The bad weather from the weekend had cleared away for Belvedere and Clongowes to be greeted by a sunny, cold afternoon.

The feeling out process didn’t last long as Clongowes number eight Barry Dooley charged ahead and Belvedere’s out-half Daniel Hawkshaw looked to create.

The Clane school’s centre Christopher Grimes was rocked by a tackle from wing Eoin MacAdaimh and forced to withdraw.

Leinster Schools Junior Cup

Then, Belvo’s Arthur Moran was binned for an aerial challenge on full-back Harry Radmall.

The stalemate continued with the Dubliners forcing a turnover at maul time countered by out-half David Wilkinson’s left-footed chip into the 22.

This time, the ball was secured and one lock, Jack Kearney, carried hard and the other, Thomas Mulcair, spotted a hole in the middle of a ruck to burst clear for Wilkinson to make it 7-0 in the 18th minute.

The game was taking place between the 22s as Hawkshaw tumbled a kick forward for territory and Wilkinson found his left wing George Fitzpatrick with a tantalising cross-chip.

Leinster Schools Junior Cup

The powerful MacAdaimh speared the Clongowes cover for 40 metres only to lose his footing.

Scrum-half James MacNeice kept them moving forward with a tricky kick, tamed by Dooley.

A smartly taken lineout move by Belvedere came close as they ramped up the pressure.

The breakthrough came from a scrum which swung on centre Fergal O’Byrne’s pass and the finishing of full-back Murray, who converted to level it up right on half-time.

The Black and Whites were quickly into their rhythm, marauding down the left for centre O’Byrne to have the strength to make the line in the 35th minute.

Leinster Schools Junior Cup

The swinging fortunes were maintained when Wilkinson’s beautifully judged kick was collected by replacement Peter Maher for a two-point lead in the 41st minute.

The footwork and speed of left wing MacAdaimh put Belvedere back where they wanted to be.

They had three lineouts, lost the first, mishandled the second and were held up over the line from the third.

They looked for full-back Murphy from every second ruck until they forced a penalty for Murphy to slip them ahead in the 53rd minute.

It would take just one mistake, one magical moment to seal it, Dooley almost producing it down the left touchline.

Wilkinson lined up a drop goal only to pull it left from 30 metres out in what turned out to be the last chance of the game.

Belvedere College 15 Clongowes Wood College 14

At Donnybrook – BELVEDERE COLLEGE 15 (S Murphy try, pen, con; F O’Byrne try); CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE 14 (P Maher, T Mulcair try each; D Wilkinson 2 cons).

Belvedere: Simon Murphy; Euan Farquharson, Harry Murray, Fergal O’Byrne, Eoin MacAdaimh; Daniel Hawkshaw, James MacNeice; Elliot Campbell-Foley, Jonathan Ross, Hugh Flood, Brian Bolger, Arthur Moran, Eoghan Rutledge, Eimhin O’Neill, Hugo McPeake.

Replacements: Adam Beatty for Rutledge 14 mins – temp; Adam Beatty for Ross, Shane O’Casey for Flood, Peter O’Farrell for MacNeice all 46 mins; Joseph Gleeson for O’Neill 51 mins; Donnchadh McCarthy for Campbell-Foley, Dylan O’Grady for Murphy both 53 mins.

Clongowes: Harry Radmall; Sam Reilly, Christopher Grimes, Christopher Martin, George Fitzpatrick; David Wilkinson, Sean Sexton; Michael Behan, Evan O’Boyle, Benedict Keogh, Thomas Mulcair, Jack Kearney, Jack Hilliard, Calum Dowling (capt), Barry Dooley.

Replacements: Gareth Donovan for Grimes 11 mins; Peter Maher for Farquharson 35 mins; Simon Bates for Kearney 38 mins; Eoghan Chambers for Behan 44 mins.

Referee: Robbie O’Flynn, Leinster Branch.