Barron reigns supreme with superb hat-trick
Blackrock College 15 Gonzaga College 8
Prop Scott Barron completed a hat-trick at Donnybrook as Blackrock booked their place in the semi-finals.
There is a strong argument to say it could have, even should have, gone the other way.
Gonzaga were the better outfit for long periods without the clinical edge to make all their possession pay.
The Williamstown nursery will want to improve at a rate of knots to capture their fifth consecutive title, despite getting off the mark from Barron's first burst in the seventh minute.
The Sandford Road school responded through their out-half James Breslin's 20th-minute strike to trail 5-3 at the interval.
'Zaga had real physical presence from captain Arthur Henry, second-row Conor Carson, prop Luke Hammond and No 8 Hugo Fitzgerald.
They put it to solid use on the resumption when Henry made the decision to forego a certain three points for a tap-and-go which concluded with Fitzgerald's drive for the line in the 38th minute.
They weren't able to consolidate as Blackrock found a way forward from the maul for Barron to pick up his second try for a two-point advantage.
It was Gonzaga all the way from there until 'Rock eventually broke out for Barron to claim his hat-trick in the last minute.
BLACKROCK - S Murray; J Campbell, S Small, A Dixon, M Lowey (S Lowe 46); M Moloney, M Cullen; B Melly-Murphy, C O'Carroll, S Barron, M Wood (M Morrissey 32), H O'Malley (capt), A Simpson, J Culhane, L Heylin.
GONZAGA - M Barlow; D Crowe, A Henry (capt), B Barron, S Wilson; J Breslin, P Kinney; L Hammond, S Sheehy, R Shaw, J McNulty, C Carson, C Dalton-Ryan, T Cullen, H Fitzgerald.
REF - S Holt (Leinster Branch)