Clongowes Wood College and St Fintan’s High School completed the list of Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup quarter-finalists.

At the end of a wonderful week of rugby, St Fintan’s and St Mary’s College served up the tie of the first round and Temple Carrig School gave it everything in defeat to Clongowes Wood.

St Fintan’s High School 31 St Mary’s College 26

Ryan Curley grabbed the glory as St Fintan’s edged past St Mary’s in a thrill-a-minute match-up.

The well-reported size of the Sutton school meant St Mary’s looked to play at a pace which their opponents weren’t used to. This was assisted by the first use of possession.

The Rathmines nursery steamed onto the ball from the get-go, using wit and width to get in behind, establishing their driving game deep inside the 22.

Eventually, sustained pressure which included being held up over the line led to a try by captain James Gannon from a tap-and-go.

This was exactly what St Fintan’s would have feared, being run off their feet by an agile, fast-twitch attack.

However, they took their medicine in plotting a way forward, the lineout opening up an avenue for flanker Tadhg O’Connor-O’Hehir to cut clean through for a try, converted by Ben Barnes for a 7-5 lead in the sixth minute.

They spurned an easy penalty in a high-risk strategy that worked out perfectly, Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir taking the ball from the base of a scrum to find his rampaging brother on his inside for his second try in the 15th minute.

Almost immediately, Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir was streaking up the far touchline, cutting inside to connect with flanker Adam Coffey, the link to hooker Simon Cantwell for a spectacular third.

Better again, they contained a St Mary’s maul, forcing a turnover only failing to find touch. The ball was returned with interest by Harry Cooke and centre Conor Cantwell’s second touch was the key to the try, full-back Cooke converting for 17-12 in the 24th minute.

The sheer bulk of St Fintan’s was allied to movement and skill, prop Ponamu Palazzetti next to breach the defence from close range for Barnes to add the extras for 24-12 at the break.

It would take all of St Mary’s ingenuity to turn it around. It didn’t help that St Fintan’s centre Marcel Haas was in to claim a penalty on the floor when the defence was stretched.

The ploy to tire out the bigger boys was understandable, out-half Paul Neary probing well enough for wing Matthew Morrissey to break free for a try, converted by Cooke in the 37th minute.

The flow of St Mary’s was becoming a problem, a lineout leading to an all-out assault on the line, Conor Cantwell taking a clever angle onto the ball for his second try, Cooke’s conversion making it 26-24 in the 40th minute.

The O’Connor-O’Hehir brothers propelled St Fintan’s forward where wing Curley was turned over by scrum-half Alexander Crawley.

Full-back Rohan O’Shea’s mazy run was countered by Conor Cantwell’s long ball out of defence as a breather to the non-stop action.

Gradually, St Fintan’s regained their composure, moving with stealth until indiscipline cost them ground and Gannon nabbed a penalty at the breakdown.

Just when it seemed the chance was gone, Curley set off up the left and a mesmeric attack, involving backs and forwards, ended with Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir offloading to Kelly for a spectacular try, converted by Cantwell in the 58th minute.

And still, it wasn’t over. St Mary’s came one last time, their forwards employing the pick-and-go all the way to the line where they were held up to signal the end of a titanic tussle.

Scorers – St Fintan’s High School: T O’Connor-O’Hehir two tries; S Cantwell, try, con; R Curley, P Palazzetti try each; B Barnes two cons. St Mary’s College: C Cantwell two tries; J Gannon, M Morrissey try each; H Cooke three cons.

St Fintan’s High School – Rohan O’Shea; Oisin Kelly, Marcel Haas, Louis Martin, Ryan Curley (Tadhg Young 49); Ben Barnes, James Burke; Ponamu Palazzetti, Simon Cantwell, Robert Harvey (capt), Patrick Fogarty, Michael Bolger, Adam Coffey, Tadhg O’Connor O’Hehir, Rory O’Connor O’Hehir.

