McCaffrey brace eases Belvo nerves
Newbridge 0 Belvedere 34
A potential banana skin indeed but with the disappointment of last year's final defeat still lingering, Belvedere College ruthlessly dispatched Newbridge College and booked their place in tomorrow's quarter-final draw.
A bigger, faster, stronger Belvo outfit dominated and sent out a major signal of intent that they will be there or thereabouts again this year.
Belvo had the luxury of being able to call upon plenty of players who featured in last year's campaign and although that eventually worked in their favour, there were plenty of signs of nerves early on.
A try in each half from powerful loosehead prop Daniel McCaffrey ensured that there was to be no upset this time around as Newbridge had no response to the pace and power of an impressive Belvo side.
Hooker Cian Galvin got over for his side's first try after 13 minutes and a Conor Jennings conversion set out their stall early on.
Belvo's offloading game was at times a joy to watch with their excellent scrum-half Paraic Cagney perfectly demonstrating that when he put Jennings over in the corner just two minutes later.
Hugh O'Sullivan was lively from full-back all afternoon and but for a last-ditch tackle, he would have gotten over for a third try in what was a rampant spell for Belvo.
They didn't have to wait long to do so however and this time it was McCaffrey who benefited from another brilliant break and offload by Cagney. Jennings converted for a 19-0 lead and there was still time left in the half for Belvo to put the contest to bed.
Newbridge were really struggling to contain Belvo's quicksilver backline and their heads dropped when they conceded a fourth unanswered try.
O'Sullivan made another darting break through the middle and James McKeown was on hand to finish off a sweeping move.
Jennings' conversion left his side 26-0 to the good at the break and he picked up where he left off after the restart when he fired over a penalty.
Ten minutes later, McCaffrey put the gloss on the scoreline when he punished Newbridge's defence (which was out on its feet) with his second try of the game.
Try as they might, the Kildare school just couldn't get a foothold in the game with No 8 Patrick Ryan working tirelessly to try and haul his side back into the contest.
Belvo were afforded the luxury of emptying their bench as their attentions quickly turned to the last eight.
Newbridge College - G Burke; J Deane (R Cleary 65), D Murphy, C Doolan (T Berney 53), C Stapleton; T Murphy (capt), C Doyle (R Hyland 53); J Duggan, R Wynne, D Breen (M Ryan 68); M Joyce, M Dillon (C Prendergast 53); D Walker (P O'Brien 68), T O'Neill (B Howlett h-t), P Ryan.
Belvedere College - H O'Sullivan; J McKeown (N Minogue 62), C Jennings, H Sexton, P Maher (F Smith 11); D Hawkshaw, P Cagney (B Gibbons 64); D McCaffrey (J Robinson 58), C Galvin (T Osborne 64), C Wynne Walsh (C Molloy 58); H Fenlon (J Kenny 53), B Egan (capt); S McNulty (J Iredake 53), M Kearney, T De Jongh.
ref - J Fitzgerald