Caputo boots ‘Rock to victory
BLACKROCK COLLEGE………………………………………….. 15
TERENURE COLLEGE…………………………………………….. 13
By Daire Walsh
Leinster Schools’ Junior Cup final
Joey Caputo was the hero for Blackrock College at Donnybrook yesterday, when his last-minute penalty helped his school secure their third consecutive Leinster Schools’ Junior Cup crown.
They had reached the decider in dramatic circumstances with a late try in their semi-final against St Michael’s College, and despite trailing by eight points (13-5) 20 minutes from time, a stunning final-quarter guided them towards their 49th title.
The defending champions began proceedings in a lively fashion, as the ‘Nure line was eventually breached by a powerful drive from flanker Michael McGagh on 14 minutes.
Out-half Caputo (son of Leinster scrum coach Marco) was off-target from his bonus kick, however, and from the restart, ‘Nure made their opening foray into enemy territory.
Luke Murnaghan’s sprint for the right-corner was halted but the energetic winger’s hard-earned 26th-minute try levelled matters in time for the interval.
Terenure’s influential vice-captain Adam La Grue had the chance to move his side into the ascendancy on the resumption. The centre’s kick rebounded off the post, but following another ‘Rock indiscretion, he immediately made amends from close-range.
With their confidence now sky high, a powerful ‘Nure maul on the left-flank produced an unconverted touch-down from prop Levi Vaughan.
Momentum was now with Dan Parkinson’s charges, but McGagh eventually claimed his second try after a three-point attempt by Caputo also shook the upright. A conversion by the reliable half-back reduced the deficit to a minimum, and although Terenure defended heroically, the outcome of a gripping contest was determined by Caputo’s late penalty.
Scorers for Blackrock College: M McGagh 2 tries, J Caputo pen, con.
Scorers for Terenure College: L Murnaghan, L Vaughan try each, A La Grue pen.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: N Brady; A Thompson, L Turner, R Hally-Doody, T Maher; J Caputo, L O’Reilly; G Coyne, S Molony, T Clarkson; T Godson-Treacy, J Stapleton; J Burke, M McGagh, L McMahon.
Replacements: J Slevin for McMahon (h-t), M Grogan for Godson-Treacy (43), D Colgan for Brady (51), H Donnelly for O’Reilly (57).
TERENURE COLLEGE: S Dardis; L Murnaghan, A La Grue, J Walsh, J Nolan; D Henry-Hayes, M O’Shea; B Vaughan, B Bruce, L Vaughan; C Somerville, R McGrath; P Heneghan, L Grady, C Shenton.
Replacements: J Cooke for Grady (48), M Hasegawa for Bruce, J Boland for Heneghan (both 53), R McInnes for Walsh (60).
Referee: H O’Reilly (Leinster Branch).