Belvedere College secured their place in the last four of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup after defeating Blackrock College in a thrilling quarter-final replay in Donnybrook yesterday.
Belvo had signalled their intent just four minutes into the action - when an expertly-worked move produced a try for centre Conor Jennings.
But their lead was short lived as a Hugo Burke try which was converted by full-back James McGowan had Blackrock two points ahead seven minutes later.
Jennings made amends for his missed conversion attempt by splitting the posts from a 17th-minute penalty, before ’Rock regained the lead with excellent individual tries from out-half Conor Dean and Burke (his second).
It was beginning to look ominous for Phil Werahiko’s north Dubliners, but thanks to brace of superb tries from pacey left-wing Peter Maher, Belvo were suddenly four points to the good (23-19) by the interval.
However, ’Rock regained momentum after the restart, as flanker Burke completed his hat-trick of tries by applying the finishing touches a powerful maul inside the ‘Belvo ‘22’.
Jennings passed up an opportunity to level matters on 45 minutes, but from their subsequent foray into enemy territory, No 8 Tom De Jongh dotted down in powerful fashion for a converted score.
A fifth try from fly-half David Hawkshaw placed Belvo in pole position for a place in the final-four, and although a McGowan penalty meant ’Rock remained within touching distance, Belvo held out to advance to a semi-final date with St Michael’s.
C Jennings try, 2 cons, 2 pens, P Maher 2 tries, T De Jongh, D Hawkshaw try each.
H Burke 3 tries, C Dean try, J McGowan 3 cons, pen.
H O’Sullivan; J McKeown, C Jennings, H Sexton, P Maher; D Hawkshaw, P Cagney; D McCaffrey, C Galvin, C Wynne-Walsh; H Fenlon, B Egan; S McNulty, M Kearney, T De Jongh.
J Iredale for Fenlon, J Kenny for McNulty (both 59), F Flood for Cagney (68).
J McGowan; P Patterson, G Mullin, L Turner, C Kelly; C Dean, L Gaffney; E Burns, S McLaughlin, R Mouatt; C O’Flaherty, C Ryan; R Dunne, H Burke, C Doris.
G Coyne for Mouatt (34-36), J Fairley for Burke (48), Coyne for Burns, J Gardiner for O’Flaherty, J Ringrose for Gaffney, F Power for Kelly (all 59), H Egleston for McLaughlin, C Connolly for Mouatt (both 65).
D Blake (LRR).