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Linehan leads Castletroy into last four

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Conor Lenihan, Castletroy College, assisted by team-mate Rory Cunningham, kicks a penalty

Conor Lenihan, Castletroy College, assisted by team-mate Rory Cunningham, kicks a penalty

SPORTSFILE

Conor Lenihan, Castletroy College, assisted by team-mate Rory Cunningham, kicks a penalty

Ten points from the boot of Conor Linehan set Castletroy College on their way to a semi-final spot after a hard-fought win over Glenstal Abbey at the University of Limerick.

Linehan put on a terrific display of goal-kicking as he landed four of his five kicks in blustery conditions on UL's artificial surface. The full-back got off to a shaky start and missed a kickable penalty with the wind behind him after just three minutes, but he soon made amends.

Fly-half Mark McCarthy's exquisite vision put Paul Butler in for the game's opening try and Linehan then fired over a superb touchline conversion.

Ten minutes later, Castletroy scored their second try when hooker Mark O'Mara – nephew of former Ireland international Peter Clohessy – was on the end of a powerful rolling maul from a five-metre line-out. From almost the exact same spot as his previous conversion, Linehan added the extras to give his side a 14-0 half-time lead.

Jack Stafford put Glenstal on the scoreboard with a well-struck penalty shortly after the restart to give the Murroe-based school renewed belief.

Linehan responded with a penalty of his own before Jamie McAleese found a huge hole in the Castletroy defence to touch down under the posts. Stafford converted to bring the score back to 17-10. Glenstal continued to pile on the pressure but, eight minutes before the end, Linehan made the game safe with another fine penalty to seal Castletroy's semi-final place.

Castletroy College – C Linehan; D Garry, J Fox, D Rowesome, P Butler (S McBrearty 36); M McCarthy, R Cunningham; J Conway, M O'Mara, C Myers; N Clohessy (N O'Shea 44), S Hoare; C Humphreys, R Murphy, J O'Neill.

Glenstal Abbey – C Hogan (M Ryan 65); M Boland, C Og Healy, J McAleese, D Kenny (S O'Sullivan 57); J Stafford, R Johnston (R Hogan 45); J Healy (J Hartnett 53), M Ryan, G Fitzpatrick, A Donoghue (I Molloy 41), B Clancy; G O'Hara, J Murphy, N Mulvihill.

REF – K Barry (MAR)

Irish Independent