Monday 22 January 2018

Eight-try Belvedere book date with 'Rock


BELVEDERE confirmed the pre-cup form guide to move on to a final rendezvous with Blackrock next Wednesday.

This was a mismatch of sheer size and power as Belvedere demonstrated so clinically in a nine-minute spell that decided the fate of a resolute and totally committed St Gerard's.

It all started when centre Jesse Iredale's cut back against the grain in the 16th minute, the muscular centre knifing through the cover for Belvo's first try.

Iredale was back again, this time in the tackle, to shake the ball free for James McKeown to pick up the pieces and speed to the posts before also converting.

The confidence of the Belvedere players was up and their continuity game put captain Dan McCaffrey in for the third try to make it 17-0 in the 25th minute.

St Gerard's lock Liam Keaney, centre Conor O'Farrell and hooker Daniel Power were prominent in defence, but it still couldn't stop McKeown from pouncing for seven points for a 24-0 lead just before the interval.

The tide of possession did not stop there. Iredale powered over from five metres and McCaffrey, benefitting from a driving maul and outside centre McKeown, also weaved a path to the line.

St Gerard's captain Billy O'Reilly, lock Liam Keaney, centre O'Farrell and full-back Ben Kealy continued to battle against all odds before replacement Conor Jennings supplied the eighth try in injury-time.

BELVEDERE – M Oliver; G Farrell (C Minogue 58), J McKeown (B Gibbons 52), J Iredale, C O'Sullivan; H Sexton, H O'Sullivan (E Bannon 45); C Wynne-Walsh (C Galvin 58), S Osborne (J McNicholl 22 (C Jennings 32)), T de Jongh; H Fenlon, B Egan; D McCaffrey (A Peate 58), S McNulty (C Byrne 58), K Callaghan.

ST GERARD'S – B Kealy (D Brodeur 55); M Dalton (L Lalor 36), D Hodgins, C O'Farrell, B Ho (M Geoghegan 52); M O'Brien, T Foley (I Gallagher 55); R Buckley (P Stanley 52), D Power (S Keogh 36), S Gallagher; L Keaney (M Kissane 55), B Behan (S Stapleton 11); A Courtney, S Kenny, B O'Reilly.

REF – K Beggs (Leinster Branch)

Irish Independent

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