Lightning Vance gets Pres up to speed in win over Kilkenny
Pres Bray 23 Kilkenny 0 - Leinster Schools Junior Cup
Pres Bray go into the draw for the quarter-finals tomorrow evening after a convincing victory at Donnybrook.
They won’t be taken lightly either after moving methodically clear of Kilkenny with tries by speedy centre James Vance and lock Liam Lupton-Smith in the sixth and 49th minutes, respectively.
Really, they would have been more convincing winners were it not for the steely resolve of Kilkenny’s defence in which captain Craig Strong and centre Jason Rothwell were robust.
The Marble city boys just didn’t have enough physicality up front, despite the work of flanker Malik Onilenla and No 8 Harry Steacy, to give them the front-foot ball to spread the Pres’ defence, even though they did have a threat from left wing Brandon Martin.
The Pres half-backs Elliott Ryan – he kicked five from five – and Mick O’Gara, a cousin to Jonathan Sexton, will be a handful for anyone with the latter never taking too much out of the ball.
O’Gara set up the first try be easing into space, drawing the last defender and putting Vance (pictured) in unopposed and it was Vance’s lightning raid down the left that forced a five-metre scrum before Lupton-Smith planted the second.
Pres Bray: A Walsh; A Conway (D Brien 59), J Vance, N Cummins, R Byrne; M O’Gara, E Ryan (C Williams 59); T Harbison (E Martin 59), N Groves, B Mercado (D Lim 59), J McGrath (C Mullen 56), L Lupton-Smith (R McDonald54), S Graham, C McKay, J McLaughlin (capt).
Kilkenny: W Seale; R Daly, J Rothwell, K Kirby, B Martin; C Strong (capt) (A Ross 21 temp), L Bradley (T Harkin 59); C Neale, D Young (S Claxton ht), A Earle (P Gill 59), T Awonusi, A Warner, C Meenagh (C Fahy-Davies 54), M Onilenla, H Steacy.
Referee: C Roche (Leinster Branch).