Senior Cup Preview: Clongowes v Belvedere
March 2, 2015 12:00 am client
In the first semi-final of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup, in association with Beauchamps Solicitors, Clongowes Wood take on Belvedere College in Donnybrook Stadium.
Clongowes Wood College v Belvedere College, Tuesday, March 3rd, Donnybrook, Kick-off 4.00pm.
The way Clongowes Wood dealt with the power plays of St Michael’s must make them the outright favourites to capture the Leinster Schools Senior Cup for the first time since 2011.
As St Michael’s have shown, this label can be more of a curse than a blessing. You have to embrace it. You have to prevent it from causing a degree of complacency to creep in. Afterall, these are still boys, not men.
There does appear to be a more rounded look to Clongowes Wood with X factor brilliance from centre Colm Mulcahy and late-into-the-line punch from right wing James Lappin.
The heartbeat of the forward pack is captain John Molony with able sidekicks in props Nicholas Rinklin and Charlie Carroll. Their chief danger man is flanker Will Connors for his ability to find the far side of the gain line from hard, direct carrying as they pursue a ninth Senior Cup.
The Great Denmark Street nursery bring, arguably, the best footballing half-back combination in the competition in Hugh O’Sullivan and Conor Jennings, although O’Sullivan was removed to full-back for the quarter-final handling of CBC Monkstown.
It remains to be seen whether the terrific two will be reunited to feed a strong running backline with James McKeown – he racked up a hat-trick against CBC – and Sean Long the main strike threats on the evidence of their eleven tries over two rounds.
The decision in the centre will come down to whether to accommodate Declan Monaghan beside McKeown or restore the first round pairing with Long.
Like any other Phil Werahiko collective, they trade on a no-nonsense physical approach with a real go-to man in number eight Tom de Jongh and a back row completed by Max Kearney and Jesse Iredale.
They will be all-out to add to their ten Senior Cup titles, the last coming in 2008 when current Melbourne Rebels hooker Tom Sexton was captain.
Belvedere (Possible): H O’Sullivan; E Cleere, J McKeown, D Monaghan, S Long; C Jennings, G O’Kelly; M Sweeney (capt), A Hynes, E Molloy, C McCaffrey, B Egan, J Iredale, M Kearney, T de Jongh.
Clongowes (Possible): M Silvester; J Lappin, C Mulcahy, M McDermott, C Murray; J Glynn, R Osborne; N Rinklin, J Molony (capt), C Carroll, D O’Mahony, T Burke, W Connors, D Mongey, S McCrohan.
PATHS TO THE SEMI-FINAL.
Clongowes beat Castleknock 70-8 in the first round & defeated St Michael’s 19-13 in the quarter-final.
Belvedere beat Gonzaga 32-5 in the first round & overcame CBC Monkstown 42-14 in the quarter-final.
Tickets (available at the gate)
School Boys – €;5
Adults Stand – €;15
Adults Ground – €;10
Students/OAPs – €;5