Belvedere burst out of blocks to seal Plate double
CISTERCIAN ROSCREA 3
CAPTAIN Conor McCaffrey led by example as Belvedere College completed a Leinster Schools Plate double by overcoming Cistercian College Roscrea in the junior final at sunny North Kildare RFC yesterday.
If a good start is usually half the battle, it was more than that here as Belvedere scrum-half Greg Kelly plunged for the line in the fifth minute and centre Niall Groome strode between defenders for a second try, converted by Conor Jennings, to make it 12-0 after 17 minutes.
There was still a way back for Roscrea, their dangerous backline almost carving out a response, sparked by excellent full-back Tim Carroll, only for Belvedere full-back Sean Long to tackle wing Joe Murphy into touch at the corner flag.
Roscrea did, however, find comfort from out-half Alan Tynan's 28th-minute penalty from 30 metres following a counter-attack by Carroll to make it 12-3 at the interval.
The elements were behind Roscrea in the second period but they failed to make use of the wind, opting to run when putting boot to ball would have been a better option at times.
Jennings stretched the eventual winners' lead with a penalty born out of wing Daragh Boylan's surge, which would have brought a try but for a tremendous tackle by Matthew Keane.
From there, Belvedere were content to hold their line, although Roscrea centre Robert Wharton was felled just short as a sharp reminder of the lurking danger. Belvedere then worked their way upfield, drawing a penalty. Jennings dispatched it to touch from where a clean line-out and drive ended with hooker Andrew Hynes putting a seal on their victory.
Belvedere -- S Long; D Boylan, A O'Brien (C McGinn 44), N Groome (J Iredale 53), J Mulvaney; C Jennings, G Kelly; M Sweeney, A Hynes, E Meade (C McCarthy 51); S Smyth, A McClean; C McCaffrey (capt), D McCaffrey, F Kelly (P Wade 40).
Cistercian Roscrea -- T Carroll (M Jordan h-t, T Devine 57); J Murphy, R Wharton, D Lavelle (capt), J Fox; A Tynan, R Ryan; P McKeon, R Nerney, D Nagle; C Carroll, S Meagher; D Kelly (C O'Leary 41), M Keane, P Gavin.
Ref -- S Owens (Leinster Branch).