Late Conall Power try seals Leinster Schools Junior Cup victory for Blackrock College

Blackrock College 17 St Michael’s College 15

Blackrock College's Luke Coffey lifts the trophy after his side's Leinster Schools Junior Cup final victory. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Des Berry

A late try from Conall Power secured a 53rd Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup for Blackrock in dramatic fashion at Energia Park this afternoon.

However St Michael’s were out of the traps quickest, their backs and forwards whizzing through the phases with centre Matthew Haugh prominent.

They were effective enough to draw a penalty which Harrison McMahon turned into the lead points in the fourth minute.

Four minutes and 42 seconds passed before Blackrock touched the ball when Rhys Keogh scooped up a loose ball.

And, in a flash, they moved forward and to the right where Bernard White sent wing James Browne into the corner to put them 5-3 ahead in the sixth minute.

St Michael’s responded through Haydn Gallagher who plunged to the line for McMahon to convert from the right.

They strengthened their stranglehold on the game when Setanta McLaughlin scored their second try for 15-5 in the 17th minute.

Increasingly, the Ailesbury Road school was forced to relieve pressure rather than apply it until Sean King broke from deep and booted a 50-22 for a five-metre lineout.

However, ’Rock were wise to the low throw, snatched the ball away and survived McLaughlin’s blockdown of Luke Coffey to leave it 15-5 at the break.

Blackrock suffered a blow shortly after the restart as captain Matthew Wyse returned with a heavily strapped leg but was withdrawn within minutes.

A stunning tackle from behind by Eoin Loo on ’Rock’s James Browne was followed by Owen Twomey’s expert capture of Browne on his next carry for a penalty on the floor.

The strength of White ensured a turnover and the big centre blasted out a 50-22 for the lineout and scrum to click into gear.

Back-to-back penalties in the shadow of the posts were used to create a sliver of space for Rhys Keogh to squeeze in, Coffey converting in tremendous style from the touchline in the 43rd minute.

Blackrock was having the better of it, another tumbling kick leading to prime field position which was turned into a counter-attack by King’s long ball out of defence.

A marauding McLaughlin carry was matched by prop Louis Magee’s body position for a penalty at the breakdown.

Blackrock’s lineout and forwards to eke out vital yards for Power to burrow over for the vital match-winning try.

SCORERS – Blackrock: J Browne, R Keogh, C Power try each; L Coffey con. St Michael’s: H Gallagher, S McLaughlin try each; H McMahon pen, con.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE – C McCloskey; J Browne, O Daly, B White (C White 56), R Keogh; L Coffey, C Martin; L Magee, M Wyse (Capt, L Golden 32), L Kelly (B Guerin 45), G Eggers (JJ Hamilton 34), C Power, T Keaveney (P Agnew 58), T McAleese, G Wall.

ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE – S King; J Divilly, M Haugh, S Barron (J McMahon 56), E Loo; H McMahon, A Norse (O de Vreeze 47); C Canniffe, J Kennedy, M Dredge (D O’Donohoe 15), H Gallagher, T Reynolds (P Lynch 47), S McLaughlin, O Twomey, M Berman (Capt).

REF – P O’Connor, Leinster Branch.