While there was never any serious doubt as to the outcome, “B” school qualifiers St Clement’s were in no way outclassed, even though they fell 12 points behind within 10 minutes of the kick-off. They matched the Glenstal pack for most of the 70 minutes, with Aidan Quinlivan outstanding in the second row, while half-backs John Bateman and Evan Griffin used possession wisely and effectively.
Glenstal, for their part, fully appreciate that they will need to step up on this level of performance if they are to bring the trophy to Murroe, Co Limerick, for the first time. They will be much strengthened in the coming weeks by the return after injury of Ireland and Munster schools out-half Ben Healy and yesterday they owed much to a powerful back-row of captain and number eight Rory Clarke, Mark Fleming, and Mark Walsh. Left wing Ronan Quinn produced a spectacular 80-metre second-half run out of defence that all but yielded a memorable try and he may be one to watch in future rounds.
Talented full-back Jack O’Mahony got Glenstal off to a great start with a smartly taken try converted by Aran Egan and they quickly took control with a second try by second row Conan O’Sullivan.
However, Clement’s showed they were no pushovers and dominated territory for a 10-minute period during which they cut arrears with a penalty by John Brennan.
However, they were otherwise kept at bay by a well- organised Glenstal defence and a powerful burst out of defence by Fleming led to an unconverted try by hooker George Downing to leave Glenstal 17-3 ahead at the break.
Clement’s held a territorial advantage on the restart, but a wayward pass was intercepted by Glenstal centre Luke Fitzgerald, who sprinted 80 metres for a try that Egan converted. Again, Clement’s showed their mettle by regaining the ascendancy and set up a try for Quinlivan which Brennan converted, before Glenstal had the last say with a penalty by Egan.
J O’Mahony; T Molony, J Mawhinney, L Fitzgerald, R Quinn; A Egan, T McCoole; S Scanlon-Garry, G Downing, E Bergin, C O’Sullivan, S Downes, M Walsh, M Fleming, R Clarke. Replacements – P Mulligan, H Downing, P Prendergast, D Kelly, J Fitzgerald, A Walsh, C Dooley, D Floyd, E Callaghan, A Hogan.
J Neville; A Barry, A Hehir capt, S Brosnahan, A Marshall; J Bateman, E Griffin; A Stacey, D Gleeson, C Clancy, A Quinlivan, D Mortell, D Cotter, G O’Byrne, M Kiely. Replacements – A Ahern, D Daly Conway, C Byrne, J Flynn, A Lloyd, C Donnelly, C O’Brien, S Wilmott, A Kiely, C Heelan.
Tommy O’Donoghue (MAR).