OUT-HALF Conor Fitzgerald landed a stunning long range penalty goal with the last kick of the game to help Ardscoil Ris score a sensational 13-11 SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final victory over PBC, of Cork, at Musgrave Park yesterday.
Fitzgerald held his nerve superbly in the fifteenth minute of stoppage time to land the decisive penalty goal into a strong breeze from just inside PBC’s 10-metre line.
The semi-final tie had appeared to be ebbing away from Ardscoil Ris’ grasp after the Cork side recovered from an early 10-point deficit to hit the front at 11-10 inside the final five minutes of normal time through a penalty goal from scrum-half John Poland.
However, resilient Ardscoil showed huge character to work the ball from inside their own ‘22 to inside their opponents half, superbly building phases and retaining possession and ultimately forcing the match-winning penalty.
With nine members of the squad which lost out in last season’s final to Crescent College, Ardscoil Ris won’t lack for experience on Cup final day on March 17.
Wind-assisted Ardscoil led 10-0 after 20 minutes from a fine try from Oisin Bernard and a penalty goal and conversion from Fitzgerald. The Limerick side led 10-3 at half-time,
However, Pres stormed back to lead 11-10 in stoppage time with a Shane Daly try on 55 minutes and a second Poland penalty goal. Ultimately, 2014 Limerick minor hurling star Fitzgerald had the final say with his last gasp penalty goal.
SCORERS: PBC: Shane Daly try, John Poland two pens. Ardscoil Ris: Oisin Bernard try, Conor Fitzgerald two pens, con.
PBC: Daragh Dennehy; Billy Pope, Shane Daly, Robin Reidy, Conor Duggan; Peter Sylvester, John Poland (Capt); Joe Ring, Emmet McCarthy, Sam Deane; Kevin O’Leary, Brian O’Mahony; Caolan O’Flynn, Graham Smith, Jack O’Sullivan. Replacements: Michael Shinkwin for O’Flynn, David O’Sullivan for Duggan (both 47 mins).
ARDSCOIL RIS: Darren Gavin; Nathan Randles, Jack O’Donnell, Peader Collins, Marcus McManemy; Conor Fitzgerald, Hugh Bourke; Pierce Lyons, Ty Chan (Capt), Tom Walsh; Barra O’Byrne, Ronan Coffey; Oisin Bernard, Ian Brown, Jerry McCabe.
Replacements: Andy Coffey for Walsh (injured, 6 mins), Liam Brock for Gavin (54 mins), Darragh Ryan for McCabe (injured, 59 mins).
REFEREE: Olly Hodges (IRFU)