Blackrock College 25 Presentation College Bray 19

Blackrock College have made the first step towards reclaiming their Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup title by qualifying for the quarter final.

The holders looked to be comfortably in control of their first round clash with Presentation College, Bray but the Wicklow school’s willingness shone in the second half.

Second-half tries from Darren Magee, Samuel O’Dowd and Ben Murphy cut into Blackrock’s 18-0 lead contributing to an exciting finish.

Blackrock had earlier taken the lead in the fourth minute when captain Sean O’Brien laid the ball off to Niall Comerford who touched down in the corner.

Centre Sam Small followed that up with another five-pointer, this time converted by David Fitzgibbon for 12-0.

Out-half Fitzgibbon added penalties either side of half-time to give Blackrock that seemingly unassailable lead, before Pres provided the scare.

First, Magee forced his way over the whitewash from close range and dotted down, Mick O’Gara converting.

Then, Peter Ford made a great line break which led to O’Dowd touching down in the corner. O’Gara narrowly missed a difficult kick but Pres were in contention.

Blackrock, now only leading by six, needed to turn momentum back in their favour and when they did, replacement Peter Barron made it count by getting important points on the board.

His try was converted by Fitzgibbon and the clock was against the Bray side.

They did manage to add another try in the dying embers through Murphy, but O’Gara’s conversion was greeted by the full-time whistle.

The Leinster Schools Senior Cup’s most decorated team march on into the next round.

Scorers – Blackrock College: Niall Comerford, Sam Small, Peter Barron try each, David Fitzgibbon 2 cons, 2 pens; Presentation College Bray: Darren Magee, Ben Murphy try each, Mick O’Gara con.

Blackrock College: Chris Rolland, Niall Comerford, Sam Small (Jeff Kenny 53’), Gavin Jones, Ben White, David Fitzgibbon, Matthew Cullen; Aaron Rowan (Evan Downey 67’), Stephen Dunne (Scott Barron 40’), Luke Mion (John Kirby 67’), Mark Morrissey, Joseph McCarthy, Sean O’Brien (capt) (Conor McAleer 67’), Jack Loscher, Ed Brennan (Matthew Flynn 46’).

Presentation College, Bray: Samuel O’Dowd, Josh Pyper, Peter Ford, Mick O’Gara (capt), Jordan Mortell (Robert Houlden 52’), Stephen Corry (Cathal Eddy 8-11’), Ben Murphy; Jamie Mulhern, David Maloney, Darren Magee, Sam Kearney (Jack Treacy 8’), Ryan McDonald, Sam Graham, Callum McNulty, Christopher Lawless.

Referee: Helen O’Reilly, Leinster Branch