Andy Wood’s Belvedere became the first quarter-finalists to move on to the last four of the Bank of Ireland Junior Cup in association with Beauchamps Solicitors at Donnybrook yesterday.

Initially, the tempo was set by St Michael’s pretty patterns and their number eight Scott Penny’s big hit on wing Sam Barry under the main stand.
A smart lineout move had scrum-half Desmond McCarthy making yards into the heart of the Belvo defence until a truck and trailer infringement. They kept the ball by spoiling Belvedere’s lineout ball and making pressurising their exit strategy.
A strong burst by Penny was good enough to draw a penalty. Captain David Ryan pulled it left of the uprights. 
The northsiders had to wait until tight-head Johnny Bell clamped down on flanker Ian Walsh to force a penalty. Even then, they couldn’t find touch.
A full ten minutes had elapsed by the time their fly-half David Hawkshaw put them inside the 22 when he sent a tumbling kick towards the corner. Left wing Jack Eustace coped well with the pressure.
St Michael’s used back row carriers Ian Walsh and Donal McMahon to lift the siege as they combined to travel half the length of the pitch.
The wind and rain began to take hold to put real stress on passing and handling. Number eight Penny blasted away from the base of a scrum to feed Ryan on the charge. They were in behind. Belvedere number eight Ruadhan Byron won a penalty on the floor.
Then, Belvo nine Ted Walsh messed up a St Michael’s scrum and Hawkshaw hacked ahead to trigger front-foot ball, stopped by Penny’s eye for a turnover.
The trick was to take territory and keep it.
Hawkshaw was the difference when the fly-half twice offloaded to create an overlap going left for prop Johnny Bell to be the link to second row Luke McDermott for the lead try in the 28th minute.
St Michael’s had most of the ball and the chances to progress and found themselves 5-0 down at the interval.   

leinster schools junior cup
The strong wind was turning the lineout into a lottery. The Ailesbury school’s nine McCarthy put boot to ball in what was a logical tactic when all other corridors were closed.
It could have gone anywhere as it bounced off the surface. Belvo cleaned up and had a chance going left. But, David Lacey couldn’t get the ball away.
St Michael’s made headway down the left from successive penalties at the breakdown, angled well into touch by fly-half Jay Barron.
Their pressure was building with lock Ryan Baird leading the charge. They just couldn’t find the key as Belvedere held firm through the vigilance and body-on-the-line dedication with captain Harry Beggy to the fore. 
Belvedere forced a turnover and promptly handed back the momentum by dropping the ball forward. Scrum-half Ted Walsh disrupted the scrum again. The ball spilled. Byron picked and drove. Hawkshaw cleared to touch.
A bout of kicking concluded with Belvedere unleashing a powerful lineout-maul which was whipped down. They were looking good until a case of crossing undid them. 
The Belvedere scrum forced a turnover. They kept it tight. Centre Cailean Mulvaney made valuable ground for Hawkshaw to scramble through three defenders for the decisive try to double the lead in the 52nd minute.


At Donnybrook – BELVEDERE COLLEGE 10 (D Hawkshaw, L McDermott try each); ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE 0.

Belvedere: J O’Grady; D Lacey, D Sanfey, C Mulvaney, S Barry; D Hawkshaw, T Walsh; J Gleeson, L McGrath, J Bell, L McDermott, M Daly, J McComish, H Beggy (capt), R Byron.
Replacements: N Griffin for McComish 43 mins; L Harmon for McDermott, M Puszczewicz for Lacey both 56 mins.
St Michael’s: R Kelly; B McCormack, E Haran, D Ryan (capt), J Eustace; J Barron, D McCarthy; L Quill, C Hennessy, C Tracy, R Baird, J Booth, D MacMahon, I Walsh, S Penny.
Replacements: O McKenna for Kelly 38 mins; T Doyle for Eustace 52 mins; B Gannon for Quill 53 mins; D Moran for Barron 56 mins. 
Referee: B Montayne, Leinster Branch.