Schools Rugby: St Michael’s College V Belvedere College

by Aaron Dunne
0 comment

St Michael’s College 22

Belvedere College 14

Hooker Joe Kennedy’s brace of tries propelled St Michael’s into the final after they were able to do more with less ball.

The Belvedere forwards were intent on making an early statement, steaming onto the quick service from half-backs Charlie Callafhan and Johnny Garrihy.

Then, they looked to centre Dylan Lord to make something happen, releasing Rory O’Farrell up the left where Setanta McLaughlin drove the wing into touch.

The groundwork of openside Owen Twomey gave St Michael’s their first taste of field position, the light feet of prop Conor Canniffe causing problems.

The energetic pursuit of Callaghan’s lofted ball by David Barr earned a penalty, but the sky blues countered through Eoin Loo, keeping the ball impressively for prop Matthew Dredge to be held up over the line by centre Paul Dunne.

Read more in this weeks DUBLIN Gazette out in stores now

Anyway, Harrison McMahon opened the scoring from a simple penalty for a previous indiscretion in the 20th minute.

The battering ram of Belvo’ bursts by Harry Goslin and Alex Clarke and a robust maul were difficult to contain.

The agility of Clarke at the breakdown was rewarded with a penalty which the rest of the pack mauled, lock Shaun Mitchell claiming the try for Garrihy to convert for 7-3 in the 27th minute.

Straight away, Garrihy delved into his box of tricks for Dunne to latch onto a smart kick, hacking head and applying downward pressure for Garrihy to add the conversion.

20 March 2023; Paul Dunne of Belvedere College, 12, celebrates with teammates after scoring their side’s second try during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Schools Junior Cup semi-final replay match between Belvedere College and St Michael’s College at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

St Michael’s were able to turn their next attack into seven points when Kennedy bounced a tackle and McMahon arrowed the conversion for 14-10 at the break.

Belvedere had the ascendency again in a repeat of the first period, pounding away on the fringes where Twomey was waiting to claw out penalties.

A dynamic tackle by Goslin was deemed worthy of a red card which Belvedere used for fuel, bounding forward until they were thwarted at a maul and repelled in a series of drives.

Once they escaped, St Michael’s will to play to width opened up space and the forwards played their part, from a maul, to set up centre Matthew Haugh for a jinking finish, converted by McMahon for 17-14 in the 52nd minute.

They came again, Sean King, Canniffe and Twomey all bolting forward to establish position, hooker Kennedy grabbing his second in the 58th minute.

Click on link to read more in this weeks Digital EditionDublin Gazette – Digital Edition – March 23, 2023 – Dublin Gazette Newspapers – Dublin News, Sport and Lifestyle

Related Articles