Castleknock College held off a spirited fightback from Cistercian College, Roscrea at Donnybrook Stadium yesterday to book their place in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-finals.
Leading 21-5 at the break, Castleknock — coached by former Munster outhalf Jeremy Staunton — looked set to ease into the last-eight.
Yet they were made to work for their victory as Roscrea fired back with late tries courtesy of Martin Fallon and Oisin McCloskey.
Winners at this grade in 2015, Roscrea fell behind to Fergus Stanley’s converted try on seven points.
They subsequently responded through the impressive Fallon before Stanley and Conor Dunne pounced to give Castleknock their healthy interval advantage.
The West Dublin outfit are eight-time champions at this level and count Ireland international Devin Toner amongst their past pupils.
A Louis McDonough penalty stretched them further in front on 44 minutes and while Fallon and McCloskey made things interesting in the final-quarter, Castleknock were worthy victors on the day.
F Stanley 2 tries, C Dunne try, L McDonough pen, 3 cons.
M Fallon 2 tries, O McCloskey try, D Keane con.
A Watson; O Kirby, F Gibbons, C Dunne, J Rooney; L McDonough, C Duggan; B Bislin, A Creedon, B Griffin; L Callinan, S Callinan; F Stanley, C McCarrick, I Bermingham.
G Quinn for Birmingham (63), C Mahon for Duggan, A Birnie for Callinan (both 68).
M Heenan; S Cullen, S Mallon, C Bird, A Dunne; D Keane, S Murphy; S Frawley, J McKeon, S Connolly; J Gilligan, M Fallon; B Burns, O McCloskey, F McWey-Fingleton.
J Ryan for Mallon (4-7), C Lawlor for Cullen (25), Ryan for Murphy (51), A Nash for Gilligan (62).
C Roche (LRR).