The Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Development Cup finals delivered four action-packed contests at Energia Park on Thursday afternoon.

Pride of place goes to St Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise for achieving a double in the Pat Rossiter Junior and Anne McInerny Senior Cup finals, winning both for the first time.


In the first match, a strong third quarter producing tries by Rory McDonnell and Ben Connell drove St Colmcille’s to the Leinster Division 3A Junior Cup Development Shield on the back pitch.

There was little to separate these two in the opening half. Chances were at a premium before Montrath wing Fionn Cuddy popped up with the first try of the game.

St Colmcille’s struck back from second-row Darragh Saunders’ hard line onto a crash ball for Nathan Byrne to convert in the 20th minute.

It was break-even from there to the break as neither school could apply enough pressure to make the defences cough up points.

Mountrath slipped back in front from a penalty by out-half Daniel Whelan in the 33rd minute.

15 December 2022; Daniel Whelan of Mountrath makes a break on his way to scoring a try during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Division 3A JCT Development Shield match between Mountrath School and St. Colmcilles Community School at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

However, the introduction of Rory McDonnell had an instant impact from a muscular break to make the line for out-half Byrne to convert for 14-8 in the 41st minute.

Not content to sit on their laurels, the Knocklyon boys came again, flanker Ben Connell ghosting through for their third try, converted by Byrne for a two-score lead in the 52nd minute.

Mountrath were forced to counter from deep. Straight from a lineout, out-half Whelan knifed between defenders to shoot through for a fine try which he also converted to set up a thrilling climax.

St Colmcille’s – D Saunders, R McDonnell, B Connell try each; N Byrne 3 cons.
Mountrath – D Whelan try, pen, con; F Cuddy try.

ST COLMCILLE’S CS – Tom Buggy; Quin Monson, Oliver Darmody, Ben Hicks, Jamie Mahon; Nathan Byrne (capt), Stephen Bennis; Eoghan Saunders, Alex Blackmore-Cummins, Daniel Kirwan; Connell Sisk, Darragh Saunders; Ben Connell, Scott Davitt, Keith Fagan.
Replacements – Hugh Ferry, Rory McDonnell, Lucas Bergin, Gary Ormsby, Wayne Wiredu, Dylan Sheerin, Jack Hughes, Matthew McCarthy.

MOUNTRATH CS – Ryan O’Connor; Fionn Cuddy, Padraig Culleton (Capt), Cormac Page, Conor Ryan; Daniel Whelan, Kyle Moore; Jack Keane, Daniel Cuddy, Stephen Conroy, Alex Phelan, Maciej Raczynski, Donnchadh Carroll, Zach Maginness, Brody Gilligan.
Replacements: David Allely, Eugene Boleyko, Darragh Maher, David Hynes, Joe Carroll, Hugo Neville, Jamie Phelan, Callum Peters.


St Mary’s punched in half-a-dozen tries in a power-packed performance to secure the Leinster Schools 3A Senior Development Shield.

It looked like it would be tight all the way to the wire when Kildare opened up impressively for Adam Quinn to torch the defence for a try, converted by Ryan Murphy.

St Mary’s were not too bothered by this, rebounding with back-to-back tries by flanker Eric Hanley and hooker Conor O’Brien to move in front.

Kildare number eight Ewan Morris showed commendable strength to crash over beside the posts, making Murphy’s conversion a formality for 14-10 in the 20th minute.

The Offaly school took this blow in its stride, immediately countering with centre Stephen Cox blasting a path to the line for Nicholson to convert.

15 December 2022; St Mary’s-Edenderry players celebrate after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Division 3A SCT Development Shield match between Kildare Town Community College and St. Mary’s Secondary School, Edenderry at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Strong work by prop Sean Brien and openside Eric Hanley kept St Mary’s rolling forward to ensure they held onto a 17-14 edge at the interval.

There was real intent in St Mary’s running, Cox using a big fend to go close and Nicholson’s speed causing problems too.

However, Kildare stayed the course, maintaining discipline inside their 22 before Calum Murphy relieved the pressure with a burst down the right touchline.

Even so, Nicholson was on target from a penalty to stretch the lead to 20-14 in the 53rd minute.

Quick as a flash, Paidi Gorman broke from a scrum, cut inside the first defender on the 40-metre line and accelerated away for a superb try, converted by Nicholson for 27-14 in the 55th minute.

Out-half Jack Byrne was the next to breach a tiring defence and Daniel O’Connell followed suit, Nicholson converting the latter for 39-14 in the 61st minute.

Despite the resilience of Ola McCulloch, Adam Quinn and Calum Murphy, Kildare could not overcome a stingy defence.

St Mary’s – E Hanley, C O’Brien, S Cox, P Gorman, J Byrne, D O’Connell try each; A Nicholson pen, 3 cons.
Kildare – A Quinn, E Morris try each; R Murphy 2 cons.

ST MARY’S – Andrew Nicholson; Dylan McKeogh, Stephen Cox, Jack Gorman, Tiernan O’Connell; Jack Byrne, Paidi Gorman; Sean Brien, Conor O’Brien, Conor McGrath; Aaron Maguire, Daniel O’Connell, Ultan McIntyre, Eric Hanley, Jack McKeon.
Replacements – Jamie Kirwan, Sean Cox, Iarfhlaith Killally, TJ Dunne, Cian Tyrrell, Joshua McGlade.

KILDARE – Adam Quinn; Calum Murphy, Michael McNamara, Ola McCulloch, Alan Purcell; Daniel Halpin, Ryan Murphy; Oisin Carroll, James Dempsey, Eoghan Kinsella, Billy Dillon, Joe Broughall, Joshua Foran, Alex Downey, Ewan Morris.
Replacements – Calum Dooley, Mark Talbot, Stephen Murtagh, Ryan Christie, Alex Domsa, Jack O’Donoghue, Andrei Prilipceanue, Jake O’Brien.


