Sport Schools Rugby

Thursday 20 July 2017

Buggy brace sets up 'Zaga's last-four clash with Blackrock

Roscrea 24 Gonzaga 41 Leinster Schools Senior Cup

Seán Galvin of Gonzaga College in action against Adi Donavan of Cistercian College Roscrea Photo by Craig Hanbury/Sportsfile
Seán Galvin of Gonzaga College in action against Adi Donavan of Cistercian College Roscrea Photo by Craig Hanbury/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Gonzaga took another big step towards claiming their first ever Senior Cup title when they powered past Cistercian College Roscrea to send out a signal of their intent.

The task for the Ranelagh school doesn't get any easier after they were drawn with favourites Blackrock in the semi-final but the manner in which they dispatched last year's beaten finalists and 2015 winners will give them confidence of securing what would be a famous win.

It was yet another thrilling contest in Donnybrook as Roscrea clawed their way back from 10 points down to lead 19-17 at the end of relentless first half.

But three tries in a rampant seven-minute spell after the break ensured that 'Zaga remained on track to create history.

It looked ominous for Roscrea when tries from Eoin Buggy and David Lynch inside the opening six minutes left them trailing but they never panicked.

Reignited

Tadhg Bird of Cistercian College Roscrea is tackled by Micheal O'Kennedy of Gonzaga College Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Tadhg Bird of Cistercian College Roscrea is tackled by Micheal O'Kennedy of Gonzaga College Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

On their visit to the 'Zaga 22, they came away with a try from Neal Moylett and when impressive full-back Tadhg Bird added the extras, it reignited Roscrea's challenge.

They suffered a further setback five minutes later, however, when the industrious Buggy got over for his second try.

Michael O'Kennedy bisected the posts with the touchline conversion but Roscrea roared back again, this time with a try from Philip O'Shea that Bird again converted.

Out-half Conor Kelly pulled the strings brilliantly for Roscrea and he was instrumental in the build up to Michael Milne's powerful try before the break.

Suddenly, Roscrea led 19-17 but 'Zaga blitzed them shortly after the restart with Sean Galvin getting over the whitewash before Lynch ran the length of the pitch and set up O'Kennedy for a try that he converted himself.

Scrum-half James Kenny capped a brilliant individual display with a try after he took a quick penalty from close range.

O'Kennedy added the extras but when Bird set up Ryan Lomas for a scintillating try that cut the gap to 36-24, 'Zaga were momentarily sweating. Eoin Barr sealed a stunning win, however, when he ran in for their seventh try to spark the celebrations.

Cistercian College Roscrea - T Bird; B Hyland, P O'Shea, A Donavan (J Culleton 55), P Keane (E Browne 46); C Kelly (capt), L Crowley (J Matthews 43); R Lomas, T Byrne (J Cahir 49), M Milne; D Maher (J Canning 49), N Moylett; C Walsh (J Corcoran 55), R Enraght-Moony, J Brandon (L Rigney 60).

Gonzaga College - D Lynch; S Galvin, B O'Donnell, E Barr, H Twomey (E Allen 63); M O'Kennedy, J Kenny; M Gleeson (M Meagher 40), C Gleeson (capt), S Clear; E Buggy, R Kidney; I O'Grady, M Keegan (J Veale 65), E Barron.

REF - B Cuttriss (Leinster Branch)

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