and centre Jack O’Donnell are involved in the side again this season.
Ardscoil made the perfect start when full-back Gavin scored the game’s opening try which out-half Fitzgerald duly converted.
The sides traded further tries with powerful prop Conor Leahy touching down for CBC and winger James Brennan grabbing a five-pointer for the Limerick side.
Christians led 14-12 at the break, thanks to a try from Ben O’Callaghan and when the same player added another seven minutes after the re-start the home side led 19-12.
However, Ardscoil’s admirable resolve, with the likes of centre Jack O’Donnell, prop Lyons, U-15 lock Ronan Coffey and their back-row forwards to the fore, was rewarded when replacement Nathan Randles charged over for a smashing team try in the sixth minute of added time. Out-half Fitzgerald showed admirable composure to land the conversion from wide on the right.
SCORERS: CBC: Ben O’Callaghan two tries, Conor Leahy try, Michael O’Halloran two cons. Ardscoil Ris: Darren Gavin, James Brennan, Nathan Randles try each. Conor Fitzgerald two cons..
CBC - Ian Dorney; Ben O’Callaghan, Alex McHenry, Oisin Conway, Alex O’Brien; Michael O’Halloran, Robert McGuire; Gary Maloney, Fergus Hennessy, Conor Leahy; Darragh O’Donovan, Cameron Penney; Eoin Feeney, Eoghan Cahill (Capt), Darragh McGinn (Capt Replacements: Gordon Good, Ciaran McHugh, Robert Hyde, Declan Barry, Richard Cassidy, James Taylor, Killian O’Sullivan, Tom McKenzie.
ARDSCOIL RIS – Darren Gavin; Michael Fitzgibbon, Peader Collins, Jack O’Donnell, James Brennan; Conor Fitzgerald, Jamie Moore; Pierce Lyons, Ty Chan, Jack O’Shea; Conor Canon, Ronan Coffey; Oisin Bernard, Jack Sexton, Jerry McCabe (Capt). Replacements: Luke Moylan for Sexton, Tyler Richardson for Canon, Ian Brown for O’Shea, Nathan Randles for Gavin. Not used: Robert Leonard, Ben Devlin, Eoin Ryan, Marcus McManemy.
REFEREE – C McTaggart (IRFU)