St Mary’s captain Cian Butler lifted the Leinster Pat Rossiter Junior Cup for the first time in their history in a true tale of two-halves.

Ardgillan settled the quicker, using ball-in-hand to make ground in the face of a stiff St Mary’s defence, led by Butler.

The weight of pressure was consistent enough for the Balbriggan boys to make the breakthrough from a tap penalty, centre Daniel Mallon claiming the try and flanker Seamus Whelan the conversion in the 10th minute.

From there, they looked to build on their advantage with half-backs Cian Quinlan and Sennan Williams pushing the tempo.

15 December 2022; St Mary’s players celebrate with the Pat Rossiter cup after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Pat Rossiter Cup (JCT) match between St. Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise and Ardgillan Community College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

They came close enough on a number of occasions as Mallon and Darragh Cullen threatened without getting through again in the first period.

In truth, St Mary’s had barely made it over halfway until centre Theo Adams blasted a hole in the midfield to streak away from 40 metres to make it 7-5 in the 34th minute.

This injected a dose of confidence that surged through the Portlaoise boys, Daniel Downey hitting the line at pace and centre Butler powering over for the lead try, converted by Oran Darcy for 12-7 in the 44th minute.

Full-back Downey almost broke clear down the right and Butler kept St Mary’s on the front-foot as they finished the stronger.

St Mary’s – T Adams, C Butler try each; O Darcy con.
Ardgillan – D Mallon try; S Whelan con.

ST MARY’S – Daniel Downey; Nicholas Serrano, Theo Adams, Cian Butler (Capt), Johnson Junior Lionde; Oran Darcy, Daniel Maunsell; Ryan O’Brien-McCormack, Cormac Deegan, Joey McGuinness, Evan O Connor, Mark Ging, Ronan Mc Namara, Eoin Carey, David Brown.
Replacements – John Phelan, Cormac Dunne, Bill Rigney, Daniel Booth, Jack Condon-Egan, David Reddin, Eoghan Kennedy, Aaron Fitzpatrick.

ARDGILLAN – Julian Kearney; Sean Gibbons, Darragh Cullen, Daniel Mallon, Conor O’Grady; Cian Quinlan, Sennan Williams; Killian Alcacer, Leon Cullen-McLoughlin, Daniel Neag, James Cluskey, Conor Mulvey, Darragh McGuinness, Seamus Whelan, Max Downey.
Replacements – Brian Dunphy, Brian Ndongala, Seamus Galvin, Calum Devine, Jack Clancy, Dylan Neag, Jack McAuley, CJ Odum.


St Mary’s CBS had to survive a stirring second-half by Ardgillan to complete the unlikely double by winning the Leinster Anne McInerny Senior Cup final.

The Portlaoise school did not waste time in pushing the pace, a solid scrum providing the platform for openside Ivan Okonkwo to beat the cover in the fifth minute.

This was the basis for a domination of territory and possession that produced a penalty byfull-back Matthew Coonan in the 20th minute.

15 December 2022; St Mary’s players celebrate with the cup after the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Anne McInerny Cup (SCT) match between St. Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise and Ardgillan Community College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Ardgillan were not without their moments, forwards Kyle Russell and Callum Beasley and Jimmy McFaddden battling away on the fringes.

Just as they seemed certain to claw back the lead, St Mary’s Conor Raggett countered audaciously from his own line to flip the script.

Once out of the danger zone, the centre made ground in a hurry and out-half Jake Darcy Darcy moved the ball for Callum Leonard to score on the stand side for 15-0 at the break.

The Balbriggan school came out firing as Ciaran Rutherford, Conor Coleman and Peter Jennings tried to make something happen.

The persistence of the pack was rewarded when hard-grafting centre Peter Jennings found a soft shoulder to squeeze over in the 52nd minute.

The next score would be crucial to St Mary’s showing this was just a blip or Ardgillan mounting a serious comeback.

A sweeping move started by St Mary’s scrum-half PJ Larkin looked destined for the corner flag until the last pass went to ground.

Back came Ardgillan, Jennings and Coleman pulling the strings behind a resurgent pack of forwards for Darragh McFadden to scything through for a second try which the out-half also converted in the 68th minute.

St Mary’s came up hard to force a turnover from the restart and clutched a penalty at the breakdown for Coonan’s penalty to seal the issue.

St Mary’s – I Okonkwo, C Leonard try each; M Coonan 2 pens, con.
Ardgillan – D McFadden try, con; P Jennings try.

ST MARY’S – Matthew Coonan (Capt); Callum Leonard, Conor Raggett, Daniel Thornton, Paddy Reddin; Jake Darcy, PJ Larkin; Giovani Sales Bernardo, Evan Bergin, Corey Bartley, Evan Caffrey, Adam Glynn, Robert Keane, Ivan Okonkwo, Jake Andrew.
Replacements – Ciaran O’Brien-McCormack, Adam Raji, Tomi Adayemi, Aaron Kingston, Jamie Bartley-Bray, Tadgh O Sulivan, Conor Stack, Callum Fogarty.

ARDGILLAN – Eoin Birch; Cian Woods, Ben Mulvaney, Conor Coleman, Nathan Casserly; Darragh McFadden, Josh Clarke; Oisin McNamara, Jack Quinlan, Conor Mullen, Kyle Russell, Eoin Hannigan, Jimmy McFadden, Ciaran Rutherford, Callum Beasley.
Replacements – Darius Catana, Nathan Buckley, Peter Jennings, Cathal O’Rourke, Harry Gaffney, Shane Clarke, Jack Mongey, Zac Morcross.