Roscrea, Monkstown and Gonzaga all advance in Leinster Schools Senior Cup
February 3, 2023 4:25 pm Des Berry
Cistercian College Roscrea 29 CUS 17
Doubles by Dan Punch and Adrian Dunne powered Roscrea into the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final at Lakeland’s Park on Friday.
Their reward is a quarter-final showdown with Blackrock, not exactly a reward for good behaviour.
It wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest, CUS even holding a 12-10 lead at the break to suggest a shock was on the cards.
A spectacular take from the kick-off by wing Dunne and smart work by hooker Lee Fitzpatrick from a short lineout enabled Roscrea to threaten in the early going.
CUS, battle-tested from the Vinnie Murray Cup, stood up well to a barrage of big runners before Niall Cox cleared his lines.
A muscular burst from captain Richie Whelan, supported by Billy Hayes, took Roscrea to within striking distance.
Lee Fitzpatrick was the next line-breaker to exploit a hole, the ball moved right where Punch provided the overlap for the first try in the 10th minute.
Two minutes later, just as CUS settled in for their first foray forward, Punch shot out of the line to take his interception three-quarters the length of the field for a double.
There were positive signs of life as CUS forced mistakes, a lineout and try-line pressure, Treacy driven back five metres by a gang tackle.
Still, they stayed committed to the plan, working the ball well enough for Sean Byrne to duck inside a tackle to make it 10-5 on the half-hour.
In addition, hooker Fitzpatrick was binned for an off-the-ball action to give CUS further reason to believe.
A high tackle was the trigger for Cox to fire the ball to the corner, Dualta Larkin rising at the lineout and scrum-half Charlie O’Byrne sniping for the try which Cox converted for a 12-10 lead at the break.
From the restart, Rory Glyn burst clear. Ros’ was denied by a Dunne foot-in-touch. But, in the ensuing surge, Naughton put Dunne over at the posts and Naughton converted for 17-12 in the 38th minute.
In a flash, the Offaly school was back in business, Punch sending Dunne in on the left for his second.
A pre-planned attack off a scrum was beautifully executed for Naughton to score from his one-two with Punch and convert for 29-12 in the 52nd minute.
CUS revived their challenge from a lineout when loose-head prop Aidan Walsh blasted over in the 62nd minute.
It was as good as it got for them.
Scorers – Roscrea – D Punch, A Dunne 2 tries each; C Naughton try, 2 cons. CUS – S Byrne, C O’Byrne, A Walsh try each; N Cox con.
Roscrea – Andrew Walsh; Dan Punch, James Conroy (Jack Deegan 20), Billy Kelly, Adrian Dunne; Charlie Naughton, Sean Finlay (Josh Powell 56); Rory Og Doody (Mike Metcalfe 65), Lee Fitzpatrick, Caleb Kennedy, Caleb Schofield (Joe Finn 65), Rory Glynn, Devon Byrne, Billy Hayes, Richie Whelan (Capt).
CUS – Jack Grant; Sean Turner, Rian Treacy, Sean Byrne, Senan Campbell (Eamon McNicholas 65); Niall Cox, Charlie O’Byrne (Josh Gordon 64); Aidan Walsh, Lucas Maguire (Capt), Conall Lohan-Kilraine (James Ginnelly 63), Dualta Larkin (Leo Beary 65), Oliver Manks (Evan Judge 37), Hugh Quigley, Ruben Maguire (Eoghan O’Reilly 57), Dylan McNeice.
Referee: S Holt, Leinster Branch.
CBC Monkstown 22 St Vincent’s Castleknock College 12
CBC Monkstown caused the first surprise, if not quite shock, in the competition with a well-deserved win over Castleknock at Energia Park.
The controlled aggression with which CBC came to work was the decisive factor as no.8 Charlie Meagher and lock Rory Balmaine put in herculean efforts.
They even had to come from behind as ‘Knock got out to a solid start, their captain Daniel Ruane on the end of a rousing bout of carrying by the forwards in the fourth minute.
However, CBC made their way into the game, partly off the back of mistakes by Castleknock and partly off their domination of territory.
Out-half Ronan Mahon was able to arrow a kick close to the corner where the forwards simply took over for number eight Meagher to ground the ball.
At this point, they had the momentum in the game only to lose Liam Guckian to a yellow card, surviving the disadvantage in numbers.
The return of Guckian came in tandem with improved field position and, similar to the first, hooker Luan Moloney as the beneficiary of a fine lineout and maul in the 22nd minute.
The edge in territory continued and, from a try line drop-out, CBC attacked well enough to get within metres, Balmaine using his bulk to secure their third try for 15-5 at the break.
It took ‘Knock all of 20 minutes to claw their way back into the game, captain Peter McEntaggart surging through for Sam Wisniewski to reduce the gap to three points from the conversion in the 55th minute.
