St Michael’s begin the defence of the Junior Cup with win over CUS
February 7, 2023 4:39 pm Des Berry
St Michael’s College 46 CUS 5.
A hat-trick by loose-head Conor Canniffe reflected the power on show as St Michael’s made it into the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final at Energia Park on Tuesday.
The holders came close on a number of occasions, twice being held up over the line and having a try disallowed as CUS forwards David Ginnelly and Conor Leavy led the resistance.
Eventually, a 5-metre tap penalty was the avenue to the first try by Canniffe in the 13th minute.
There were glimpses of the silky skills of captain Alex Morley on the ball, despite the fact CUS had precious little ball with which to work.
David Li corralled Eoin Loo at the corner flag and midfield partner Ethan Marshall wasn’t slow into the tackle either.
The weight of pressure had to tell, flanker Setanta McLaughlin barging through from close range for Harrison McMahon to convert in the 26th minute.
They came close again before the half on a positive note when Canniffe bulldozed over his second, converted by McMahon for 19-0 at the break.
The same traffic of forwards thundered on from a maul, Joe Kennedy rising to claim for the fourth try.
There was a sense of St Michael’s hitting full stride as Tom Reynolds crashed over and Josh Divillly bolted in on the right for 34-0 by the 44th minute.
Increasingly, CUS were struggling to retain the ball, a turnover leading to left-wing Loo’s try ahead of Canniffe completing his hat-trick for McMahon to convert.
The Leeson Street school were rewarded for their endeavour when a quick tap was turned into a try centre David Li at the end.
Scorers – St Michael’s: C Canniffe 3 tries; S McLaughlin, T Reynolds, J Divilly, E Loo, J Kennedy try each; H McMahon 3 cons.CUS – D Li try.
St Michael’s College – Sean King; Josh Divilly (Jame McMahon 56), Matthew Haugh, Scott Barron, Eoin Loo; Harrison McMahon (Sean O’Friel 56), Oliver de Vreeze (Andrew Norse 39); Conor Canniffe Cian Walsh 55), Joe Kennedy (Luke Loughney 55), Matthew Dredge (Dan O’Donohoe 39), Haydn Gallagher (Phil Lynch 51), Tom Reynolds (Patrick O’Farrell 51), Setanta McLaughlin, Owen Twomey, Myles Berman (Capt).
CUS – Daniel Clarke (Pierce Walsh 49); Joe Hoey, Ethan Marshall, David Li, Darragh Redmond (Cathal Langan 55); Alex Morley (Capt), Christian Shorthall (Senan Larkin 41); Benn Cunningham (Ryan Brazel 51), David Ginnelly, Loris Bacaoanu (John McKay 56), Ross Byrne (Andrew Maguire 40), Matthew Gillard (Aaron Murphy 51), Conor Leavy, Zach Foley (Christian McDonnell 55), Matthew Flynn.
Referee – N Behan, Leinster Branch.