Holders Cistercian College will face Clongowes Wood College in the semi-final of the Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup after their win over a spirited Gonzaga at Donnybrook.
Eight of last year’s starting team were returning for Roscrea, but found themselves on level terms after ten minutes, as Alan Tynan’s place-kick was cancelled out by Gonzaga’s Micheal O’Kennedy.
The Ranelagh outfit looked dangerous, and after excellent approach work from centre Harry Brennan, Adam Browne evaded a number of challenges to touch down on the left-flank for a 13th-minute converted try.
This was a setback for Roscrea, but they hit back and their pressure told as referee Gary Glennon signalled for a penalty try 22 minutes in.
Tynan’s conversion restored parity.
Openside flanker Jack Canning (nephew of Galway hurler Joe) was held up at the end of a fine move but prop Michael Milne claimed a try as Cistercian led 15-10 at the break. They added to their tally 10 minutes after the restart as replacement Jack Culligan drove over the whitewash.
An outstanding conversion by Culligan’s fellow substitute Conor Kelly increased the Roscrea cushion to 12 points, and when a neat offload from Tynan enabled Joe Murphy to secure a fourth try eight minutes from time, the come was placed beyond any doubt.
A memorable run from scrum-half Rob Kelly did produce a consolation try for Gonzaga after 66 minutes converted by Oran James.
Penalty try, M Milne, J Culligan, J Murphy try each, A Tynan pen, con, C Kelly con.
A Browne, R Kelly try each, M O’Kennedy pen, con, O James con.
A Tynan; D Keane, P O’Shea, S Hastings, J Murphy; R Gaffney, K Kavanagh; M Milne, E Maher, D Murphy; F Wycherley, A Murphy; B Diffley, J Canning, S Meagher.
C Kelly for Gaffney (14), J Culligan for Canning, B Hyland for O’Shea (both 43), A Browne for A Murphy (51), R Lomas for D Murphy (63), C Walsh for Maher, D Treacy for Milne, F Crowley for Kavanagh (all 67).
S Galvin; D Lynch, H Brennan, B Goulding, A Browne; M O’Kennedy, R Kelly; F Keane, A McEvoy, E Coyle; S Dempsey, E Ryder; C Farrell, J MacNamara, T Costello.
H O’Grady for Dempsey (9), A Caslin for Lynch (46), S Clear for Keane (55), R O’Donnelly for Ryder, J Mulcahy for O’Kennedy, O James Galvin for (all 63), F McHugh for Goulding (70).
G Glennon (LRR).