By this time, CBC had lost their talisman Meagher. It meant the game was on a knife edge, CBC showing the character and the composure to come again through their maul to earn a penalty try.
From there, the comfort of a two-score lead was all the incentive they needed to hold out for a fine win.
Scorers – CBC – C Meagher, L Moloney, R Balmaine try each; Pen try. Castleknock – D Ruane, P McEntaggart try each; S Wisniewski con.
CBC Monkstown – Danny Killeen; Sam Greany, Milo Quinn, Adam Fitzsimons Nolan, Cal Traynor Russell; Ronan Mahon, Eoghan O’Hanlon; David McGovern (Christopher O’Toole 68), Luan Moloney, Adam Bolton, Rory Balmaine, Thomas Chadwick (Capt), Liam Guckian, Louis Cahill (Cian O’Donnell 60), Charlie Meagher (Nathan O’Campo 48).
Castleknock – Ben Elliott; Daire Enright, Peter McEntegart (Capt), Sam Wisniewski, Alex Tilly; Ross O’Connor (Emmet Brady 65), Luke Donohue; Rob Niland Colm Barrett 68), Max Lavelle (Eamon Shanahan 68), Billy Dowling, Conor Boyle, Wali Khwaja, Ben Foley (Odhran Malone 32), Conan Lennon, Danny Ruane (Max Kennedy 57).
Replacements: Eamon Shanahan, Colm Barrett, John Cadogan, Max Kennedy, Odhran Malone, Charlie Ward, Emmet Brady, Jack O’Neill.
Gonzaga College 64 St Andrew’s College 15
Gonzaga will meet St Mary’s in the quarter-finals after putting 10-tires on St Andrew’s at Castle Avenue.
The Leinster League winners are far beyond the tag of ‘dark horses’ these days, looking to go one better than last year.
Their form all season has them ranked as frontrunners with captain Paul Wilson and Ireland Schools strike runner Hugo McLaughlin big players ro the big occasion.
St Andrew’s, like CUS, came through the Vinnie Murray Cup to be in a good place for the first round.
‘Zaga were straight to work, Finn O’Neill grounding from a maul for Stephen McMahon to convert.
St Andrew’s did make enough headway to force an unsuccessful shot at goal before captain Wilson smashed in a try for McMahon to convert.
The timing of McLaughlin was enough to split St Andrew’s open for the third and Wilson used a maul to create the opening for his second.
A fast-moving attack on the blindside allowed McLaughlin to scoot over, McMahon perfect for the fifth conversion at the half-hour mark.
St Andrew’s had the resolve to come on strong late in the half for left wing Jake Dolly to crack the cover for 35-5 at the break.
Unfortunately, they were rocked back soon enough, hooker Luke McLaughlin bulling his way over for the sixth try.
It was a test of character for the Booterstown school, led by the impressive Adam Tobin, they kept at it for the number eight to squeeze over.
Rolls-Royce runner McLaughlin was in for his hat-trick, McMahon maintaining his strike rate with seven-from-seven conversions.
Right wing Harry MacChesney was sharp enough to maintain his try-scoring touch from the Vinnie Murray Cup.
There was still enough time for left-wing Mike Wall, centre Aidan O’Flanagan and replacement Richie Coman to add tries.
Scorers – Gonzaga – H McLaughlin 3 tries; P Wilson 2 tries; F O’Neill, L McLaughlin, M Wall, A O’Flanagan, R Coman try each; S McMahon 7 cons. St Andrew’s – J Dolly, A Tobin, H MacChesney try each.
Gonzaga – Hugo McLaughlin; JP Breslin, Aidan O’Flanagan, Jody Browne, Mikey Wall; Stephen McMahon, James O’Dwyer; Finn O’Neill, Luke McLaughlin, Adam McVerry, Jamie Kennedy, Tom Wyley, Gavin O’Grady, Gavin O’Donnell, Paul Wilson (Capt).
Replacements – Jack Kelly, Patrick O’Brien, Jamie Sheil, Charlie Kennedy, Morgan Tyrrell, Richie Coman, Daragh O’Dwyer, Patrick Masterson.
St Andrew’s – Kiran Byrne; Harry MacChesney, Conn Doherty, Joe Ballance, Jake Dolly; Francis Manzocchi, Charlie Byrne; Jude McCrea, Patrick McIlduff, Jack Bourke, Thomas Ryan, James O’Donoghue, Josh Perrem (Capt), Rocco Hill, Adam Tobin.
Replacements – Ryan Browne, Adam O’Toole, Nathan Kennedy, Conor Roche, Karl Deegan, Simon O’Kelly, Max Kickham, Hugh Brownlee.