Wednesday 24 January 2018

Holland the ringmaster as Michael's book semi-final spot

ST MICHAEL'S 25
ST MARY'S 10
Leinster Schools Senior Cup

Cian Kelleher is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring St Michael's first try at Donnybrook yesterday.
Cian Kelleher is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring St Michael's first try at Donnybrook yesterday.
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

St Michael's impressively powered past St Mary's at Donnybrook yesterday to book a semi-final showdown with either holders Clongowes or Blackrock, who meet on Monday.

A controlled and clinical first-half performance did the damage for St Michael's, who led 22-0 at the break. St Mary's threw everything at them after the interval, but the gap proved insurmountable.

St Michael's took the lead within seconds, as St Mary's strayed offside after receiving the kick-off and Rory Kavanagh slotted over the penalty.

Scrum-half Luke McGrath struck the post when attempting to double the lead from long range, but the boot of out-half Bobby Holland was pinning Mary's back in their own half.

A searing break from Holland created the opening try. He cut inside the cover and scorched away before feeding winger Mark Corballis, who deftly stepped outside the covering tackle of Cian Delaney to score. Kavanagh added the extras.

Strength

Michael's didn't have to wait long before increasing their lead as Rory O'Loughlin's cut-out pass put Cian Kelleher away down the left wing and he showed good strength to crash over the line. Kavanagh missed the touchline conversion.

On the stroke of the interval O'Loughlin cleverly chipped over the top and Kelleher hacked on, only to be taken out by his opposite number Philip Dix. Before referee Paul Haycock could indicate a penalty try, blind-side Dan Leavy picked up the loose ball and gleefully crashed over.

Dix was shown a yellow card as Kavanagh added the extras to make it 22-0.

St Mary's restored some pride after the break with prop Gerry Gallivan leading from the front, along with captain Jerry Sexton.

After Holland was pinged for hands in the ruck, Brendan Daly kicked to the corner and after a patient build-up, Gallivan crashed over. Hugh McDonnell added the conversion, before pulling the deficit back to 12 points with a penalty as Mary's threatened a comeback.

But when Tiernan Barrett grabbed McGrath at a ruck in front of the post, the Michael's man dusted himself off and slotted the penalty to take the wind out of St Mary's sails as his side closed the game out.

ST MICHAEL'S COLL -- C Diamond; M Corballis, R O'Loughlin, R Kavanagh, C Kelleher (S Dawson 70); B Holland, L McGrath (B Butler 70); T O'Connell (M Coulsen 58), J Headon (R O'Neill 70), J Lawless; M O'Neill, D Lawlor; D Leavy, A Murphy, C Daly.

ST MARY'S COLL -- B Daly; E Farrell, B Matthews, C Delaney (T Conway 70), P Dix (J O'Mahony 40); H MacDonnell, C Barden (J Blackburn 67); T Young (E Boyle 53), I Hickey, G Callivan; T Barrett (R McPhillips 67), M Andreucet; J Sexton, J Walsh (J Levins 70), S O'Carroll (I Robinson 25).

REF -- P Haycock (ARLB).

Irish Independent

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