Favourites St Conleth’s win McMullen Final
February 23, 2016 12:00 am client
Heavily favoured St Conleth’s delivered the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools McMullen Senior Cup in impressive fashion at Donnybrook on Tuesday.
Initially, Enniscorthy settled down to business quicker with a 20-metre maul and two penalties they refused to kick into the wind.
This was countered by St Conleth’s more structured approach which earned penalties, the second of which was nailed by out-half Ben Doggett in the twelfth minute.
They worked hard to create an overlap moving right. But, full-back Simon Ghose could not hold onto the pass under considerable pressure.
‘Scorthy were in the process of running the ball out of their 22 when centre Peter Breen was harshly penalised for going off his feet for Doggett to double the lead in the 18th minute.
The boys from Wexford were more unconventional in their approach, much of what they were trying to do fell on the shoulders of Breen and full-back Tom Bowker.
Their hooker Lee Martin executed a textbook poach to force a penalty and fly-half Jack Ryan almost created an opening for wing Brandon O’Connor.
Still, it took Bowker’s intervention to prevent wing Michael McKay from making a breakthrough before Doggett took three more points for pulling the scrum-half into a ruck in the 26th minute.
The play was all taking place inside Enniscorthy’s half, much of it in the 22 from where Doggett found wing Sean Bortolozzo with a long pass for the first try for 14-0 close to half-time
It was from broken play that Ryan chipped and collected to move menacingly forward. The support just couldn’t get to him.
The wind would assist Enniscorthy for the second period. They would have to make good use of it to get back in the game.
The elusive Ryan took a chance on a counter. The ball slipped out of his hands approaching his own 22.
It offered St Conleth’s prime position. Wing McKay was thwarted by Robert Keating. They stayed focused and hooker Colin Duffy crashed over for Doggett to convert in the 44th minute.
The game was gone for Enniscorthy. They were playing for respect at this point.
This did not prevent Doggett from adding his fourth penalty or from flanker Connor flying down the stand side for a sweet finish to make it 29-0 in the 48th minute.
The lineout-into-maul was next on the menu of moves to claim a penalty try converted by Doggett.
The final act was carried out by Finn Mulcahy’s mazy run for a fifth try in injury-time.
At Donnybrook – ST CONLETH’S COLLEGE 41 (S Bortolozzo, C Duffy, B Connor, F Mulcahy try each; Pen try; B Doggett 4 pens, 2 con); CBS ENNISCORTHY 0.
St Conleth’s: Simon Ghose; Michael McKay, Ross Murphy, Nicolas Foreau, Sean Bortolozzo; Ben Doggett, David McKeown; Robert Cripwell, Colin Duffy, Mati Remi, Cameron Ross-O’Reilly, Patrick Cahill, Brendan Connor, David Pogatchnik, Kevin Dolan (capt).
Replacements: Oisin Allen for Ross-O’Reilly, Finn Mulcahy for Bortolozzo both 49 mins; Sean Frison-Roche for Duffy, Elliott Browne for McKeown both 54 mins; Aongus Hegarty for Remi, Oisin Carvill for Ghose, Luke McKay for Cahill all 57 mins.
Enniscorthy: Tim Bowler; Brandon O’Connor, Peter Breen (capt), Jake Murphy, Bobby Keating; Jack Ryan, Kevin O’Connor; Andrew Redmond, Lee Martin, Michael Wall, Colm O’Brien, Luke Waicek, Oisin Cullen, Finn Condon, John Nolan.
Replacements: Ronan Gahan for Murphy, Diarmuid Byrne for O’Connor both 46 mins; Eddie Mernagh for Martin 49 mins; David Doyle for Redmond, Liam Stamp for Nolan both 54 mins; Jack McAuliffe for Cullen 57 mins.
Referee: Brendan Conroy, Leinster Branch.