Doris gets 'Rock rolling in seven-try demolition
Blackrock Col 53 Castleknock Col 8
Peter Smyth's wonder kids lived up to their billing as the competition's headline act as they blazeed their way to a seven-try blitz of Castleknock at Donnybrook yesterday.
In fact, the feeling-out process took some time as 'Knock went about disrupting 'Rock's continuity by getting in a hand, boot or whatever body part best suited to prevent rhythm.
The hot favourites were respectful in going for early penalties, the second and third of which gave them a 6-0 edge from full-back James McGowan's right boot.
Castleknock were not devoid of opportunity as Blackrock struggled to tame the restarts. Wing Marc Boucher struck for 25 metres to halve the deficit in the 16th minute.
All the while, there was the sense that the first try could lead to many. So it proved.
What transpired was seven tries from seven brothers as the systems finally connected to the pace dotted throughout their side, captain Caelan Doris the first to find the line in the 20th minute.
It looked worrying for the Vinnie Murray Cup finalists when 'Rock finished off tries by flanker John Fairley and wing Conor Kelly before the intervention of their captain Cathal Bermingham prevented a hat-trick of strikes from a third successive restart to leave it 27-3 at the break.
After that, it was a mission of damage limitation for 'Knock.
Okay, they gave way to full-back James McGowan - the goal kicker finished with 23 points - centre Gavin Mullin, replacement Emmet Burns and wing Patrick Patterson.
But, the loudest and longest cheer of the day was spared for Castleknock's final say from out-half Patrick Murtagh's creation of full-back Cathal Lacey's superb late try.
Blackrock - J McGowan; P Patterson, L Turner (A Alonso 48), G Mullin (F Power 53), C Kelly; C Dean (P Cullen 43), L Gaffney; R Mouatt, S McLoughlin (H Egelston 48), C Connolly (E Burns 43), C O'Flaherty, C Ryan, R Dunne (H Bourke 43), J Fairley (J Gardiner 44), C Doris (capt, G Coyne 53).
CastleknocK - C Lacey (C Egenton 65); R Hobson, N Eastmond (J McGaley 60), S Gibbons (capt), M Boucher; P Murtagh, L Salmon (J Connolly 48); J Keleghan (C Keogh 53), M Corcoran (J Gibney 28), G Murray (A Doyle 62), J Horgan, C Stinson (D Treacy 62), C Bermingham (capt), A Corcoran, C Clancy (D McNally 58).
Ref - P Haycock (Leinster Branch)
LEINSTER schools senior cup QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Blackrock College v Belvedere College.
Cistercian College Roscrea v Gonzaga College.
St Michael's College v Terenure College.
Clongowes Wood College v CBC Monkstown.
(Ties to be played February 7-11)