The Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Vinnie Murray Senior Cup got underway this week with high-quality rugby on show in eight First Round matches.

Holders Catholic University School will make a bold bid to retain the Cup on the evidence of their first hit out at Energia Park on Tuesday.

A fine line by Sean Byrne enabled CUS to take an early advantage before High School created two gilt-edged chances to hit back.

It looked like they were going to make a real game of it when Andrew Farrelly reduced the lead with a penalty.

Better again, centre Farrelly produced a dazzling piece of skill to wrongfoot three defenders on his way to moving HS 8-5 in front in the 12th minute.

It was as good as it got as CUS stitched together three lovely tries by scrum-half Charlie O’Byrne, centre Rian Treacy and flanker Ruben Maguire to lead 22-8 at the break.

The Leeson Street school maintained their momentum by adding tries from wing Senan Campbell, centre Byrne and flanker Hugh Quigley to ensure a comfortable passage into the quarter-final.

CUS – S Byrne 2 tries; C O’Byrne, R Treacy, R Maguire, S Campbell, Hugh Quigley try each; N Cox 3 cons.
HIGH SCHOOL – A Farrelly try, con.

CUS – Jack Grant; Sean Turner, Rian Treacy, Sean Byrne, Senan Campbell; Niall Cox, Charlie O’Byrne; Aidan Walsh, Lucas Maguire (Capt), Conal Lohan-Kilrane, Oliver Manks, Dualta Larkin, Ruben Maguire, Hugh Quigley, Dylan McNeice.
Replacements – Leo Beary, Evan Judge, Cathal Lynch, Eoghan O’Reilly, Jude Barrett; Josh Gordon, Eamon McNicholas, Oran Redmond.

HIGH SCHOOL – Alex Stewart; James Cox, Jack Barlow, Andrew Farrelly, Elliot Walsh; Alex Bowden, Christopher de Lacy; Matteo Sanvito, Adam Jordan, Finn McLean, Sam Neely, Ethan Jones, Arthur Feeney, Fergus Kelly, Milo Lavelle
Replacements – Dan Carter, Dara Fitzpatrick, Gary Meaney, Oliver Davey, Oisin Burgess, Charlie O’Neil, Evan Kelleher, Tomás Taylor.

The rain swept in for the second leg of a double-header at Energia Park on Tuesday, placing huge pressure on basic skills.

King’s Hospital gradually got the upper-hand, centre Edward Nuzum embarking on a personal mission from deep to score a superb individual try, converted by Luke Fogarty.

Out-half Fogarty seized on a loose ball to go from distance as well, knocking over the conversion for 14-0 in the 18th minute.

Then, right-wing Luca McNally picked up a loose ball to dive in for the third seven-pointer before Newpark was given life by prop Mateo Parker’s finish, converted by Cathal MacGearailt on half-time.

It was certainly game on as Newpark had the backing of the wind and a solid game plan, behind the carrying of Callum Howard, Scott Doran and Sami Phelan, to play territory against KH’s insistence on running out of trouble.

This led to a few perilous moments for the winners, surviving the danger to come upfield for centre Cian Behal-Valle to surge over in the 65th minute.

Newpark refused to go away, number eight Phelan cashing in from a tap penalty for MacGearailt to convert and full-back Andrew McAdams claiming a third in injury-time.

KING’S HOSPITAL – L Fogarty try, 3 cons; E Nuzum, L McNally, C Behal-Valle try each.
NEWPARK – M Parker, S Phelan, A McAdams try each; C MacGearailt 2 cons.

KING’S HOSPITAL – John O’Meara; Luca McNally, Edward Nuzum, Cian Behal-Valle, Chiby Owoamanam; Luke Fogarty (Capt), Euan Batt; Roger Doyle, Cian Smith, Sam Davis, Michael Ohoka, Maksym Oshodi, Henry Seebach, Tomás Ó Súilleabháin, James Sugrue.
Replacements – Keith Johnson, Charlie Ingle, Aaron Wilson, Shaun Kessington-Momoh, Marcus Adedapo, Elliott Pratt, Faizal Omotayo, Stephen Crowe.

NEWPARK – Andrew McAdams; Ollie Fine, Demitriois Hannon, Emmet Hodkinson, Sami Chorabaci; Cathal MacGearailt, Caleb Ring; Matthew Sherlock-Robertson, Henry Ferguson, Mateo Parker, Callum Howard, Jacob LIewellyn, Scott Doran, Conor Murphy (Capt), Sami Phelan.
Replacements – Ivan Zharov, Lewis Thornton, Oscar O’Neill, Joey Wals, Neil OgCleary, Tom Hay, Tadgh Clarke, Bill McCullough.

