Belvedere College - Seniors - SCT

Seniors - SCT

Seniors - SCT

SCT Rugby Campaign

Belvo complete incredible late comeback to keep three-in-a-row bid alive

photo source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Ryan Bailey reports from Donnybrook

Dead and buried with 10 minutes remaining, the holders — trailing 19-3 — found something from somewhere to mount a late surge which not only came out of the blue but blew a previously superb St Michael’s side away.

Replacement prop Mateusz Galinski will go down as the hero as his try, just as the clock had gone red, sent one side of Donnybrook into complete raptures before David Lacey held his nerve to complete a one-point victory.
Smash and grab comes to mind, but that would do Phil Werahiko’s side a great disservice.
Granted the 12-time winners were second best for large periods of this Leinster Senior Schools Cup semi-final, but just when it looked like their grip on the trophy was slipping, they dug deep, turned the tide and staged an almighty heist.
Lacey’s try on 60 minutes gave Belvo hope but, even still, they had nine points to overhaul against a resolute and tireless Michael’s defence, which had stood firm for so long only to wilt in the crucial moments.
The fullback, a minor footballer with Dublin, then knocked over a penalty from in front of the posts and although Michael’s had control of the ball in opposition territory, Belvo snatched it back to launch one last attack.
From a lineout on the far side, the pack surged towards the line — Michael’s were powerless to halt the momentum — and it was left to Galinski to crash over.
While there was delight on one side, you can’t help but feel for Michael’s, who were quite superb for 60 minutes here and had one foot in a first final since 2013 having streaked clear through Rob Gilsenan and a brace from Jay Barron.
But when Belvo threw everything at them, Michael’s were unable to see the game out and were left to rue another glorious missed opportunity, conceding 17 points during a frenzied finale.

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Belvo building up a head of steam as defending champions power into last four

Photo Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
The Leinster Senior Schools Cup quarter-finals continued at Donnybrook this afternoon.

Belvedere College 23
Newbridge College 7

Ryan Bailey reports from Donnybrook

THE THREE-IN-A ROW bid is building momentum, and as has been the case for the last number of years in this competition, Belvedere College are again emerging as the team to beat.

They needed a strong second-half display to eventually see off Newbridge College but once Phil Werahiko’s side began to flex their considerable muscle, there was only ever going to be one winner.

In what was a scrappy contest, Belvo displayed all their credentials by striking at key moments. Neil Howard crashed over just before the interval to break the deadlock and although the 12-time winners were pegged back by the concession of an intercept try not long after, they pulled clear in the final quarter.

Photo Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Prop James Gleeson finished off a powerful rolling maul in the far corner and after fullback David Lacey had knocked over two penalties, centre Matthew Grogan completed the win with a fine individual score at the death.

Even without their talismanic out-half David Hawkshaw, who had his right shoulder heavily strapped as he acted as water carrier, this Belvo side have big players all over the field, no more so than captain Ruadhan Byron.

Newbridge landed a couple of blows of their own, and in Cian Prendergast have a supremely-talented lock, but having expended huge energy in keeping the game scoreless until the 35th minute, were unable to match Belvo’s relentless energy and power.

The first period was played at a high-tempo, but poor handling skills let both sides down and neither were able to land a punch until the final minute of the half when replacement lock Howard crashed over for Belvo.
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Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Belvedere College 11 Gonzaga College 10

Holders Belvedere just about did enough to hold off Gonzaga by the slimmest margin to qualify for the Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook on Sunday.

In the process, they suffered a body blow that could reverberate through the rest of the competition when their captain David Hawkshaw was withdrawn with a serious looking arm injury after half-an-hour.

The only compensation was that it came just after they had moved into a 5-3 lead from flanker Aaron Coleman’s try in the 26th minute in a game they never dominated.

The signs of Belvedere getting their act together were there in scrumhalf Ted Walsh’s half break and Coleman’s support line for a finely executed effort.

Before that, Gonzaga had moved ahead from scrumhalf Jack Connolly’s penalty when a powerful maul was taken down by illegal means in the seventh minute.

Maybe the Sandford Road school was hampered by playing three natural inside centres – Eoin Barr at 10, Arthur Henry at 12 and Brian O’Donnell at 13 and they lacked the cutting edge to go with the forward momentum given by Simon Clear, Ian O’Grady and Eoin Buggy.

They came out for the second period with Belvedere appearing to take control through the driving of prop James Gleeson, lock Alekseiy Soroka, flanker Gerard Hill and the subtle touches of number eight Ruadhan Byron.

The Northsiders made it a two-score game when Walsh had his inside ball slapped down for fullback John Lacey to split the posts in the 50th minute.

All the while, Gonzaga were peppering the gain line with direct carriers that were, mostly, meat and drink to Belvo’s defence.

On a rare breakout, an illegal tackle resulted in Lacey arrowing a penalty from 42 metres in the 64th minute.

In the blink of an eye, Connolly speared through on the right and found his captain Robbie Kidney on his inside shoulder for a picture-perfect try which Connolly converted to take them as close as they would get.

Read this Irish Times article in full here

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