Clongowes claim last Junior Cup quarter-final spot
February 6, 2016 12:00 am client
It was Clongowes Wood who claimed the last place in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final at Castle Avenue on Friday.
With Donnybrook out of commission due to the U20 international, the final remaining first round match was moved out to Clontarf and onto a similarly fast 3G surface.
In hindsight, it was a very good decision as the constant rain and significant wind did nothing for the game as a spectacle.
The Clane nursery had first use of the elements and they spent much of the first 20 minutes camped inside the Kilkenny territory where they looked to build their way into the game.
It looked like they could be on easy street when the brilliance of John Maher carved the Marble City kids open in the fourth minute.
The full-back picked his line and took a ball directly from a set move off a scrum in the fourth minute, bursting over halfway in an unstoppable an individual effort.
The simple conversion was landed by David Wilkinson.
The industrious carrying of prop Ryan McMahon, locks Tom Coughlan and Gavin Dowling and number eight Barry Dooley took Clongowes forward where they were met with real steely resistance, as exemplified by Kilkenny captain Harry Stacey.
Eventually, out-half Wilkinson stepped up to make it 10-0 from just left of the posts for hands in the ruck in the 20th minute.
From there on, Kilkenny took over for ten minutes either side of the break, applying pressure without any significant return.
They passed up penalties in the treacherous conditions for more than one shot at glory.
It was a risk that didn’t pay off even though seven points any time up to the 40th minute would have completely changed the complexion of the game.
As it was, Clongowes stood firm, worked their way up the field for Wilkinson to kick penalties in the 43rd and 48 minutes, the latter a real corker from a difficult angle to put the game out of sight.
The salt was rubbed into Kilkenny wounds late on when wing Christopher Martin broke away from his half to come within five metres of the line.
It was there the losers defence got back to him only for replacement Milo Cruise-O’Brien to come on a hard line for their second try.
At Castle Avenue – CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE 21 (J Maher, M Cruise-O’Brien try each; D Wilkinson 3 pens, con); KILKENNY COLLEGE 0.
CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE 21 KILKENNY COLLEGE 0
Clongowes: John Maher; Chris Grimes, Tim O’Brien, Joe Carroll (capt), Christopher Martin; David Wilkinson, Mark Galvin; Stephen Mo, Ethan Noone, Ryan McMahon, Tom Coughlan, Gavin Dowling, Eddie Boland, Tom Power, Barry Dooley.
Replacements: Milo Cruise-O’Brien for Boland for 36 mins; Tom D’Arcy for Mo 46 mins; Hugh Lonergan for Noone 53 mins; Brian Gallagher McMahon 56 mins; Sean O’Grady for Martin 59 mins.
Kilkenny: Andrew Ross; Matthew Hodgins. John Rogers, Ben Dickson, Robbie Jackson; Charlie Tector, Luke Kerr; Brian Whitty, Darragh O’Reilly, Alex Adeogun, Rory McCarthy, Andrew O’Brien, Chris Reynolds, Daniel Thompson, Harry Stacey (capt).
Replacements: Ultan Badley for Rogers 32 mins; Matthew McRedmond for McCarthy 36 mins; Keegan Bradley for Ross 45 mins; Jeff Power for Kerr 51 mins; Reece Edwards for O’Reilly both 55 mins; Owen Jack for Jackson 57 mins.
Referee: Aidan Fogarty, Leinster Branch.