Locks key as Newbridge ease their way into semi-finals
St Andrew's 5 Newbridge 13 Leinster Schools senior cup
They made hard work of it but Newbridge College eventually saw off a St Andrew's side that flattered to deceive.
The teams came into this quarter-final clash at Donnybrook having scored 97 points between them in their first-round games but it was the Kildare school who played the more intelligent rugby and were fully deserving of their place in the semi-final draw.
Time and time again, Andrew's tried to get their talented backline involved in the game, but the Newbridge defence stifled any sort of attacking threat that they posed.
Newbridge should have put the game to bed long before they did as several missed kicks at goal threatened to spoil their afternoon.
Andrew's outstanding No 8 Jonny Guy, who has already represented Ireland at schools level, did his utmost to carry his side but he lacked the support around him.
Brian Larkin got Newbridge off to an ideal start after four minutes when he somehow found a gaping hole in the middle of a lineout and he didn't need a second invitation to crash over the whitewash.
Colm Doyle pulled his conversion wide and did so again ten minutes later after Larkin's second-row partner Mike Joyce showed a terrific turn of pace to outsprint two backs on his way over in the corner.
Andrew's were growing frustrated as sloppy handling errors and decision-making were costing them valuable field position as they trailed 10-0 at the break.
Centres Gary Fearon and Peter Sullivan showed signs of pulling their side back in the game but it was Nick Hibberd who eventually got Andrew's on the scoreboard.
Sullivan was wide with his conversion and Boyle slotted over a penalty soon after, and with that went Andrew's hopes of springing an unlikely comeback.
Boyle had the chance to put gloss on the scoreline late on but he was off target with a penalty. It mattered little, though, as Newbridge were safely through.
St Andrew's College - J McDonagh; S Balance (C Sinnamon 55), P Sullivan, G Fearon (capt), S Smith; R Nicoll, J Black; R Bradley, L Judge, R O'Flaherty (D Wilson 37); B Ryan (A Waller h-t), N Hibberd; Z Henry, B Nolke, J Guy.
Newbridge College - M Delaney; R Cleary, J Howlett (D Culliton 59), J O'Brien (capt), C Stapleton; T Murphy, C Doyle; J Duggan, C Johnson, D Breen; M Joyce (A O'Mahony 69), B Larkin; T O'Neill (R Culliton 55), R Buckley, P Ryan.
REF - P Haycock (Leinster Branch)
Wilson brings end to Munchin’s sterling resistance
Rockwell 14 St Munchin's 6 Munster Schools Senior Cup
FANCIED Rockwell College booked their place in the semi-finals with a hard-fought win over a tenacious St Munchin’s side at Clanwilliam Park.
Tries in either half from flanker Bryan McLoughlin and second-row Mikey Wilson were enough to avenge last year’s quarter-final defeat.
St Munchin’s began the brighter, but were unable to convert their possession and territory into points.
Resilient Rockwell made them pay, taking the lead on 22 minutes when flanker McLoughlin burrowed his way over from close range. Out-half Bill Johnston added the conversion.
The Tipperary side dominated the remainder of the half but could not add to their lead before the break, and St Munchin’s impressive scrum-half Briain Bennett kicked two smashing penalties to reduce the lead to a point entering the final quarter.
Rockwell then upped their game and were rewarded for a period of sustained pressure as lock Wilson powered over for a vital 62nd-minute try. Johnston converted to put the game beyond St Munchin’s reach.
ROCKWELL – T McHale; S Lanigan-Ryan, L Molloy, C Cashman, K Moynihan; B Johnston, D Egan; N Campion (C Beary), B Murray (D Barron), J Tierney (J Kindrick); S O’Connor (Capt), M Wilson; T Anglim, B McLoughlin (J Power), M Casey.
ST MUNCHIN’S COLLEGE – M Browne; M Lyons (J O’Hanlon), E O’Connor, J O’Curry, S Kelly; J Kiely, B Bennett (A Rice); P Meyer, J Prendivlle (A Fitzgerald), E O’Callaghan (C Wells); S Corbett, L O’Dwyer (C Radcliffe); A Moloney, C Carmody (G Rice), J Foley (capt).
REF – D O’Flynn (IRFU)
Fitzgerald holds his nerve to stun Christians
Ardscoil ris 18 CBC 16
Out-half Conor Fitzgerald was the toast of Ardscoil Ris as he kicked all their points to earn his side a shock victory over Munster Schools Senior Cup pre-tournament favourites CBC at Dooradoyle.
It was a dramatic finish to a game in which the Cork side led on three occasions and managed to score the only try of the game.
Fitzgerald struck his first penalty after only four minutes but Christians out-half Michael O’Halloran levelled with a penalty three minutes later.
The Cork side went in front on 16 minutes when hooker Eoin Scully scored a try which O’Halloran converted.
Another penalty by O’Halloran (above) made it 13-3 after 20 minutes but three more Fitzgerald penalties left only a point between the sides at the interval.
Ardscoil regained the lead with Fitzgerald’s fifth penalty but O’Halloran once again found the target to nudge the Cork side back in front. But Fitzgerald had the final say and kept his cool to grab the late win for the Limerick side.
Ardscoil Ris – D Gavin; N Randles, J O’Donnell, P Collins, M McManemy; C Fitzgerald, H Bourke; P Lyons (J Sexton 60), T Chan, T Ryan Walsh (D Ryan 65); B O’Byrne, R Coffey; O Bernard, I Brown, J McCabe.
CBC – L Coombes; T O’Keeffe, M Clune, A McHenry, O Conway; M O’Halloran, K Cassidy (J Murphy 50); S O’Hanlon, E Scully, K O’Donovan (C Leahy 51); D Feeney, C Barry; R O’Neill, D Walsh, E Mintern.
Ref – L Colgan (MAR)