Leinster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Final: Blackrock College V Newbridge College – The Kildare Nationalist – March 12 2019




By Daire Walsh

Newbridge College suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Blackrock College in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup semi-final at Donnybrook yesterday.

Despite making a bright start to the action, Dave Brew’s side were ultimately reeled in by the 51-time champions.

Despite making a bright start to the action, Newbridge College ultimately suffered a comprehensive defeat to Blackrock College in the Leinster Junior Cup semi-final at Donnybrook yesterday.

After allowing Temple Carrig and Clongowes to build an initial head of steam in the previous rounds, it was Dave Brew’s side who drew first blood in this last-four affair. Harry Farrell burst through a sizeable gap in the ‘Rock defence and off-loaded to Lucas Berti Newman for a simple finish under the posts.

This was the inside centre’s fourth try of the campaign and Mark Young added the bonuses to send the Newbridge faithful raptures. Nevertheless, ‘Rock issue a swift response to this early set-back.

After they were squeezed out on the right-flank, the south Dublin outfit switch the play towards the far side – where Zach Quirke was on hand to release Ethan Laing for a routine five-pointer. Supplementing his crisp assist, Quirke split the posts off his touchline kick to wipe out the Newbridge cushion.

While Dave Brew’s challengers continued to hold their own as the action progressed, ‘Rock hit the front on 25 minutes through Laing’s second try of the half. Quirke’s latest bonus strike rebounded off the woodwork, ensuring Newbridge were just five points (12-7) adrift during the interval.

It had been a largely positive opening half-hour for the Kildare school as they looked to reach their first junior decider since 2012. Unfortunately, it was their formidable opponents who enjoyed total domination of the proceedings on the resumption.

Although ‘Rock full-back Cian Ryan had a try ruled out on 37 minutes, Liam Molony subsequently broke free of Newbridge’s defensive stranglehold to cross over. The impressive openside flanker also dotted down just shy of the third-quarter mark – effectively placing the outcome beyond doubt in the process.

In spite of the best endeavours of Young, Berti Newman and skipper Sam Fitzgibbon for Newbridge, a rampant Blackrock College finished with another flourish. Molony grabbed his hat-trick in clinical fashion and his back-row partner Jamie McLoughlin got in on the scoring act with just seven minutes remaining to safely book their spot in the forthcoming final.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Cian Ryan; Charlie Leahy, Hugh Cooney, Federico Mei, Ethan Laing; Zach Quirke, Will Fitzgerald; Cian O’Brien, Greg Barron, Paddy McCarthy; Samuel Green, Tom Brigg; Jamie McLoughlin, Liam Molony, Gus McCarthy.

Replacements: Charlie O’Brien for Green (46-49), Padraig Foley for G McCarthy (49), Maxwell Brophy for Barron (52), Emmet Gulliver for O’Brien, O’Brien for P McCarthy, Nicholas Kelly for McLoughlin, Patrick Van Zuydam for Quirke (all 54), Danny Molloy for Mei, James O’Sullivan for Leahy (both 56).

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: Mark Young; David Grant, Calum Corcoran, Lucas Berti Newman, Harry Farrell; Robert Dillon, Tadhg Brophy; Patrick Stapleton, Tom Waters, Harry Rigney; Denis Downing, Cael Chanders; Ruairi Byrne, Sam Fitzgibbon, Kieran Kelly.

Replacements: Ryan Healy for Chanders (44), Conor McCormack for Rigney (46), John Collins for Kelly, Patrick Gaire for Grant (both 48), Finn Mahon for Stapleton (49), Pierce Fata for Waters, Max Barry for Downing (both 54), Tom Bohan for Grant (56).

Referee: Cillian Hogan (LRR).

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