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Michael's have backbone to crush Kilkenny dream

ST MICHAEL'S College v Kilkenny College, Donnybrook, Tuesday 3.0 - Setanta Ireland

Jeff Carter's Kilkenny have shown in recent years they fear no one and this Leinster Senior League-winning class, led by tearaway prop Shane Delahunt at loose-head, is better than most they have produced.

They have not quite risen to the heights that saw them squeeze out Castleknock 15-14 in the League final but, make no mistake, they have what it takes to test the best.

Number eight Ross Deacon, Delahunt, hooker Robin Foot and flanker Michael Triggs will scrap for everything.

The backline is a solid unit, centres Ross Bailey-Kearney and Sam Sterling giving them a competitive edge in midfield.

St Michael's have taken time to find their rhythm due to a titanic first-round struggle against Roscrea which took a replay (7-3) to define the winners.

There were clear and present signs that they were on an upward curve in the dismantling of Pres Bray in Tuesday's quarter.

Captain Dan Leavy is their prize forward, closely followed by number eight Donagh Lawlor in what is unquestionably the best back row in the competition.

Verdict: St Michael's


First Round: Kilkenny 39 St Andrew's 7; St Michael's 7 Roscrea 3 (replay).

Quarter-final: Kilkenny 22 CUS 17; St Michael's 42 Pres Bray 7.