Bank of Ireland Father Godfrey Junior Cup Semi-Final Round-Up
January 27, 2023 9:45 am Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Fr Godfrey Junior Cup produced two entertaining Semi-Finals in which Pres Bray and St Fintan’s made the Final.
In addition, they earned the right to a Junior Cup first-round tilt at St Gerard’s School and Castleknock College, respectively.
PRESENTATION COLLEGE, BRAY 17 NAAS CBS 13
A late try by Ronan Hogan was the decisive factor in Pres Bray qualifying for the final in a terrific tussle to open the afternoon.
Certainly, Naas had no trouble settling into the game, moving onto the front-foot through their forwards and half-backs Jack Mullins and Cian McKevitt.
Indeed, it took a tremendous sequence of phases for Pres to complete a breakthrough, flanker Alex O’Dowd grounding the ball in the left corner in the 14th minute.
Straight away, the Kildare boys were back on the attack, eventually recouping a penalty by Mullins in the 19th minute.
Pres took that on the chin and moved methodically forward for hooker Eoin Croysdil to touchdown at the posts, Tiernan Guilfoyle converting for 12-3 at the break.
At last, Naas found a way through a stacked defence when full-back Charlie Croke blazed a trail from 35 metres out for Mullins to convert.
Two minutes later, they were in front from a Mullins penalty after another quick-hitting attack.
Fortified by this, Naas showed added line-speed in defence and the ability to counter at pace.
However, Pres’ were always capable of doing damage too, a powerful maul setting up lock Hogan for the finish in the 58th minute.
Pres Bray – A O’Dowd, E Croysdil, R Hogan try each; T Guilfoyle con.
Naas CBS – C Croke try; J Mullins 2 pens, con.
Pres Bray – Simon O’Brien; Joseph Byrne, Liam Mooney (Capt), Matthew McGovern, Shane McDonald; Tiarnan Guilfoyle, Luca Nolan; Marcus Murphy, Eoin Croysdil, Harry Graham, Tiernan Lynch, Ronan Hogan, Alex O’Dowd, Max Tully Walsh, Rory Wrafter.
Replacements – Artem Kelly, Daniel Corrigan, Conor Haines, Robert Brennan, Tiernan Ryan, Daniel Hannon, Ethan O’Neill, Phelim Doyle.
Naas CBS – Charlie Croke; Conor Marron, Darragh Culligan, Matthew Costello, Tadhg Kruger; Cian McKevitt, Jack Mullins; Alan Malone, Rian Cullen, Philip Sammon, Aidan Tamming, Max Kavanagh, Zach Carville, Padraic Dignam, Oisin Brien.
Replacements – Colm Gibbons, Adam Sargent, Cein Meade, Bruno McCann, Daniel Sargent, Charlie Reid, Harry Ward, Phillip Brannigan.
ST FINTAN’S HIGH SCHOOL 35 TEMPLE CARRIG 19
A power-packed second period was the key to St Fintan’s getting the better of Temple Carrig.
Initially, the winners were sparked by towering number eight Michael Bolger, applying enough concerted pressure for lock Frank Quinn to claim a try, Ben Barnes converting in the ninth minute.
Temple was faring well enough at the ruck to draw on penalties, the lineout and centre Ben Griffiths for a way forward.
They mixed up their attack well enough to move inside the 22 where flanker Matt Smullen burst past two tacklers for Corey O’Brien’s conversion to level it up in the 20th minute.
Agility at the breakdown was a feature of the contest with prop Evan Coyne and lock Lukas O’Gorman using perfect technique to frustrate the opposition.
Centres Griffiths and Ryan Morgan were posing problems through the middle, creating a second-wave attack which Smullen exploited to the fullest for Lambert to convert for 14-7 on the half-time whistle.
It didn’t take the Sutton school long to get back on terms, the forwards taking control for Oisin Kelly to crash over at the posts, Barnes converting in the 34th minute.
They had the momentum to roll forward in impressive fashion, manufacturing a third try for Tadhg Young which Barnes immaculately converted from the touchline.
St Fintan’s seemed to have taken over, forcing the pace for Quinn to pick up his second try, Barnes adding another two on top for 28-14 in the 54th minute.
Yet again, Smullen was the forward on the end of Temple’s next drive, punching in his hat-trick to narrow the gap to nine points.
Then, Bolger blasted over after a series of quick rucks for Barnes to make it five from five conversions.
St Fintan’s – F Quinn 2 tries; T Toung, O Kelly, M Bolger try each; B Barnes, 5 cons.
Temple Carrig – M Smullen 3 tries; C Lambert 2 cons.
St Fintan’s – Fionn Heaney; Alex Gallagher, Tadhg Young, Samuel O’Leary, Fionn MacDonald; Ben Barnes, Oisin Kelly; Evan Coyne, Luca Macari-Kelly, Keith Bonar, James Nixon, Frank Quinn, Brendan Dillon, Adam Coffey, Michael Bolger.
Replacements – Fionn Cullen, Zachary Newson, Conor Cogan, Cillian McLaughlin, Conor Wilson, Nicky Sheridan, Simon Fogarty, Shane Hanratty.
Temple Carrig – Marco Romeral Roe, Ryan Griffiths, Ryan Morgan, Ben Griffiths (Capt), Fionn Moriarty; Corey O’Brien Charles Lambert; Daniel Cunningham, Oskar Riordan, Tom Scully, Oliver Warnock, Lukas O’Gorman, Matt Smullen, Ryan Morgan, Charlie Sammon.
Replacements – Lewis Jones, Daniel Garvey, Jake McDonald, Brendan Harrison, Hugo King, Luke McKeever, Luke Rowlett, Oscar Murphy-Dowling.