St Michael’s College 31Blackrock College 17
Daire Walsh reports from Donnybrook
ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE produced a stunning performance at Donnybrook this afternoon to secure the Leinster Schools Junior Cup title at the expense of Blackrock College in a replayed encounter.
The sides had finished on level terms (7-7) at the same venue seven days earlier but although ‘Rock were seeking an historic fifth consecutive final win at this grade, they ultimately couldn’t rein in the challenge of their south Dublin rivals.
Michael’s had broken the deadlock with just under nine minutes gone on the clock, as talismanic outside centre Chris Cosgrave crossed over after racing on to his chipped kick towards the ‘Rock whitewash.
He subsequently added the extras to his own five-pointer, before ‘Rock opened their account 10 minutes later with a routine Adam Dixon penalty.
However, Michael’s issued a further blow to ‘Rock’s chances in first-half stoppage-time, when Jack Boyle drove over on the left wing to give his side a 12-3 interval lead.
A wayward place-kick effort from Dixon let them off the hook after the restart, before Michael’s increased the tempo of their play.
Fly-half Niall Carroll finished off a sweeping move across the ‘Rock line for his side’s third try of the day, and this helped Michael’s to open the floodgates.
After breaking at pace at the beginning of the final quarter, Cosgrave claimed an outstanding seven-point salvo.
This left ‘Rock with a mountain to climb, and in spite of a hard-earned try from their industrious number eight Liam Heylin on 50 minutes, another exceptional Michael’s attack ended with winger Zach Harrison dotting down on the left flank.
Replacement Seb Lowe claimed a second try for ‘Rock deep into time added on but it wasn’t enough to deny Michael’s their first junior crown since 2012.
Blackrock’ Ben Brownlee and Niall Carroll of Michael’s. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE: Eddie Kelly; Simon O’Kelly (Senan O’Shea ’56), Chris Cosgrave, Tim Gilsenan (Hugo McWade ’39), Zach Harrison; Niall Carroll, Jeffrey Woods (Joaquin Gali ’57); Lee Barron (Brian Cuddy ’58), Conor Booth (Cameron Baird ’58), James Power (Ben Quigley ’45); Stephen Woods (Christian Casey ’57), Jack Guinean; Oscar Hurley (Josh Egan ’43), William Hickey, Jack Boyle.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Shane Murray; John Campbell, Sam Small, Ben Brownlee (Seb Lowe ’43), Michael Lowey (Paddy McGowan ’56); Adam Dixon (Michael Moloney ’47), Matthew Cullen (Patrick O’Connor ’56); Ben Melly Murphy (Harry Cullen ’47), Charlie O’Carroll (David Cosgrove ’56), Scott Barron (Matthew Wood ’32); Mark Morrissey, Hugo O’Malley (Matthew Wood ’19-‘21); David Moloney (Jack Byrne ’34), James Culhane, Liam Heylin.
Referee: Brian MacNiece (Leinster Rugby Referees).
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