Perhaps it was the outstanding entertainment provided under lights against Naas in Donnybrook a couple of weeks ago but whatever the reason, NUIM Barnhall brought a strong contingent of supporters along the M50 to Seapoint’s ground last Friday night.
AIL Division 2
NUIM Barnhall: 23
Soup or coffee might have helped before the game, the van man informed us the machine had broken down leaving only ice cream for those who did not wish to attend to the bar.
Seapoint started the game ahead of the Kildare side in the league table but at the end, the Kildare lads deserved to win a match they could have lost.
In the dying minute, the home team piled on the pressure with only five points between the sides.
Barnhall started in flying form with a second minutes try from winger Karl Darragh, Gillespie converted.
Just a few minutes later, the other winger, Rob McGrath, broke through the home defence only to be stopped near the line. NUIM Barnhall were awarded a penalty and Gillispie made it 0-10.
In the 14 minute, home outhalf, Brian Keegan, kicked a penalty but Gillespie hit over another one in 16 minutes to leave it 3-13.
On the half hour NUIM Barnhall front row, Dan Jennings, was sin binned and the visitors came under a period of pressure.
In the 35 minute, home scrum half, Steve Carroll, did well to nip across the line from a scrum but the conversion was off mark to leave it 8-13 at halftime.
NUIM Barnhall found themselves under severe pressure in the third quarter, and much of the fourth. They were under siege but their tackling was good as they stopped Seapoint going over for the try.
In the 66 minutes, NUIM Barnhall struck like a cobra. Lifting the siege, the slung the ball right along the line and Farrell McManus scored on the right. Gillespie didn’t convert but the visitors now had a ten point lead when they might have been level or behind.
A Keegan penalty for Seapoint four minutes later made it 11-18 but a 74 minute try by Chris Winks was the tonic the visitors needed to bring their tally to 11-23.
Unsurprisingly, Seapoint battled away and a great run by their winger, Danny Ruddock, preceded a try by by centre, Sam Hanley, two minutes before the end of normal time. Keegan converted to narrow the gap to five points.
This was a dangerous time for NUIM Barnhall as the home side piled on the pressure but their defence was strong enough to hold out for the three point victory.
NUIM Barnhall are at home to UCC this Saturday afternoon at Parsonstown.
This will be a challenging game for the Kildare side with a student derby element thrown into the mix.
NUIM BARHNALL (1-15): Dan Jennings, Gareth Murray, Lee Mitchell, John Campbell, Conor McDermott, Barry Dunne, Sam Condon, Rob Holt, Chris Winks, Rob McGrath, Mike Brown, Karl Darragh, Simon Gillespie. Subs: Ben Harrison, Ray Dufficy, Conor Feeney.