Temple Carrig were the winners of a 12-try shootout against Ardscoil na Trionoide in the opening leg of another double-header at Energia Park on Wednesday.

Both schools came to play on a cold day in which attack was favoured over defence as Ardscoil moved ahead from tries by full-back Oisin Grufferty and James Harris, who converted the latter.

In a see-saw affair, Temple really got going to hammer home three tries by lock Lukas Zdunek, left-wing Rhys Gamble and flanker Nathan Griffiths, all converted by Ollie Barr for 21-12 in the 26th minute.

The Athy boys had the wherewithal to reclaim the lead from two tries by Harris and Grufferty, holding a 26-21 advantage at the break.

Temple Carrig turned to their forwards, led by Adam Williams and Zdunek, to keep it tighter for longer, playing the percentages before going wide.

This had the benefit of opening the door for centre Rhys Morgan to level it up before Ardscoil responded through elusive replacement Ross Harris.

From there, the Greystones school were able to exert enough control to take over, a penalty try for a high tackle on Gamble in the 55th minute followed by tries by full-back Jack Ward and impactful replacement Cathal Kirby.

TEMPLE CARRIG – R Gamble, N Griffiths, R Morgan, J Ward, C Kirby L Zdunek try each; Pen try; O Barr 3 cons; D Shanahan con.
ARDSCOIL – J Harris 2 tries, 3 cons; O Grufferty 2 tries; R Harris try.

TEMPLE CARRIG – Jack Ward; Sam Farrar, Rhys Morgan, Ollie Barr, Rhys Gamble; Darragh Shanahan, Daniel Mooney; James Noonan, Max Sproul, Dylan Potts, Lukas Zdunek, Nathan Ross, Nathan Griffiths, Andrew Kieran, Adam Williams.
Replacements – Daragh Keogh, Cathal Kirby, Kallum McCormack, Frank O’Shea, Donncha Gleeson, Killian Hingerty, Matthew Stewart, Jack Caffrey.

ARDSCOIL – Oisin Grufferty; Cathal Kelly, Darragh Farrell, Tom Bride, Oran Kelleher; James Harris, Andrew Doyle; Kieran Doyle, Jack Henry, Karol Donoghue, Adam Healy, Daragh Ashton-Mulhall, Joe Fennin, Callum Lang, James Walsh.
Replacements – Chris Larn, Oisin Latisev, Alan Behan, Ryan McDonnell, Shane Kavanagh, Tom Brophy, Colm Moran, Ross Harris.

Jake Dolly was the hero of the hour with a brace of tries to see St Andrew’s into the quarter-finals at Energia Park.

The influence of captain Joe Ballance was critical to the game plan as left-wing Dolly’s try and Ballance’s penalty put the Booterstown school eight points up.

St Gerard’s were able to plot their way into the game, left-wing Sonny Kehoe’s try and Jordan Younger’s conversion reducing the difference to the minimum at the interval.

It was ace finisher Dolly on the mark again, converted by Ballance, before right-wing Harry MacChesney broke through for the third try, Ballance’s conversion taking St Andrew’s 15 points clear.

There was consolation for the Bray school in the form of captain Fionan Denver’s try near the end.

ST ANDREW’S – J Dolly 2 tries; H MacChesney try; J Ballance pen, 2 cons.
ST GERARD’S – S Kehoe, F Denver try each; J Younger con.

ST ANDREW’S – Kiran Byrne; Harry MacChesney, Conn Doherty, Joe Ballance (Capt), Jake Dolly; Francis Manzocchi, Charlie Byrne; Jude McCrea, Partick McIlduff, Charles Black, Nathan Kennedy, Thomas Ryan, James O’Donoghue, Rocco Hill, Adam Tobin.
Replacements – Jack Bourke, Hugh Brownlee, Adam O’Toole, Christopher Lane, Karl Deegan, Arthur Forrest, Max Kickham, Simon O’Kelly.

