Sweet 16 for Cosgrave and St Michael's
St Michael's 31 Blackrock 17
They say the cream rises to the top and yesterday in much improved weather at Donnybrook it certainly did. Pre-tournament favourites St Michael's deservedly captured the Leinster Junior Cup for the fourth time in the school's history.
A week ago in horrendous conditions they almost scraped it by way of a late Chris Cosgrave drop goal but this time there was no doubt as the best squad over the season produced a performance befitting the occasion.
Blackrock, inspired by the likes of Scott Barron, Mark Morrissey and workaholic wings John Campbell and Michael Lowey, gave it their best shot but this was Michael's day as skipper William Hickey paved the way for a complete team performance.
Where Hickey went and scavenged, Lee Barron, Jack Guinane, Jack Boyle and the rest followed. The 'Rock maul, so influential in the drawn game, was kept at bay while from Jeffrey Woods through to Eddie Kelly the star-studded back line delivered. And of course in centre Cosgrave they boast an underage star above the ordinary.
He touched down for two of his side's five tries, converting three for a personal tally of 16. His opening salvo in the ninth minute was right out of the top drawer when following a scrum inside their own half Woods, Niall Carroll and Kelly all handled before Cosgrave, without breaking stride, placed the most delicate chip over defending full-back Shane Murray to race in for a five-pointer.
'Rock worked a penalty to reduce the deficit before Boyle's try in the corner and another from Carroll gave Michael's a 19-3 half-time lead.
The outstanding Hickey made the intercept for Hugo McWade to link up with Cosgrave to scorch away for try number four with the same player converting. Liam Heylin replied in the 50th minute with Michael Moloney converting to leave it at 26-10 but a Zach Harrison try converted by Cosgrave left little doubt save for a final Blackrock try by Seb Lowe superbly converted by Moloney in injury time.
St Michael's - E Kelly; S O'Kelly (S O'Shea 56), C Cosgrave, T Gilsenan (H McWade 22), Z Harrison; N Carroll, J Woods (J Gali 56); L Barron (B Cuddy 58), C Booth (C Baird 58), J Power (B Quigley 45); S Woods (C Casey 56), J Guinane; O Hurley (J Egan 42), W Hickey (capt), J Boyle.
Blackrock - S Murray; J Campbell, S Small, B Brownlee (S Lowe 42), M Lowey (P McGowan 56); A Dixon (M Moloney 50), M Cullen (P O'Connor 56); B Melly Murphy (H Cullen 50), C O'Carroll (D Cosgrave 56), S Barron (M Wood 32); M Morrissey, H O'Malley (Captain); D Moloney (J Byrne 34), J Culhane, L Heylin.
Ref - B McNeice (ARLB)