HIGHFIELD completed the double over UCC and captured an important bonus point, as well, to remain in the promotion chase from energia All-Ireland League Division 1B at a gloomy Mardyke on Saturday.
The visitors struck early, scoring a couple of tries inside eight minutes before adding two more either side of the interval as their powerful forwards dictated the pattern in a game, where both teams overcame the obvious difficult handling conditions for the most part.
Highfield laid down a marker in only the third minute, stealing a College line-out take on the right before Liam McCarthy’s nicely judged kick through allowed left wing Luke Kingston gather and slide in at the corner.
James Taylor’s conversion struck a post, but he successfully landed his second after Kingston sent the other wing, Ben Murphy, over following a terrific burst up the middle from flanker Amhlaoibh Porter for 12-0 after eight minutes.
Cia Whooley and Taylor swopped penalties before ’Field pounced for a third try, three minutes from the break.
Joe O’Leary put College on the front row with a super run to the visiting 22 only for their opponents to react quickest to a loose ball, a foot rush leading to a penalty in a promising position.
Taylor went for the maximum, planting it in the corner from where the forwards rumbled over with hooker Travis Coomey claiming the score and Taylor adding the extras.
It was 22-3 at half-time and within a couple of minutes of the resumption, ’Field netted their fourth try for the bonus point.
The rampaging Coomey set sail up the middle with second-row Eoin Keating on his shoulder to continue the attack, which eventually yielded a try for the other lock, Sean Garrett. Taylor kicked the conversion for 29-3 after 42 minutes.
Credit the Students for never giving up the chase and pressure in the ’Field 22 was rewarded with a try from replacement flanker Jack O’Sullivan with Whooley adding the extras in the 57th minute.
Highfield, though, replied in kind with a fifth try on the hour. An impressive show of pick and go from the forwards paved the way for full-back Cian Bohane to float a long pass for replacement wing Gavin O’Leary to touch down in the right with Taylor converting brilliantly.
Tries: L Kingston, B Murphy, T Coomey, S Garrett, G O’Leary. Cons: J Taylor (3). Pen: J Taylor.
Try: J O’Sullivan. Con: C Whooley. Pen: C Whooley.
C Bohane; B Murphy, L McCarthy, D O’Sullivan, L Kingston; J Taylor, R Cassidy; C Buckley, T Coomey, D Fitzgerald; E Keating, S Garrett; D O’Connell (c), M Cronin, A Porter. Subs: R Murphy, N Downing, J O’Callaghan, M Fitzgibbon, C Bannon, G O’Leary.
L Bruce (c), S Condon, K Coghlan, T McCarthy, J O’Leary; C Whooley, I Rodriguez; R Duggan, S Buckley, D McCarthy; S O’Sullivan, M Bissessar; P Hyland, S Edogbo, P McBarron.
D Sheahan, C Hanlon, J O’Sullivan, A Quirke, J Murphy.
E Hogan-O’Connell (IRFU).