St Michael’s College produced a remarkable final-quarter fightback at Donnybrook to claim the Leinster Schools Junior Cup title at the expense of previous champions Blackrock College.
Trailing 19-5 at the interval, the Ailesbury Road outfit fired back through skipper Zach Baird on 47 minutes.
Sean Egan’s converted score subsequently wiped out ‘Rock’s advantage and David Fegan was then on hand to snatch victory with the final play of the game. This completes a junior and senior cup double for Michael’s - a feat they last achieved in 2012.
They enjoyed a dream start to the action as winger Tiernan Hurley gathered Henry McErlean’s cross-field kick to touch down for a fourth-minute try. In spite of this early set-back, ‘Rock eventually assumed control of the opening half proceedings.
Liam Moloney drove over the whitewash off the back of a powerful maul - Zach Quirke converting with ease - and Will Fitzgerald added another try in the 25th-minute. With their tails now up, Ethan Laing rounded off an incisive attack to leave Blackrock on the brink of a 52nd junior title.
While Baird offered Michael’s renewed hope, the smart money was still on the Williamstown school to prevail. Their southside rivals had other ideas, though, Gunne adding the bonuses to an Egan finish with just three minutes remaining on the clock.
Michael’s required a replay to get the better of ‘Rock at this stage in 2017, but replacement Fegan capped off a devastating counter to ensure it wasn’t necessary on this occasion.
Scorers for St Michael’s College: T Hurley, Z Baird, S Egan, D Fegan try each, F Gunne 3 cons.
Scorers for Blackrock College: L Molony, W Fitzgerald, E Laing try each, Z Quirke 2 cons.
ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE: H McErlean; D Whelehan, M Victory, S Berman, T Hurley; K McMahon, F Gunne; D Barron, M Sherwin, S Egan, M Sadlier, D Woods, D Carroll, J Brown, Z Baird.
Replacements: JP Tiernan for McErlean (17), D Fegan for Carroll (46), C Foley for Whelehan (58).
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: R Moloney; C Ryan, H Cooney, F Mei, E Laing; Z Quirke, W Fitzgerald; C O’Brien, G Barron, P McCarthy, S Green, T Brigg, J McLoughlin, L Molony, G McCarthy.
Replacements: C Leahy for Moloney (8), M Caskey for Cooney (47), M le Bail for O’Brien, M Brophy for McLoughlin (both 57).
Referee: G Sheridan (LRR).