St Mary’s College – Harry Cooke; Toby Coleman, Conor Cantwell, David Oakes, Matthew Morrissey; Paul Neary, Alexander Crawley; Gregory Ewing, Cuan Enright, Patrick Tuite (Charlie Murray-Norton 37), Robert O’Connor, Max Egan, Diarmuid O’Shea, Mark Gallagher, James Gannon (capt).

Referee – M Enderby

Clongowes Wood College 29 Temple Carrig School 0

The spread of five tries by five different players was a reflection of Clongowes’ all-round game plan against Temple Carrig in the last match of the round.

The Clane school wasted no time in showing their hand, Max Doyle tearing down the left, the maul making ground and prop Luke Murtagh being held up over the line.

From the drop-out under the posts, the relentless nature of their carrying culminated in hooker Conor Keogh splitting the ruck for the first try, converted by Ross Doyle.

Out-half Doyle’s big boot took Clongowes out of the 22 and a follow-up grubber put them deep inside the 22.

They pitched a tent in the right corner and only folded it when Max Doyle made the most of a maul for brother Ross to convert for a 14-point lead in the 10th minute.

The covering of Freddie Packman put paid to Patrick Moloney’s search for a third and Temple Carrig out-half Jack Caffery cleared with authority.

A surging sprint through the middle by Artur Ashmore sucked in the defence and a left-handed pass provided replacement Dara Fitzpatrick with the assist for Marcus Sullivan’s finish on the right in the 20th minute.

Temple Carrig kept coming off the line, Caffery, Alex Bartak and Ben Griffiths leading the line of resistance.

There was tenacity in the tight too where Donnacha Gleeson, Daragh Keogh and Daniel Burns fought the good fight to keep it at 19-0 at the break.

It was all about using organisation and aggression in defence for Temple Carrig to claw their way back into it.

Alas, they couldn’t hold out long enough to frustrate Clongowes full-back Finn Kehoe snatching the ball to go over on the right.

Corey O’Brien was holding the fort on the right wing with exemplary defence and captain Darragh Shanahan was defiant on more than one occasion.

A beautiful break and offload by Packman was hindered by happening so deep inside the 22, delaying the next inevitable surge.

Hooker Gleeson managed to hold Max Doyle up over the line and scrum-half Dylan Burke was brave in going low on blindside Simon Kelly.

Eventually, the simple execution of catch-pass in the midfield from a loose ball sent wing Moloney away to the left corner in the 58th minute.

Temple Carrig finished the game on the up, wing Tomas Lawniczak scooting up the flank and flanker Daniel Burns leading a late onslaught that could not quite break Clongowes down.

Scorers – Clongowes Wood College: M Doyle, C Keogh, M Sullivan, F Kehoe, P Moloney try each; R Doyle two cons.

Clongowes Wood College – Finn Kehoe; Marcus Sullivan, Tomas Strickland (Tom Walsh 39), Artur Ashmore (Dara Fitzpatrick h-t), Patrick Moloney; Ross Doyle, Matthew Mooney (Rossa Williams h-t); Jack O’Connor (Scott Hickey h-t), Conor Keogh (Tom Groome h-t), Luke Murtagh (Oisin Lambe 51), Conor Hogan (Charlie Hussey h-t), Kavy Mebuin, Simon Kelly, Josh Williamson (Matthew Smyth 51), Max Doyle (capt).

Temple Carrig School – Oisin Ivory (Shane Collins 35); Corey O’Brien (Marc Homan 37), Freddie Packman, Darragh Shanahan (capt), Thomas Lawniczak; Jack Caffery, Dylan Burke (Charlie Sammon 58); Federico Ascoli (Tom Scully 58), Donnacha Gleeson (Ben Morgan 58), Daragh Keogh, Lucas O’Gorman (Charlie Fox 58), Nicko Stewart (Lucas Bolger 58), Alex Bartak, Daniel Burns, Ben Griffiths (Lucas Fitzgerald 52).

Referee – C Wardrop