Hawkshaw blow as Belvedere edge it
Leinster schools senior cup: Belvedere 11 Gonzaga 10
Holders Belvedere just about did enough to hold off Gonzaga by the slimmest of margins to qualify for the quarter-final at Donnybrook yesterday.
But, in the process, they suffered a body blow that could reverberate through the rest of the competition, when their captain David Hawkshaw was withdrawn with a serious-looking arm injury after 30 minutes.
The only compensation was that it came just after they had moved into a 5-3 lead, from flanker Aaron Coleman's try in the 26th minute, in a game that they were never able to dominate.
The signs of Belvedere getting their act together were there in scrum-half Ted Walsh's break and Coleman's support for a finely executed effort.
Before that, Gonzaga had moved ahead from scrum-half Jack Connolly's penalty when a powerful maul was taken down by illegal means in the seventh minute.
The sides came out for the second period with Belvedere appearing to take control through the driving of prop James Gleeson, lock Alekseiy Soroka, flanker Gerard Hill and the subtle touches of No 8 Ruadhan Byron.
The holders made it a two-score game when Walsh had his inside ball slapped down for full-back John Lacey to split the posts in the 50th minute.
On a rare breakout for Gonzaga, an illegal tackle resulted in Lacey arrowing over a penalty from 42 metres in the 64th minute.
Connolly then speared through on the right and found his captain Robbie Kidney on his inside shoulder for a picture-perfect try, which Connolly converted to take them as close as they would get.
Belvedere: D Lacey; M Grogan, J O'Grady, D Hawkshaw (capt, J Meagher 30), A Loughrey (A O'Grady 60); J Leonard (P Lysaght 58), T Walsh; J Gleeson, L Harmon (P Twomey 10), C Cagney (J Bell 58), A Soroka, N Howard (J Haughey 58), G Hill, A Coleman, R Byron
Gonzaga: F O'Grady; F O hOisin (K Morgan 68), B O'Donnell, A Henry, D Inglis; E Barr, J Connolly; H Godson, H Fitzgerald (M Meagher 52), S Clear, E Buggy, C Fassbender (M Holley 50), I O'Grady (J Coolican 62), J Barry, R Kidney (capt)
REF - P Haycock (Leinster Branch)
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