Cistercian College, Roscrea, were left stunned at Donnybrook yesterday as an outstanding performance from Gonzaga College brought the Tipperary school’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup campaign to an end at the quarter-final stage.
Roscrea fell behind after just two minutes as Gonzaga lock Eoin Buggy finished off a powerful maul on the right-flank. This was followed by a second try from David Lynch four minutes later.
Pieter Swanepoel’s side were shell-shocked by these early scores, but they eventually opened their account with a five-pointer from Neal Moylett. Although they conceded a second score to Buggy, Roscrea incredibly brought a 19-17 lead into the interval as Philip O’Shea and Michael Milne secured tries at the end of excellent team moves.
Roscrea couldn’t push on after the resumption, and Gonzaga moved back into the ascendancy when a sweeping 44th-minute attack ended with winger Sean Galvin touching down. Gonzaga extended their cushion with a seven-point salvo from out-half Michael O’Kennedy, and, after James Kenny dotted down from a quick tap and go, Roscrea were facing into a seemingly insurmountable 36-19 deficit.
A well-worked Ryan Lomas five-pointer gave last year’s finalists a much-needed injection, but inside centre Eoin Barr’s final-minute try completed the scoring for Gonzaga — they will now face Blackrock College in an eagerly awaited semi-final.
M O’Kennedy try, 3 cons, E Buggy 2 tries, D Lynch, S Galvin, J Kenny, E Barr try each.
T Bird try, 2 cons, N Moylett, P O’Shea, M Milne try each.
T Bird; B Hyland, P O’Shea, A Donavan, P Keane; C Kelly, L Crowley; R Lomas, T Byrne, M Milne; D Maher, N Moylett; C Walsh, R Enraght-Moony, J Brandon.
J Matthews for Crowley (44), E Browne for Keane (46), J Cahir for Byrne, J Canning for Maher (both 49), J Culleton for Donavan (51), J Corcoran for Walsh (55), L Rigney for Brandon (61).
D Lynch; S Galvin, B O’Donnell, E Barr, H Twomey; M O’Kennedy, J Kenny; M Gleeson, C Gleeson, S Clear; E Buggy, R Kidney; I O’Grady, M Keegan, E Barron.
M Meagre for Gleeson (41), E Allen for Twomey (63), J Veale for Keegan (65).
B Cuttriss (LRR).