Clongowes Wood College will face Castleknock College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup semi-final after they ran in eight tries to get the better of St Gerard’s, Bray at Donnybrook this afternoon.
Despite finding themselves on level terms in the early stages of the second half, the north Kildare outfit turned on the after burners to comfortably progress into the last-four. Meanwhile, defending champions St Michael’s College will take on Newbridge College on the opposite side of the draw.
Courtesy of Michael Spillane’s superb finish - and five points from the boot of Oisin Devitt - Clongowes developed a 10-point advantage during the early exchanges. While Craig Kenny touched down to get their Wicklow counterparts up and running, Eoghan Cumbers and Diarmuid McCormack subsequently powered over the whitewash to keep Clongowes firmly in the ascendancy.
However, front-row partners Brian Glass and Fred Happonen later crossed the Clongowes line to leave Gerard’s just seven points (24-17) in arrears at the break.
The momentum had now swung in the direction of Jason Emery’s side and they wiped out the Clongowes lead thanks to Kenny’s breakaway try five minutes after the resumption.
Although this threw down the gauntlet to Clongowes, they delivered in spectacular fashion. Replacements Harry O’Neill and David Wilkinson bagged tries either side of an Evan O’Boyle effort to place the outcome beyond doubt in the final-quarter.
Further scores arrived through Sean Sexton and Jack Kearney in the closing moments to cap a scintillating attacking showcase by Pat Kenny’s charges.
Scorers for Clongowes Wood College: M Spillane, E Cumbers, D McCormack, H O’Neill, E O’Boyle, D Wilkinson, S Sexton, J Kearney try each, O Devitt pen, 6 cons.
Scorers for St Gerard’s, Bray: C Kenny 2 tries, B Glass, F Happonen try each, P Burke 2 cons.
CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE: R Morrin; M Spillane, P Maher, C Grimes, S Sexton; C Reilly, O Devitt; L McMahon, E Cumbers, B Dooley; J Kearney, K Fitzpatrick; E O’Boyle, C Dowling, D McCormack.
Replacements: D Wilkinson for Reilly, H O’Neill for Fitzpatrick (both 45), H Wilkinson for Sexton, E Carr for O’Boyle (both 62), H McGoey for Devitt, R O’Regan for Cumbers (both 63), H Hogan for Dooley (64), A Mannion for Dowling (67).
ST GERARD’S, BRAY: C Long; J Brodeur, C O’Reilly, J Watson, C Kenny; P Burke, S Fitzpatrick; R Ledwidge, F Happonen, B Glass; M Merrin, T O’Connor; M Whelehan, C Pickering, A Long.
Replacements: O Newsome for Brodeur (10), O Hayes Restan for Fitzpatrick (35-37 & 57), C Desmond for Glass, T Wilkinson for Whelehan (both 41), M Von Teichmann for Wilkinson (43), B McCauley for Merrin (50), B Hogan for Pickering, K O’Grady for Long (both 57).
Referee: C Hogan (LRR).