Belvedere Secure Their Place in the Senior Schools Cup Semi-Finals with Win over Newbridge
February 19, 2018 5:06 pm Site Editor
Belvedere’s power told in the end as they muscled Newbridge out of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook today.
Holders Belvedere were methodical in how they moved downfield right from the opening kick, forcing Newbridge to give ground, prop James Gleeson almost sneaking into the right corner from a well-planned lineout move.
Newbridge out-half Luke Maloney cleared his lines and centre Karmon Fitzgerald hacked ahead when wing Con Creedon made a decisive tackle.
Their prop Luke Rigney clamped down on the ball to force a maul turnover and they looked like establishing territory from Cian Prendergast’s lineout take. They just couldn’t find a way through, Maloney looking for space in behind with the boot.
There was a long period of kickball in which neither school was able to put the opposition in a strait-jacket. The poaching skills of openside Harry O’Neill earned a penalty for Maloney to put Newbridge deep inside the 22.
They were crooked into the lineout, but got a second chance when harrying Belvedere, prop Rigney carrying direct to almost make the line. This close call signalled an increase in intensity, brought to an end by Belvo’ centre Cailean Mulvaney’s smart grubber down the right.
Belvedere just couldn’t put their game together as knock-ons and poor handling caused consistent stoppages. Eventually, they were able to force the issue and replacement Neil Howard, on for the injured Alekseiy Soroka, blasted over from close range for the lead.
Belvedere looked to be on the verge of doubling their lead when Newbridge full-back Donal Conroy stepped out of the line to execute an intercept and go 90 metres for a try which Maloney converted for 7-5 to Newbridge in the 38th minute.
Now The ‘Bridge had something to hold onto and they battled gamely. Belvo’ flanker Gerard Hill found a crack, loose-head Gleeson made more metres and they got over the line without getting the ball down.
They came again from the five-metre scrum to earn a penalty which full-back David Lacey kicked for an 8-7 lead in the 50th minute.
The message was clear. Belvedere were keen to use their forwards in the tight and Gleeson powered over to put six points between them in the 56th minute.
It was still a one-score game until the pressure game began to tell, Lacey striking a penalty for 16-7 in the 63rd minute.
That was the game, centre Cailean Mulvaney capping a fine impact with an outstanding try, converted by Lacey late on.
At Donnybrook – Belvedere College 23 (N Howard, J Gleeson, C Mulvaney try each; D Lacey 2 pens, con); Newbridge College 7 (D Conroy try; L Maloney con)
Belvedere College: David Lacey; Alex O’Grady, Matthew Grogan, Cailean Mulvaney, Alistair Loughrey; Justin Leonard, Ted Walsh; James Gleeson, Luke Harmon, Conor Cagney, Alekseiy Soroka, James Murphy Gerard Hill, Aaron Coleman, Ruadhan Byron (capt).
Replacements: Neil Howard for Soroka 26 mins; Patrick Lysaght for Walsh, John Meagher for Leonard both 49 mins; Jonathan Bell for Gleeson, Matuez Gallinski for Cagney, Cian Scott for Murphy all 56 mins; Gareth O’Brien for Grogan, Andrew Synnott for Harmon both 66 mins.
Newbridge College: Donal Conroy; Con Creedon, Karmon Fitzgerald, Eimhin Conroy, Daniel O’Connor; Luke Maloney, Jack Doyle; Thomas Grant, Larry Kelly, Luke Rigney, Dylan Morrissey, Cian Prendergast (capt), Oisin Halpin, Harry O’Neill, Muiris Cleary.
Replacements: Robert Scully for Rigney 38 mins; Mark Moynihan for Halpin 44 mins; Conor McGroary for O’Neill 49 mins; Geoff McNelis for Kelly, Thomas Sheedy for E Conroy, Daniel Caulfield for O’Connor all 50 mins; Sam Cahill for Creedon 65 mins; Ruairi Finan for Doyle 67 mins.