They played their part in a pulsating encounter at Donnybrook yesterday, but Cistercian College Roscrea’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup campaign ultimately ended in a quarter-final defeat to an impressive St Mary’s College.
Two tries in the space of four minutes by Roscrea duo Michael Milne and Tadhg Bird set-up a grandstand finale, before a brace of Eoin Carey scores ultimately decided the outcome of this nine-try thriller.
Mary’s had opened the scoring through an early Ruairi Shields penalty, but following a protracted move inside the 22, full-back Bird released winger Jay Culleton for an unconverted Roscrea try.
Their lead was shortlived, however, as Mary’s scrum-half Adam McEvoy dived over after 11 minutes via a five-metre attacking scrum. A routine Billy Foley penalty for Roscrea ensured the sides were on level terms (8-8) at the break.
Thanks to converted touchdowns by Tim MacMahon and Gavin O’Brien, Mary’s opened a 14-point gap on the resumption.
Roscrea refused to throw in the towel, though, and the outstanding Milne drove over the Mary’s line on 51 minutes. Bird’s superb solo try on the right wing (supplemented by a Foley conversion) left the tie delicately poised, but Mary’s held their nerve under intense pressure. Carey crossed over in the 59th and 67th minutes, and while Milne claimed his second try in stoppage-time, it served as a mere consolation for Roscrea.
E Carey 2 tries, A McEvoy, T MacMahon, G O’Brien try each, R Shields pen, 2 cons.
M Milne 2 tries, J Culleton, T Bird try each, B Foley pen, 3 cons.
R Shields; H Conway, M McEvoy, T MacMahon, E Carey; S Bourke, A McEvoy; S O’Reilly, G O’Brien, C McElearney, I Wickham, S Heeran, O Byrne, H McSweeney, N Hurley.
J Nolan for Byrne (42), E Franklin for A McEvoy (69), E Massey for McElearney, J Walsh for Bourke, P Masterson for MacMahon (all 70).
T Bird; J Culleton, C Izuchukwu, D Kilgallon, E Browne; B Foley, L Crowley; J Wycherley, J Cahir, M Milne, L Culleton, D Maher, J Corcoran, G Meagher, N Moylett.
R Lomas for Corcoran (h-t), D Tynan for Kilgallon, J Matthews for Crowley (both 53), D Power for Maher (60), J Cronin for Meagher (63), C Bradshaw for Cahir, B Murphy for J Culleton (both 69).
B Cuttriss (LRR).