St Michael’s hit top gear to rock Blackroc and book semis spot
Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup quarter-final
St Michael’s College 16
Blackrock College 10
St Michael’s College stunned champions Blackrock College in an enthralling Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook yesterday.
Originally set for February 10, an outbreak of mumps in Blackrock forced a postponement of this fixture. The lengthy seemed to have worked wonders for Michael’s – who last tasted in success at this grade in 2012. This was the first meeting between the schools since February 2014, when current Munster stars Joey Carbery and Jeremy Loughman helped ‘Rock to a 16-6 triumph.
Chris Cosgrave contributed 17 points for Michael’s in their comprehensive opening round win over Kilkenny College and he opened the scoring with an early penalty. And they quickly built on that opener, with a series of powerful drives towards the line. Despite the admirable resistance of the ‘Rock defence, lock John Fish eventually touched down at the base of the posts. Cosgrave’s conversion put them 10-0 ahead.
Blackrock pushed and pushed for an opening score but struggled to break down a stubborn Michael’s defence. Indeed, the champions fell further behind on 34 minutes after another Cosgrave penalty. That score left Blackrock 13 points adrift and soon after they were to 14 men follow the sin-binning of Ben White.
Following the winger’s return to the action, ‘Rock pinned their opponents down at the Bective end with an extended spell of territorial dominance. But their efforts were not rewarded with a try and eventually fly-half David Fitzgibbon opted for a drop-goal to open their account on 54 minutes.
Rather inspire a final-quarter turnaround, this was the cue for Michael’s to up the gears. While Cosgrave was desperately unlucky to see his long-distance effort rebounding off the woodwork, his successful strike just past the hour mark edged them into a seemingly unassailable 13-point lead.
Convincing winners over Belvo in last year’s decider, ‘Rock kept their slender hopes alive with a convincing Scott Barron finish in the dying stages. However, it wasn’t enough to deny St Michael’s a safe passage into the last-four.
Scorers for St Michael’s College: J Fish try, C Cosgrave 3 pens, con.
Scorers for Blackrock College: S Barron try, D Fitzgibbon pen, J Kenny con.
ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE: A Smith; E Kelly, C Cosgrave, S O’Kelly, M O’Brien; N Carroll, R Gilsenan; J Boyle, L Barron, F Finlay; S Woods, J Fish; J Guinane, M Hernan, W Hickey.
Replacements: J Power for Finlay (55), C Booth for Woods (62), R Van Den Akker for Smith (65).
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: C Rolland; N Comerford, R McGoldrick, G Jones, B White; D Fitzgibbon, M Cullen; L Mion, S Dunne, H O’Malley; M Morrissey, J McCarthy; S O’Brien, J Loscher, E Brennan.
Replacements: S Barron for Dunne (38), J Kenny for Rolland (52), M Flynn for Loscher (56), A Rowan for Mion, R McGuire for O’Malley, T Gavigan for Fitzgibbon (all 59), C McAleer for Morrissey, T D’Arcy for Cullen (both 65).
Referee: N Correll (LRR).