Manning holds his nerve to snatch victory with the last kick of the game
By John O Donnell
Seapoint prevail after a great second half fightback by Suttonians
If there was a more entertaining arm wrestle on a rugby pitch in Ireland this weekend than the Ireland Fiji match in the Aviva, then the U-16s Suttonians v Seapoint match on Sunday morning was probably it. Seapoint started brightly and looked the better attacking force in the first half, scoring after only five minutes when outhalf David O’Dowd split the defence and scored under the posts. Manning converted. Shortly afterwards Sam Turner capitalised on a Suttonian mistake and again scored under the posts. Manning again converted. Seapoint looked to be controlling the game well, however after some poor ball retention by Seapoint, Suttonians rallied and put together a good handling movement to score an unconverted try out close to the corner flag. Shortly before half time, after a good kick from O’Dowd was chased and secured by Alan Casey, Ross Gallagher who had a great game at scrum half spotted an undefended blindside in the ensuing ruck and scooted down the touchline to score just before half time. Manning again converted to make the score a comfortable 21 to 5 lead at half time.
Despite Seapoints big lead at half time, Suttonians refused to give up and there is no doubt Suttonians won the second half. They scored early and looked a lot more dangerous in attack, putting the ball through the hands and running hard at every opportunity. Thomas O’Shea scored an important try after a big two minutes of work from Sam Turner who secured a turnover and then made one of his trademark charging runs at the opposition. Shortly afterwards Kacper Agatowski scored to make the scoreline 35 10. Game over one would have thought. Suttonians didn’t think so. Running hard they scored four unanswered tries, three of which they converted to go a point ahead 36 points to 35 with three minutes left on the clock.
Pressure by Seapoint after the restart resulted in a defensive lineout to Suttonians in their own 22 with the referee calling only 40 seconds left on the clock. All Suttonians had to do to win the game was secure possession and boot the ball into touch. However Sean Walsh soared high well lifted by Turner and Law to win the ball in the air, Seapoint attacked and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for a dangerous tackle. Man of the match Manning held his nerve to convert the penalty and Seapoint escape with a victory. Final score 38 points to 36 and a big lesson in never giving up. That makes it four wins on the trot for this Seapoint team and they continue their unbeaten run in the league.