Junior Cup semi-final preview: Belvedere v Blackrock
March 13, 2017 6:47 pm Site Editor
These traditional northside-southside rivals are both still in line for the Senior-Junior Cup double.
Belvedere have looked the more effective unit in coming through against new boys Temple Carrig (31-0) and Clongowes Wood (15-14), arguably second favourites, in the quarter-final.
That was undoubtedly the best contest of the competition, in terms of the all-round quality on show.
Belvo’ were able to neutralise Clongowes sharpest weapons and had the nerve to close out a tense match through full-back Simon Murphy’s penalty.
The forwards look for the front-foot at every opportunity through the bristling work of lock Arthur Moran, number eight Hugo McPeake and flanker Eimhin O’Neill.
It is in the backfield where Murphy, wing Eoin MacAdaimh and centre Fergal O’Byrne have looked very dangerous.
They have on out-half in Daniel Hawkshaw, who has a real feel for the ebb and flow of a game.
Blackrock have not had it all their own way, coming from behind to fell Terenure (15-6) in the first round and getting all the problems they could handle from Gonzaga (15-8) in the last eight.
It took a hat-trick from tight-head prop Scott Barron to guarantee the semi-final slot for ‘Rock.
Their knack for turning half-chances into tries was the outstanding facet of that game.
Their defence has conceded just one try in two games. They were well-connected and not afraid to use it as a turnover tool.
The physicality of captain Hugh O’Malley, number eight Liam Heylin and flanker Adam Simpson mark them out as a formidable foe.
They just have not been able to hit their stride in attack even though they have been one pass away from tearing it up.
Half-backs Matthew Cullen and Michael Moloney are sound game managers and they will need more clinical finishing from the back three of Michael Lowey, John Campbell and full-back Shane Murray.
Belvedere College v Blackrock College, Donnybrook (Tuesday, 3pm)
Belvedere (Possible); Simon Murphy; Euan Farquharson, Harry Murray, Fergal O’Byrne, Eoin MacAdaimh; Daniel Hawkshaw, James MacNeice; Elliot Campbell-Foley, Jonathan Ross, Hugh Flood, Brian Bolger, Arthur Moran, Eoghan Rutledge, Eimhin O’Neill, Hugo McPeake.
Blackrock (Possible): Shane Murray, John Campbell, Sam Small, Adam Dixon, Michael Lowey; Michael Moloney, Matthew Cullen; Ben Melly-Murphy, Charlie O’Carroll, Scott Barron, Matthew Wood, Hugh O’Malley (capt), Adam Simpson, James Culhane, Liam Heylin.
For ticketing information on the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Final, which takes place this Friday in the RDS Arena (KO 2pm), click here.