On Wednesday afternoon St. Gerard’s booked their place in the semi finals of the Powerade Leinster Junior Schools Cup with a dramatic replay 7-5 victory over Newbridge College in Donnybrook…

A miserly defence and some attacking class from Gerard’s fullback Ben Kealy was enough to see off a spirited Newbridge effort.

The Wicklow school’s reward will be a showdown with Belvedere College SJ at the same venue on Tuesday. Belvedere will fancy their chances of progressing to the showpiece following an extremely impressive quarter final victory over St. Mary’s last Thursday and if Gerard’s are to reach the final, they will have to do so by dispatching a side that looked in control for the vast majority of their 12-0 victory against the Rathmines based school.

A short turn around may have an effect on Gerard’s players who will need to be in peak physical condition to deal with a powerful Belvedere pack who dominated St. Mary’s for long periods. Despite the short amount of turnaround time St. Gerard’s must cope with, their victory over Newbridge should mean, come half three on Tuesday, the Wicklow side will be brimming with confidence.

The other semi-final is an all-Dublin affair with Blackrock College squaring off against their Holy Ghost rivals St. Michael’s in Donnybrook on Sunday (KO: 3pm). Blackrock are looking to add their record haul of 46 Junior Cups and judging by their 32-10 dismantling of Gonzaga in the previous round look well set for another assault on the summit this year.

Standing between Blackrock and the final are defending champions St. Michael’s who reached the semi-finals after a hard fought 13-7 victory over C.B.C Monkstown. Monkstown caused the Ailesbury Road outfit all manner of problems and had it not been for the final quarter heroics of flanker Robert Duffy, scorer of two tries, it would be Monkstown preparing for a titanic struggle on Sunday afternoon.

Instead it is St. Michael’s who will once again have a chance to progress to the grand finale and although their match against C.B.C was a ferociously tight, tiring affair, coming from behind as Michael’s did should stand them in good stead for this weekend’s action. The match-up between the defending champions and the school with the most titles looks set to be a truly mouth-watering affair and if the physicality of the two sides’ quarter final victories is anything to go by then Sunday’s match should be a cracker.

Powerade Leinster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Finals:

Sunday 10th March
Blackrock College v St. Michael’s College
(Donnybrook, 3pm)

Tuesday 12th March
St. Gerard’s School v Belvedere College SJ
(Donnybrook, 3.30pm)