Monday 18 December 2017

O'Shea kicks Clongowes into last eight as Kings Hos come up short

King's Hospital 8 Clongowes 33 Leinster Schools Senior Cup

Seán McCrohan, Clongowes Wood College, in action against Connall Howley, The King's Hospital (SPORTSFILE)
Seán McCrohan, Clongowes Wood College, in action against Connall Howley, The King's Hospital (SPORTSFILE)
Clongowes Wood College supporters cheer on their team before the game (SPORTSFILE)
Michael Silvester, Clongowes Wood College, in action against Sam Charman, left, and Jordan White, The King's Hospital (SPORTSFILE)

It took Clongowes over 20 minutes to settle into this first-round clash but once they did, King's Hospital were no match for them. KH frustrated the Clane school for the majority of the first half but Clongowes never panicked and they slowly gained a foothold in the game and took control.

The scoreline was perhaps a little harsh on KH but in truth, they simply ran out of steam against a much more abrasive outfit. Led by their powerful No 8 Sean McCrohan, Clongowes were forced to remain patient and although they fell behind twice in the first half, they were 13-8 to the good at the break, and KH would fail to score for over 40 minutes of play.

With scrum-half Scott Le Roux dictating the opening stages with clever box-kicking, KH deservedly went in front through a Paul McCullagh penalty. 

Miles O'Connor, who was impressive throughout, almost immediately hit back with a try  only to be denied by a brilliant last-ditch tackle in the corner. Denied Clongowes weren't to be denied after 23 minutes, however, when Florence McCarthy collected McCrohan's perfectly weighted offload to score.

Benjamin O'Shea fired over the conversion - he would go on to kick 13 points. O'Shea tacked on two penalties before the interval but in between, Sean Goodburn had responded with a try for KH after a well worked five-metre lineout.  O'Shea pushed Clongowes into a 16-8 lead shortly after the restart as his side began to up the intensity.

O'Connor was rewarded with a fine performance when he broke clear to dot down and by that stage, KH knew the game was up. Patrick Nulty added a third try after 53 minutes when he burrowed his way over, with O'Shea adding the extras.

Brian Maher rounded off the scoring in a comfortable second half for Clongowes when O'Connor put him over out wide. Clongowes came up agonisingly short in last year's semi-final and although they will know that much tougher tests lie ahead, they passed the first one with relative ease. 

The King's Hospital - P McCullagh (F Campbell 64); H Mahood, C Howley (D Eiffe 45), D Corcoran, D Corr; D Courtney, S Le Roux (L Morgan 65); S Goodburn (C Wokocha 64), C Murphy (OJ Onolememen 64), C Mullen (J Courtney 64); S Wrafter, T Doyle (capt); S Charman (F Shilling 45), J White, D Boles. 

Clongowes Wood College - M Silvester; F Lynch, M O'Connor, B O'Shea (J Gilmartin 69), B Maher; T Monaghan (R Lemess 43), J Murphy (C Daly 66); J Martin (A Odlum 69), D Sheehan (T Dooley 66), E Carroll (G Graham 69); J Moore (capt) (D Jeffares 60), F McCarthy; P Nulty, S McMahon, S McCrohan (A Kelly 53). 

REF - S Owens

Irish Independent

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