Glenstal Abbey 18 Rockwell College 0: A powerful display by Glenstal up front and out wide sent Rockwell packing yesterday and put the Co Limerick school into the penultimate stage.
A try in each half, by Ronan Quinn and Andrew Hogan, the latter’s an intercept effort which summed up Rockwell’s day, along with two successful penalties and a conversion by Ben Healy were more than enough for Glenstal.
It was a match nothing went right for Rockwell as they gave away too many penalties in all areas of the field, saw chances go abegging because of knocks-on or wayward passes and posed little real threat to the Abbey line.
They suffered an early blow when captain Kevin Kelly had to go off injured after 20 minutes, while number eight Ciaran Ryan was stretched off late in the game after being attended to for some minutes near the corner. His withdrawal was followed shortly afterwards by Hogan’s try and it was game over.
Glenstal showed their intent from the opening minutes of this clash at Clanwilliam in Tipperary. Centre Luke Fitzgerald emulated his famous namesake at times with some incisive breaks and always looked a threat, while flanker Mark Fleming was similarly dangerous from the pack.
Maybe things would have worked out differently for Rockwell if a fly-kick into the corner in the 11th minute, after a quick break by Pádraig Leamy and Joe McCormack, hadn’t beaten the onrushing backs and they could have crossed the line. But the touch-line beat them to it, and Glenstal mopped up from the linnet.
At that stage Rockwell were just 3-0 down - a Ben Healy penalty - but 10 minutes later Healy doubled the Glenstal lead, and things were looking grim for the Cashel school when Ronan Quinn broke from halfway just before the interval and went the whole way across the line for the opening try, opening up an 11-0 lead.
The Glenstal backs showed some lovely movement at various junctures, with Healy always looking to open up the play and well-supported by scrum-half Thanade McCoole. Their centre pairing of Fitzgerald and Jamie Mawhinney as well as full-back Jack O’Mahony asked many questions of the Rockwell defence.
Rockwell tried hard in the second-half to get back into contention but the ever- worsening conditions, featuring a swirling wind and driving rain, made it difficult to put anything together. Ciarán Ryan peeled off the scrum a couple of times to launch attacks while half-backs Oisín Mangan and Jake Flannery kept trying to find chinks in Glenstal’s armour but were well held.
Hogan’s try killed off Rockwell hopes and in the end, it was a convincing display by Glenstal Abbey who will enter the semi-finals in optimistic mood.
Scorers for Glenstal:
B Healy two pens, one con; R Quinn try, A Hogan try.
J O’Mahony, T Molony, J Mawhinney, L Fitzgerald, R Quinn, B Healy, T McCoole, S Scanlon-Garry, G Downing, E Bergin, C O’Sullivan, S Downes, M Walsh, M Fleming, R Clarke.
C Booth for M Walsh (45m), H Downing for E Bergin (48m), A Hogan for T Molony (60m), P Mulligan for M Fleming (66m), J Fitzgerald for S Downes (66m), D Floyd for J Mawhinney (70m).
R O’Sullivan, C Egan, P Leamy, A Daly, J McCormack, J Flannery, O Mangan, C Ryan, J Harney, P Murchan, C Kennedy, C Farrell, B Ryan, J O’Meara, K Kelly.
C Ryan for K Kelly (20m), D Molloy for J O’Meara (65m), T Russell for C Ryan (65m).
Richard Horgan (Munster Branch)
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