Belvo are kings of the Castle

Old Belvedere have won the Friends First Castle Trophy following an undefeated campaign in the All Ireland Under-21 rugby festival which took place at Blackrock College RFC on Saturday.

Old Belvedere won the final 24-0 against Lansdowne.

Blackrock College RFC reintroduced the tournament to mark their 50th anniversary at their club headquarters in Stradbrook, where the original tournament began in 1966.

The tournament will now convene on an annual basis and will be contested by hosts Blackrock College RFC, Old Belvedere and the eight teams that qualify into the play-offs of the Frazer McMullen competition.

The Blackrock Festival, which used to be the traditional season curtain-raiser for senior clubs in the pre-professional era, has been revived as an All-Ireland Under-21 Festival, sponsored by Friends First.

The Festival also featured the first holding of the Eric O'Connor Mini Rugby Festival for the under-11 and under-12 age groups in memory of the Blackrock player who passed away after a long battle with leukaemia in January.

Twenty-four teams participated in both age categories with the focus being on sportsmanship rather than tries scored. The Festival was enhanced by the very generous support of many Leinster AIL Panel referees who provided boys, coaches and supporters with a master class of rugby refereeing.

Eric's father, James, presented the Eric O'Connor Plate to the Naas Under-11 II team and the Eric O'Connor Cup to the Seapoint Under-12 II team. Blackrock are looking forward to an even bigger festival next year.