Outstanding 'Rock will take some stopping in Junior final
Blackrock College 38 Belvedere College 6
Revenge was sweet and unforgiving as Blackrock made good the Senior loss to the same opposition with a comprehensive victory in this second Junior cup semi-final at Donnybrook yesterday.
And on this impressive evidence St Michael's are going to have their work cut out preventing the red-hot favourites making it four under-16 titles in a row. Belvo gave it their best but from loosehead Liam Marshall to full-back Ross Barron and right through the replacements this is a 'Rock group without an apparent weakness.
Right from the off with Ben Wallace, John Corless and Ed Brennan leading the way control at the breakdown was relentless with Luke Mion crashing over under the posts for a patient and well-worked early try converted by their impressive out-half and goal-kicker David Fitzgibbon.
John Meagher and Fitzgibbon then exchanged penalties as Belvo settled to the enormity of the task. Donnacha Donnelly's athleticism out of touch was as effective as it was eye-catching. That and a powerful defensive performance kept 'Rock at bay and just 10-3 ahead at the break.
However, within minutes of the restart the writing was on the wall as the back three of Barron, Niall Comerford and Ben White began to see more quality possession. Both wings and the full-back refused to die with the ball. A timely pass from Tim D'Arcy to Barron following a sweeping backline move paved the way for try number two. Fitzgibbon landed the massive conversion from the touchline for a 17-3 lead.
Despite the rising tide Belvo never folded and Cailean Mulvaney landed a massive penalty in the 38th minute to narrow the gap but that was as good as it got. Four minutes later and a decisive break from the talented Fitzgibbon resulted in Wallace, Mion and the electric Jack Loscher handling for the latter to side-step his way over the line for try number three. Fitzgibbon again added the extras.
The same player was again centrally involved when paving the way for Corless courtesy of the free-running Barron to crash over next to the posts with the out-half again converting. The powerful Brennan then added the icing in the final minute with try number five for Charlie Reilly to complete the scoring. On this impressive evidence they look nigh on unstoppable.
BLACKROCK - R Barron (R O'Farrell); N Comerford, T D'Arcy, G Jones (Captain), B White; D Fitzgibbon (C Reilly), C Rolland (S Dunne); L Marshall (T Handrick), B Wallace (K McQuaid), L Mion; S O'Brien (C O'Neill), J Corless; M Flynn, J Loscher, E Brennan.
BELVEDERE - R Dwyer; C Rogers (M Grogan), A Feely, C Mulvaney, R Doran; J Meagher (Captain), P Lysaght (J McNeice); C Cagney, A Synnott (J Cahill), J O'Sullivan (M Galinski); A Maher (C Kehoe), A Soroka (C Fitzgerald); D Donnelly, C Maher, A Coleman.