Monday 22 April 2019

Cosgrave stars as Michael’s prove their mettle in securing semi-final spot

St Michael’s College 16

Blackrock College 10

Rohan Van Der Akker of St Michael's College celebrates following the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Rohan Van Der Akker of St Michael's College celebrates following the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tacklde by Matthew Cullen, left, and Scott Barron of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tackled by Jeff Kenny of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
John Fish of St Michael's College is tackled by Hugo O'Malley of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Andrew Smith of St Michael's College is tackled by Joseph McCarthy of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Des Berry

It was just last year when St Michael’s threw away a 16-point lead in the last 10 minutes of the Leinster Senior Cup semi-final to Belvedere.

But it was never going to happen in today’s quarter-final as Blackrock’s late try came as nothing more than a consolation.

When David Fitzgibbon stroked a 54th-minute penalty to make it a 10-point game, the doubts could have returned.

This time they had the game to get ahead from Chris Cosgrave’s penalty and conversion of second-row John Fish’s close-range try in the 19th minute and consolidate their position with a Cosgrave strike in the 32nd minute for a 13-0 lead at the break.      

Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tacklde by Matthew Cullen, left, and Scott Barron of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tacklde by Matthew Cullen, left, and Scott Barron of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Even when David Fitzgibbon nibbled at the difference with a 54th-minute penalty, Cosgrave had the calm to convert the second of two shots from distance in the 62nd minute. 

By the time Blackrock found a way through from replacement hooker Scott Barron’s low drive, replacement Tim Gavigan converting, the clock had almost expired.

Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tackled by Jeff Kenny of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Will Hickey of St Michael's College is tackled by Jeff Kenny of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

There was a glimpse of a miracle when they broke up the left, the crowd shrieking with equal parts hope and fear.

Captain Hernan was on the spot to grab a takeaway and the game was theirs, beating ‘Rock for the first time in the Senior Cup.

John Fish of St Michael's College is tackled by Hugo O'Malley of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
John Fish of St Michael's College is tackled by Hugo O'Malley of Blackrock College during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup Round 2 match between Blackrock College and St Michaels College at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

St Michael’s move on to a semi-final match-up against Belvedere next Wednesday, no doubt intent on making up for last year.

St Michael’s COLLEGE – A Smith (R Van den Akker 64); E Kelly, C Cosgrave, S O’Kelly, M O’Brien; N Carroll, R Gilsenan; J Boyle, L Barron, F Finlay (J Power 54); S Woods (C Booth 62), J Fish; J Guinane, M Hernan (capt), W Hickey.

Blackrock COLLEGE – C Rolland (J Kenny 51); N Comerford, R McGoldrick (T D’Arcy 64), G Jones, B White; D Fitzgibbon (T Gavigan 59), M Cullen; L Mion (A Rowan 59), S Dunne (S Barron 37), H O’Malley (R McGuire 59); M Morrissey (C McAleer 64), J McCarthy; S O’Brien (capt), J Loscher (M Flynn 56), E Brennan.

Ref – N Correll, Leinster Branch.

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