ST GERARD’S – Ross McCrea; Harvey O’Sullivan, Conor Balmaine, Nathan Harte, Sonny Kehoe; Jordan Younger, Rory O’Connell; Ronan Hopkins, Cian Geraghty, Eoghan McCaul, Benjamin Barrett, Oisín Denver, Martin Sweeney, Robert Hughes, Fionán Denver (Capt).
Replacements – Henry Doyle, Turlough McCracken Brown, Ross Keating, Oscar Cobbe, Luke Tanner, Cody Fitzpatrick, Ultan Woods, Conall Lunn.

Luke Carley struck for a hat-trick in St Mary’s comprehensive win over Mount Temple at Ashbourne RFC.

The Drogheda nursery was never headed, forging a 14-0 lead as loose forwards Hugh Sowray and Lincoln de Year led from the front.

Mount Temple were able to come into the game, prop Ted Laput and number eight Ben Dyer providing the front-foot ball for right-wing Gilly Rodriguez to touchdown, converted by Tadhg Kennedy.

They were never allowed to build on it as prop Jamie Manning, wing Senan Gough, full-back Rian Kindlon and number eight de Year joined Carley on the scoresheet.

MT kept on plugging away in spite of the adversity, replacement Theo Hellier securing a late try.

ST MARY’S – L Carley 3 tries, 2 cons; J Manning, S Gough, R Kindlon, L de Year try each.
MOUNT TEMPLE – G Rodriguez, T Hellier try each; A Irvine try.

ST MARY’S – Rian Kindlon; Tom Stanley, Luke Carley, Charlie Toolan, Senan Gough; Mahon Hall, Adam Dooley; Darragh Martin, Sean Flaherty Jamie Manning, Conor Moroney, Darragh Kessie, Obinna Nkpa, Lincoln de Year, Hugh Sowray.
Replacements – Evan Darcy, Daniel O’Neill, Max Lennon, Christopher Quinlan, Lorcan Smyth.

MOUNT TEMPLE – Ali Watt; Gilly Rodriguez, Adam Galligan, Evan Lunney, Ferdia Watson; Adam Irvine (Capt), Tadgh Kennedy; Andrew Bloemfeld de Fuentes, Stephen Middleton, Ted Laput, Cian O’Donnell, Ciaran Dunford, Thomas Fallon, Darragh Matthews, Ben Dyer.
Replacements – Conor Markey, Eddie Joyce, Harry Elliott, Theo Hellier, Matthew Bray, Reuben Matthews, Scott Herin, Will Norton.

Ciaran McKenna was the jewel in the crown of Wilson’s Hospital’s comfortable win over Skerries at Clontarf RFC.

It took the Westmeath school time to make best use of the wind, taking control through three quick tries midway into the first-half.

Number eight Matthew Conlon, scrum-half McKenna and lock Daniel Farrell all crossed for Tom Wheeler to convert.

Out-half Wheeler struck a penalty and converted the fourth try by the impressive Sam Mills before Skerries were given hope by James O’Connor’s try, converted by Sean Price, for 29-7 at the interval.

The North Dublin school applied pressure, driven on by flanker Darragh McEneaney, without making it count in the third-quarter

Wilson’s wing Jude Auld made them pay with the fifth try, converted by Wheeler, to leave Skerries with nothing more than the consolation of Harry Cole’s last-minute try, converted by Price.

WILSON’S – M Conlon, C McKenna, D Farrell, S Mills, J Auld try each; T Wheeler pen, 4 cons.
SKERRIES – J O’Connor, H Cole try each; S Price 2 cons.

WILSON’S – Stephen Cahill; Scott O’Boyle, Michael Cruise, Callum Mulligan, Jude Auld; Tom Wheeler, Ciaran McKenna; Joel Gillanders, Matthew Bruton, Ciaran Byrne, Finn Davitt, Dan Farrell, Max Ripley, Sam Mills, Matthew Conlon.
Replacements – Yaw Appiah, George Flower, Eoghan Jennings, Kevin Donnelly, John Zumerchik, Joshua Salley, Eoghan Murray, Malcolm O’Boyle.

SKERRIES – James Grimes; James O’Connor, Harry Cole, Luke Fagan, Oisin Hegarty; Jack Litchfield, Cillian Daly; Liam Nwajei, Cillian Armold, Senan Moore, Rossa Gilbride, Alex Renauld, Sean Price (Capt), Darragh McEneaney, Evann Shelley.
Replacements – Ryley Murphy, Robert Gallagher, Matthew Flannery, Mike Branagan, Adam Davidson, Cillian Campion, Rian Arnold, Paddy O’Brian.