The first of the back-to-back fixtures with Garryowen ended in dramatic fashion with Ronan Foley crashing over in the corner on the final play of the match for the match-winning try .. which also completed his second half hat-trick!
With the bitterly cold wind in their backs Garryowen went ahead after just 4 minutes with a converted try (0-7) and extended their lead with another try on 11 minutes (0-12). Garryowen continued to dominate and although James Tarrant converted a penalty (3-12). A Collidge yellow card didn’t help matters at this stage and the visitors took full advantage with a converted try (3-19). The as half-time approached Collidge at last found themselves in possession inside the Garryowen 22 and Stephen McVeigh was on hand to finish off a succession of phases for a crucial try .. as it reduced the deficit to 11 points. Half-time: UCD 8 Garryowen 19.
The noticeable Collidge tempo increase (with the impressive Paddy Patterson now at scrum-half) was quickly evident as Foley burst through would-be tacklers to touch down .. Tarrant missed the conversion 13-19. The Collidge attacks became relentless and Foley’s 54th minute try which Tarrant converted put Collidge ahead by a single point (20-19). Then in a rare Garryowen breakout a kick ahead was fumbled and the following Garrowen support completed the move for a converted try (20-24).
As the match entered its closing stages Collidge, now camped in the Garrowen half, contrived to cough up possession when in sight of the try-line thus allowing the visitors to clear their lines. As the clock ticked into over-time Garryowen resorted to some deliberate slowing strategies which backfired spectacularly as two players were yellow carded in quick succession which over-exposed their defence against the fired-up Collidge attack. Consequently they had no answer when the ball was swept wide (on last play) and there was Foley coming at speed to take the pass for the winning try .. and who was then engulfed by his jubilant team-mates. Luke Maloney missed the conversion .. but it didn’t matter. Collidge go into the Christmas break (behind leaders Cork Con) on 30 points .. equal with Garryowen who themselves picked up 2 bonus points.
Congratulations also to the coaching team of Kevin Croke, Mark McGroarty and Brett Igoe and to the back-room staff who must be very happy with how the first half of the season has gone.
UCD: 15 David Ryan; 14 Jack Ringrose; 13 Andy Marks; 12 Eoin Barr; 11 Rob Keenan; 10 James Tarrant; 9 Nick Peters; 1 Rory Mulvihill; 2 Bobby Sheehan; 3 Emmet Burns; 4 Jonny Guy (Capt); 5 Cian Prendergast; 6 Ronan Foley; 7 Ben Murray; 8 Stephen McVeigh. Replacements: 16 Richie Bergin; 17 Sam Griffin; 18 Sean O’Brien; 19 Paddy Patterson; 20 Luke Maloney.
Next match: v Garryowen (away) Jan 11