Following their quarter-final victory over Cork Constitution, Dolphin proved much too good for Midleton at Towns Park on Saturday, and in the process watched former Leinster U19 player Garrett Ó Súilleabháin produce a five-star performance in the ultimately facile 40-14 victory.
In the absence of the injured Barry Keeshan, Ó Súilleabháin took over the goal-kicking duties and returned eight from eight, four penalties and four conversions, for a personal tally of 20 points. Additionally, he played a huge role in two of Dolphin’s four tries, not least the first when his brilliant 60 metre break allowed Cian Bohane in for the first of his two tries.
Midleton played well at times but suffered from unforced errors and Dolphin took full advantage, with Ed Mills and Seanie McKeown each pouncing for additional tries. The home side had consolation tries from Gary Colbert and Rob Smith, both converted by Paul Daly.
In the second Cork semi-final, Highfield scraped through with a 24-23 win over Cashel in a thriller at Spafield. Paddy O’Toole gave Highfield the lead with a converted try after six minutes, but Kevin Leamy’s try, converted by Pat O’Connor, put the home side back in the game. O’Connor and O’Toole exchanged penalties before Cashel pulled away with an Ed Leamy intercept try that O’Connor converted before kicking a penalty for a 20-10 half time lead.
O’Connor stretched that out to 13 points with another penalty but Highfield hit back with a Paddy Ryan try, converted by O’Toole. Ten minutes from the end, Fergal Twohig snatched another Highfield try and O’Toole nailed the conversion to book a place in the final.
Old rivals Shannon and UL Bohs fought out the second of the Limerick semi-finals on Saturday, following Young Munster’s victory over Garryowen on Friday night.
Shannon have enjoyed the better of things between these clubs over the years, but UL Bohs produced a stunning performance to secure a comprehensive 40-9 victory.
Keith McManus and Rory While struck early for the winners with a try apiece before Ben Sargent (Shannon) and Ben Martin twice exchanged penalties to leave the half time score 13-9 in favour of UL Bohemian.
With the wind at their backs, UL Bohs pulled away impressively in the second half. Martin kicked a 49th minute penalty and dropped a goal midway through the half. Shannon ran out of steam in the last quarter and the victors ran in three converted tries. Martin did the needful in front of goal after Martin McPhail, Ed Kelly and Finbarr Aherne got the tries.
Friday result: Young Munster 26 (G Burke, T Goggin tries, W Staunton 4 pens, two cons) Garryowen 14 (C Hircock try, J Gavin 3 pens).