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Sole survivors Newpark see off Churchtown to book Mary's date

The four McMullen Cup qualifiers for the Vinnie Murray Cup had been whittled down to one by the time of the quarter-final stage yesterday.

Wilson's Hospital (beaten by CBC Monkstown 31-3), CBS Naas (beaten by Gonzaga 34-0) and St Patrick's Navan (beaten by De La Salle, Churchtown 10-7) were all elbowed aside at this higher level.

However, Newpark Comprehensive followed their first-round 18-11 decision over Wesley with a comfortable 15-3 victory over De La Salle Churchtown to force their way into the Vinnie Murray semi-final and the Leinster Senior Cup first round proper for the first time since the start of the three-section format.

For their trouble, they will have to counter the well-oiled machine that is St Mary's College in what will be a massive test of their resolve. That is for another day.

For now, it is a proud moment for coaches Andrew Adams and Morgan Lennon, two men who have toiled away in the McMullen Cup for a number of years, and their players.

This was a day on which Newpark could take great pride in all who wore the blue, with lock Raef Garland, scrum-half Evan Thornley (pictured) and captain Sean Reynolds all superb. But it was out-half Michael Halpin who stole the show with both tries and all the points.

Long-striding centre Gary Foxton struck from distance for two tries to confirm St Andrew's 33-12 graduation over Templeogue College at the Iveagh Grounds.

It means St Andrew's qualify for a Senior Cup first-round tussle with Kilkenny College next Tuesday, and they will go into that with a fair degree of confidence against the Leinster Senior League semi-finalists.

They were clinical in their approach play, signing off on first-half tries from right wing Michael Ruttle, centre Adam McDonagh and tight-head Jake Cawley in what was a free-flowing match.

CBC Monkstown had to work every inch of the way to slip past Skerries Community College 10-3 at Station Road.

The strong wind was a factor as Skerries went about physically dominating CBC with their close-in driving. Out-half Paul O'Loghlen struck a third-minute penalty. Despite the prominence of blindside Alan O'Connor and hooker Chris Tonge they could not budge the scoreboard.

Monkstown out-half Aaron Sheehan, blindside Rory Keogh and full-back Darren O'Brien were their key architects of the comeback in which centre Robert Hallam and wing Conor Martin struck for the crucial tries in the 39th and 59th minutes.


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