A bottle of stomach Mylanta* might be required to be distributed the next time the Students play. The Students failed to capitalise with a wind advantage in the second half succumbing to Northern Suburbs 24-22.
The hallmarks looked promising after only three minutes University were dominating play as they were pinning Norths inside their half. A loosely marked blindside was targeted by Narrabris most dashing player inside centre Will McDonnell. Young Willo punched down the blind side drew the defence and passed onto his support Chris Hemsworth stand in big Josh Kemeny. Kemeny applied the overdrive and scored an excellent try. A nice start with a 5-0 lead which soon increased to 8-0 following a Stuart Dunbar penalty.
But the wounded Shoremen never say die and gradually worked their way inside the University quarter. From a set piece a set move was executed allowing a North’s outside back to splinter through a gap left open by University. Following the conversion University were just ahead by a whisker 8-7.
But University had all the momentum in the latter stages of the first half with a relentless phase of picking and driving towards the North’s try line. A penalty through North’s applying too much killing of the ball was a given three points. But University opted for a scrum as their pack was far superior to the Norths eight up until that stage. The pack shunted Norths and were about to score when the Norths halfback Duffy deliberately killed the ball with a lollygag* moment causing the referee Matt Kellahan to award a penalty try. 15-7 and both sides jogged into the sheds to regroup.
University had the wind for the second half but this did not deter Norths.
The second half started on the wrong foot as University lost their gun breakaway Kemeny after a heavy collision sent him to La Land. Replacement was University centurion Jack McCalman.
University continued their same formula bustling Norths with forward play. Another five metre scrum gave University another seven points with a 22-10 lead. But for what ever reason North’s reconciled that they had to throw caution literally against the wind.
North’s were throwing the ball the whole game. But an attack down the blind saw some quick hands coupled by loose tackling allow an unnecessary try against the Students. University were still ahead but for how long as there was a noticeable spring in the step of Norths now.
Norths were now giving University a dose of their own medicine and commenced to pick and drive hard inside the University quarter. The constant barrage proved too much to University as a gap off a ruck gave their number eight Sinclair a passage to the line. The conversion had Norths ahead now 24-22 with less than 9 minutes left in the game. University was again in that position of playing catch up unnecessarily however Norths naturally shut down play winding down the clock.
University did pilfer the ball in the dying seconds however the ball was dropped in haste to get back up field. Norths ran out victors and progress. University on the otherhand had to rely on the outcomes of other games to go their way. Gordon did beat Randwick but Eastwood defeated Easts which effectively knocked the Students out for 2020.
Not even Will McDonnell’s mother Maria and the O’Doherty’s mother Dr Margaret Byrnes collective prayers to St Anthony and buying a pallet of Rosary bead on line could get the Students that ounce of luck this time.
There are still premierships on offer with seconds, thirds and colts so all club members should maintain the positive impetus for the teams. Best of luck to all teams staying in the race for their holy grails.
Bring on 2021 – Up the Students!
*Mylanta- medication for stomach acid.
*Lollygag- loitering , wasting time.