Michael’s dazzle in Donnybrook as ’Rock roll over
Replay sees Blackrock denied fifth consecutive final win in Leinster Schools Junior Cup
St Michael’s College 31 Blackrock College 17
The sides had finished on level terms (7-7) in the same venue seven days earlier, but although ’Rock were seeking an historic fifth consecutive final win at this grade, they ultimately couldn’t rein in the challenge of their south Dublin rivals.
Michael’s had broken the deadlock with just under nine minutes gone on the clock, as talismanic outside-centre Chris Cosgrave crossed over after racing onto his own chipped kick towards the ’Rock whitewash.
He subsequently added the bonuses, before ’Rock opened their account 10 minutes later with a routine Adam Dixon penalty.
However, Michael’s issued a further blow to ’Rock’s chances in first-half stoppage time, when Jack Boyle drove over on the left wing to give his side a 12-3 interval lead.
A wayward place-kick effort from Dixon let them off the hook after the restart, before Michael’s quickly increased the tempo of their play. Fly-half Niall Carroll finished off a sweeping move across the ’Rock line for his side’s third try of the day, and this helped Michael’s to open the floodgates.
After breaking at pace at the beginning of the final quarter, Cosgrave claimed an outstanding seven-point salvo. This left ’Rock with a mountain to climb, and in spite of a hard-earned try from their industrious number eight Liam Heylin on the stroke of 50 minutes, another exceptional Michael’s attack ended with winger Zach Harrison dotting down on the left flank.
Replacement Seb Lowe claimed a second try for ’Rock deep into time added on at the end of the contest, but it wasn’t enough to deny Michael’s their first junior crown since 2012.
St Michael’s College: C Cosgrave 2 tries, 3 cons; J Boyle, N Carroll, Z Harrison try each.
Blackrock College: L Heylin, S Lowe try each; M Moloney 2 cons; A Dixon pen.
St Michael’s College: E Kelly; S O’Kelly, C Cosgrave, T Gilsenan, Z Harrison; N Carroll, J Woods; L Barron, C Booth, J Power; S Woods, J Guinane; O Hurley, W Hickey, J Boyle.
Replacements: H McWade for Gilsenan (39 mins), J Egan for Hurley (43 mins), B Quigley for Power (45 mins), Senan O’Shea for O’Kelly (56 mins), C Casey for S Woods, J Gali for J Woods (both 57 mins), C Baird for Booth, B Cuddy for Barron (both 58 mins).
Blackrock College: S Murray; J Campbell, S Small, B Brownlee, M Lowey; A Dixon, M Cullen; BM Murphy, C O’Carroll, S Barron; M Morrissey, H O’Malley; D Moloney, J Culhane, L Heylin.
Replacements: M Wood for O’Malley (19-21 mins), Wood for Barron (32 mins), J Byrne for D Moloney (34 mins), S Lowe for Brownlee (43 mins), H Cullen for Murphy, M Moloney for Dixon (both 47 mins), D Cosgrave for O’Carroll, P O’Connor for M Cullen, P McGowan for Lowey (all 56 mins).
Referee: B MacNiece (LRR).