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Blackrock College captain Andrew Murphy with the cup after the match. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Blackrock College captain Andrew Murphy with the cup after the match. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Blackrock College captain Andrew Murphy with the cup after the match. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

BLACKROCK College are truly the kingpins of Leinster schools rugby once again as they completed the Beauchamps Senior and Junior Cup double for the 26th time in their long and illustrious history.

A measure of this achievement is that just four other schools have won the double and they have all managed it just once – St Michael's in 2012, Belvedere in 2005, Terenure in 1958 and Castleknock in 1920.

Even more impressively, 'Rock completed back-to-back Senior and Junior Cup doubles as their trophy-laden bandwagon rolls on.

Is it possible to compare this year with last? "This side probably developed more in the latter stages of the season. They developed a really good understanding of what they were trying to achieve," said JCT coach Justin Vanstone, in his second year.

"These guys probably improved more man-for-man than last year's side. That is not to say they were better. They stayed unbeaten through the season over 24 matches."

QUALITY

The Williamstown U16s had to deal with the live threat of Belvedere in the final in Tallaght Stadium – staged there for the first time in the competition – last Sunday in what was a contest high in quality and entertainment.

For the first time this season Blackrock had to rely on their character rather than the box of tricks that saw them steamroll CBC Monkstown (37-0), Catholic University School (53-0) and Terenure College (41-3) in the semi-final.

In hindsight, they won the Junior Cup the way you would want it against a top-notch opponent Belvedere, who made them sweat every minute of the 60 for their 14-10 victory.

The 'Rock pack was the key to their success, led by omnipresent captain and number eight Andrew Murphy and destructive loosehead Alan Francis.

The value of tries from scrum-half Patrick Patterson in the 14th minute and replacement Tom Roche in the 37th minute, both converted by out-half Peter O'Reilly, could not be overestimated.

Left wing Dylan Corrigan-Forbes kept Belvo' in touch, just about, with a first-half injury-time penalty, not long after he was tackled into touch when a try looked more likely.

The weight of pressure Blackrock applied was heroically repelled by the equally committed Belvo's forwards, led by number eight Max Kearney.

When Francis was binned in the 53rd minute, it caused a shift in momentum as the Black and Whites backs began to threaten consistently in the final frantic minutes.

Their problem was that the breakthrough, when it came from fly-half David Hawkshaw's try, came too late, despite the conversion from David Lacey.


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