It wasn’t all doom and gloom in Lovely Leitrim over the weekend, despite the ladies unfortunate exit from the Connacht League by two points.

Carrick’s Junior men pipped the students to stay alive in the Heineken Junior Plate competition, a penalty the difference in the final play of the game.

Played on Longford soil, UCG ran in two blitzkrieg tries in the first quarter and with a penalty shot out 15nil up. Far from manning the panic stations, Carrick knuckled down to steady the ship for the latter stages of the first half. Stephen Guckian’s individual efforts nabbed one back, Kevin Coffey responsible for the extras.

Halftime came at 15-7 UCG’s way.

Paddy Leydon for the hosts grabbed a forward’s try after the restart and Michael Cox followed up a Guckian intercept breakaway to push Carrick into the lead 22-15. Carrick incurred a yellow, however, which levelled player parity, (UCG starting and finishing the match one down with 14), and College’s unconverted try during the 10minute spell squeezed the margin to two, 22-20.

A penalty kick later, the students once again went ahead with single figures remaining on the clock, up 23-22.

Enter Kevin Coffey.

An unfortunate UCG infringement at what proved the final ruck of the game, gave Carrick an opportunity to chance their arm with the tap 42m out, or go for gold with a long-range penalty. Coffey stepped up to the plate, and made the game his. Far from selfish, he shared the spoils with his Carrick team-mates and sideline support. The Leitrim lads, who’ve had little to cheer about this year aside from a Monivea default win and a 10-5 loss to Portumna, now advance through yet another round of Heineken Plate rugby.

They meet Corinthians on the N17, a David and Goliath match-up if ever there was one, but with the smell of victory fresh in their nostrils they shan’t be written off yet.


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