Jennings steers Belvedere to last four after thriller with Blackrock

Belvedere College 35 Blackrock College 29
Jennings steers Belvedere to last four after thriller with Blackrock

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.

Scorers for Belvedere College:

C Jennings try, 2 cons, 2 pens, P Maher 2 tries, T De Jongh, D Hawkshaw try each.

Scorers for Blackrock College:

H Burke 3 tries, C Dean try, J McGowan 3 cons, pen.

BELVEDERE COLLEGE:

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.

Replacements:

J Iredale for Fenlon, J Kenny for McNulty (both 59), F Flood for Cagney (68).

BLACKROCK COLLEGE:

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.

Replacements:

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).

Referee:

D Blake (LRR).

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