Thursday 20 July 2017

Morrissey gets 'Rock rolling

Blackrock College 25 Belvedere College 14

Michael Lowey of Blackrock is tackled by Belvedere’s Fergal O’Byrne. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Michael Lowey of Blackrock is tackled by Belvedere’s Fergal O’Byrne. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

For the second year running, it will be a Blackrock v St Michael's Leinster Schools Junior Cup final and, on this impressive evidence, the Ailesbury Road school will need to be on top of their game if they are to wrest the title from the reigning champions.

Hugh O'Malley's side hit the Donnybrook ground like an express train and were ten points to the good with just seven minutes gone thanks to tries from forwards Adam Simpson (three minutes) and Mark Morrissey (10) after two near-unstoppable rolling mauls.

Harry Murray of Belvedere College is tackled by Adam Dixon of Blackrock College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Harry Murray of Belvedere College is tackled by Adam Dixon of Blackrock College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Fetcher

The impressive Morrissey was the fetcher for both and his input was enormous throughout.

To add to Belvedere's woes, John Campbell crossed wide on the right for a well-worked three-quarter line try in the 24th minute, leaving the Great Denmark Street boys with a mountain to climb.

To their enormous credit, they worked their way back into the game from then to the interval, with scrum- half Jack MacNeice and full-back Simon Murphy exerting an increasing influence.

However, they were hit with a sucker-punch three minutes after the break when Blackrock No 8 Liam Heylin touched down for another well-constructed pushover try to make it 20-0.

Referee Kevin Beggs awards a try to Blackrock College as their forwards push over the line. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Referee Kevin Beggs awards a try to Blackrock College as their forwards push over the line. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Belvo gave 'Rock a dose of their own mauling medicine with a try from tighthead Hugh Flood on 39 minutes.

Murphy added the conversion points and the attempted fightback was up and running.

Alas, someone forgot to show Shane Murray the script and, with 10 minutes to go, the free-running 'Rock full-back was at the end of a flowing move involving Matthew Cullen and Michael Moloney up the left for a well-earned and match-clinching try.

Belvedere reduced the deficit in the very last minute when Peter O'Farrell was the beneficiary of some impressive black and white forward graft, the replacement scrum-half diving over the line next to the posts.

Adam Simpson of Blackrock College is tackled by Eoghan Rutlege of Belvedere College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Adam Simpson of Blackrock College is tackled by Eoghan Rutlege of Belvedere College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Murphy once again added the conversion to complete the scoring.

The defending champions were well worth their 11-point winning margin and five impressive tries ought sound a warning to pre-tournament favourites St Michael's. We are in for some final at the same venue this day next week.

 

Blackrock - S Murray; J Campbell, S Small, A Dixon, M Lowey (P McGowan 49); M Moloney (B Brownlee 54), M Cullen (S Lowe 59); B Melly-Murphy, C O'Carroll (D Moloney 59), S Barron (H Cullen 54); M Morrissey (M Wood 54), H O'Malley (capt); A Simpson (J Byrne 54), J Culhane and L Heylin (P O'Connor 59).

Belvedere - S Murphy; E Farquharson (D O'Driscoll 34), H Murray, F O'Byrne, E MacAdaimh; D Hawkshaw (D O'Grady 55), J MacNeice (capt) (P O'Farrell 40); E Campbell-Foley, A Beatty, H Flood; B Bolger, J Ross; E Rutledge (J Gleeson 55), E O'Neill and H McPeake. Ref - K Beggs (ARLB)

Harry Murray of Belvedere College is tackled by James Culhane of Blackrock College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Harry Murray of Belvedere College is tackled by James Culhane of Blackrock College. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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