Vinnie Murray Cup – Semi-final Preview
January 19, 2016 12:00 am client
Read a preview ahead of the Bank of Ireland Vinnie Murray Cup semi-finals, featuring Castleknock v Wilson’s Hospital and Wesley College v Skerries Community School.
Castleknock College v Wilson’s Hospital, Donnybrook 2pm
Coach Adrian Flavin will wait on a late fitness test for Castleknock’s Cathal Bermingham, his captain.
Should the flanker fail to come through, centre Sean Gibbons will lead an improving ‘Knock into the semi-final.
There were a number of changes from the first round to the quarter-final as they looked decidedly shaky in the 27-25 win over St Conleth’s College, although this was partly explained by the excellence of the McMullen Cup qualifiers.
The alterations had the desired effect in the last eight when De La Salle Churchtown were defeated 46-12 by a far more accurate Castleknock.
This time, they wasted fewer openings as James Brannigan and Nico Eastmond both pinched a pair of tries, putting them in a far more positive frame of mind.
Wilson’s were in a different league to first-time participants Coláiste Bhríde, from Carnew, in the quarter-final.
There were six tries in the 45-10 victory to complement the half-dozen from the 36-6 first round domination of Maynooth Post Primary.
Number eight Ruadhan McDonnell is their go-to forward and he has delivered on his promise with four tries in two matches.
It is not just a one-man band.
Centre Jason Shekleton lays down the law in defence with half-backs Daniel McHugh and Stephen Gill well armed with the skills to put their forwards on the front-foot.
Castleknock (Possible): Cathal Lacey; Marc Boucher, James Brannigan, Sean Gibbons (capt), Nico Eastmond; Patrick Murtagh, Liam Salmon; Jack Keleghan, Michael Corcoran, Gavin Murray, Jack Horgan, Daniel Treacy, Ryan Bougerra, Darragh McNally, Cian Clancy.
Wilson’s (Possible): Ian McCormack; Dan Higgins, Andrew Moorehead, Jason Shekleton, James Butler; Stephen Gill, Daniel McHugh; Jeff Gordon, Andrew Payton, Josh Anidi, Marvyn Lloyd, Matthew Dunlop, Charles Flynn, Alan Crowe (capt), Ruadhan McDonnell.
Wesley College v Skerries Community College, Donnybrook 4pm
Coach Patrick Collins would have been relieved to get over a highly talented St Fintan’s Hugh School 15-10 in the quarter-final.
Wesley came in cold on the back of a first round bye and it certainly looked that way as they came under considerable pressure for the first twenty minutes from a well varied, creative Sutton attack.
They were resilient in defence, holding out wave after wave and found the breathing space to launch a counter from which they scored the opening points.
It was clinical stuff.
There should be a good deal of improvement from Wes’ as all the pre-Cup matches and training sessions cannot quite prepare the body for the rigours of Senior Cup rugby.
They have individual game-breakers to go with an overall togetherness. Scrum-half Bill Corrigan is a capable goal-kicker and out-half Adam Curry is a big, effective specimen for the position.
Their natural leadership comes from the solid no nonsense work of captain Stephen May at number eight.
Skerries have mixed up the cutting edge with the more spectacular aspects of the game.
They were much too good for The High School (33-10) in the first round when full-back Robert McKey exploited the hard work of his inside men for two of their six tries.
Like, Wesley, they were given use of the super-quick Donnybrook 3G surface for the quarter-final where they were given a stern test by CUS before emerging 19-13 winners last week.
That will have them battle-hardened for what is sure to be a very physical contest.
Wesley: Alex Barlow; Tim Spencer, Daniel Gilmer, William Hayden, Alistair Quirke; Adam Curry (capt), Bill Corrigan; Campbell Classon, Andrew Egan, Sam Kenny, Luke Corish, David Motyer, Ben Whitehead, Matthew Guest, Stephen May.
Skerries (Possible): Hugo Lennox; Robert McKey, Ruairi Woods, Lorcan Jones, Daniel Dowling; Dean Lacey, Michael Woods; Benjamin Guildea, Conn Marrey, Mark McElroy, Jim Mulvany, Eoghan Attley, Jake Deering, Tom Carroll, George Harrington.