Saturday 17 March 2018

Comerford keeps Rock on course for fab four

Blackrock Col 28 Pres Bray 6 Leinster Schools Junior Cup Quarter Final

Ben White, Blackrock College, is tackled by Callum McNulty, Presentation College Bray (SPORTSFILE)
Ben White, Blackrock College, is tackled by Callum McNulty, Presentation College Bray (SPORTSFILE)
Samuel O'Dowd, Presentation College Bray, in action against Blackrock College (SPORTSFILE)
Mick O'Gara, Presentation College Bray, is tackled by Gavin Jones and David Fitzgibbon, Blackrock College (SPORTSFILE)
Samuel O'Dowd, Presentation College Bray, is tackled by Tim D'Arcy, Blackrock College (SPORTSFILE)
Niall Comerford, Blackrock College, scores a try against Presentation College Bray despite the tackle of Samuel O'Dowd (SPORTSFILE)

Hooker Ben Wallace and winger Niall Comerford scored two tries each as Blackrock booked their place in the Junior Cup semi-final at Donnybrook yesterday.

The Williamstown school are hunting down a fourth consecutive title at this level and they looked odds-on to breeze though when Comerford evaded more than one tackle on his way to a try in the 10th minute. 

Pres then started to take control through the scavenging of their back-row Sam Graham, Callum McNulty and Ciaran McKay and outhalf Mick O'Gara turned possession into points with penalties in the 15th and 18th minutes. 

They were looking a good bet to take that advantage into the break before David Fitzgibbon's penalty made it 8-6 on the half-hour mark. 

Blackrock were driven on by No 8 Ed Brennan and Wallace as the physical toll began to tell on the valiant Pres defence, in which centres Jack Gallagher an Jordan Mortell showed great resilience.

It was not enough against Rock's finely tuned pack with Wallace picking up tries as the tail-gunner to two mauls in the 36th and 49th minutes on either side of Comerford's second effort.     

They ran the clock down from there as replacement Charlie Reilly closed it out with the 58th-minute penalty. 

Blackrock -  R Barron; N Comerford, T D'Arcy (J Freeman 56), G Jones (capt), B White; D Fitzgibbon (C Reilly 56), S Dunne (C Rolland 50); D McKeon (L Marshall 44), B Wallace (T Handrick 56), L Mion, J Corless, C Duffy (S O'Brien 7), M Flynn (C O'Neill 54), J Loscher (K McQuaid 56), E Brennan. 

Pres Bray - S O'Dowd; C Mulvaney, J Mortell, J Gallagher (P Ford 58), J Pyper; M O'Gara (capt), B Murphy (R Houlden 55); K Sredojevic (C Lacy 37), D Maloney (R Dobra 54), C Magee, C Lawless, R McDonald, S Graham, C McNulty, C McKay. 

Ref - T Townend (Leinster)

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