Sunday 8 December 2019

Kelly stars as Michael's send out warning

St Michael's College 29 Terenure College 14

Jack Kelly breaks free to score St Michael's College's third try at Donnybrook Stadium. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Jack Kelly breaks free to score St Michael's College's third try at Donnybrook Stadium. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Ronan Kelleher, St Michael's College, is tackled by Terenure College's Stevie Barry. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Terenure College's Ted O'Donoghue goes for the break during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup match against St Michael's College. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Oisin Dowling, St Michael's College, is tackled by Jack Boyden, left, and Conor O'Sullivan, Terenure College. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
James Hickey, St Michael's College, is tackled by Terenure College's Sean Collins during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup 2nd Round match. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile

Cian Trace, Leinster SNR schools cup

St Michael's Cup hopes continue to gather serious momentum as they easily brushed aside the challenge of Terenure College.

As a contest, this was over inside quarter of an hour as a blistering start from Michael's left 'Nure with too much ground to make up.

In Jack Kelly, Michael's had the outstanding player on the pitch and for the second round in a row, the classy full-back was very impressive. His two first-half tries left his side 24-7 to the good at the break, and they took their foot of the pedal for the second half with attentions clearly turning to the semi-final.

Last year, Michael's crumbled under the pressure as Cup favourites, but this time around, they are playing with a swagger. They will know, however, that a tougher test undoubtedly lies ahead in the last four.

In what is now becoming the norm in school's rugby, this was a hugely physical contest but Michael's pace and power was far too much for 'Nure to handle.

A player from either side was forced off with a head injury and both failed to return to the field and in the week that Will Smith's Concussion hits Irish screens, yesterday was another reminder of a problem that is rampant in the sport.

'Nure lost second-row Rory Byrne after just a couple of minutes and their problems soon worsened when Kelly scored a wonderful try off a perfectly executed set-piece.

Barry Fitzpatrick's try after 12 minutes typified the confidence that Michael's are playing with. In a move that began inside their own half, Harry Byrne threw a pass between his legs for Ian O'Kelly, who found Christopher Carey and he off-loaded beautifully for Fitzpatrick to score.

O'Kelly got over for a try of his own three minutes later and as Byrne's conversion went over, 'Nure heads dropped.

Kelly scored Michael's fourth try when he showed a great turn of pace to sprint clear of the defence. Byrne again converted for a 24-0 lead.

Adam Melia did get over for a try that Mark Fabian converted just before the break but it was nothing more than a consolation even that early in the game.

James Hickey punished Terenure's defence that had shot up off the line with a fifth try as it became all too easy for Michael's.

Jack Boyden's converted try midway through the half put some respectability on the scoreline but in truth, 'Nure were second best in every department.

Come tomorrow afternoon after Blackrock and Belvo clash, one of the favourites will be eliminated and with Michael's growing in stature with every passing game, it will take a good team to stop them going all the way.

St Michael's College - J Kelly (capt); M Heaney, J Hickey, I O'Kelly, C Carey (J O'Loughlin 39); H Byrne (D Ryan 43), T Killeen (P O'Beirne 52); R Kelleher (L Duffy 62), S Judge (M Kennedy 62), S Griffin (M O'Donahoe 43); R Baird (M Roche 66), J Dunne (A Courtney 64); O Dowling, S Penny, B Fitzpatrick.

Terenure College - J Murphy; C Collins (C Ashmore 14), S Barry, T O'Donoghue, Z Vaughan; M Kirwan (A La Grue 47), M Fabian (C Cahill 58); J Boyden, J Henry-Hayes (H O'Neill 62), S Collins (S Patchell 50); R Byrne (J O'Hare 2), A Melia (R McGrath 62); J Clarkin (J Cadell 33), C O'Sullivan, J Dignam (capt).

Ref - B MacNiece

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