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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 19 November, 2017
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Castletroy too strong for St Clement's as they reach final four

We’re getting to the business end of the Munster Senior Cup.

Stephen Atkinson and Conor Myers tackle Derry Gleeson Castletroy's Stephen Atkinson and Conor Myers tackle Derry Gleeson of St. Clements. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Castletroy 15

St Clement’s 0

CASTLETROY COLLEGE ARE the first side through to this year’s Munster Schools Senior Cup semi finals after a gritty performance saw them overcome a battling Clements’ side today.

It was by no means a classic performance from either side, and for the majority of the game the sides were a lot closer than full time score of 15-0 suggests.

A downpour prior to kick off left conditions difficult underfoot and this was evident in the opening quarter, with errors aplenty from both sides.

Clement’s put huge pressure on Castletroy and after a huge tackle from influential centre and captain Nathan Hughes caused a turnover, the city school were the bounce of a ball away from a potential breakaway try.

Castletroy now knew they were in a game, and used their forwards to rumble their way over the gainline with Sean English and Dylan Reeves-Wasik carrying with serious intent on a number of occasions.

After a bust from Eoin Hourigan in the 22 and skillful evasive work from centre Ronan McDonnell, a number of pick-and-go’s led to out half Stephen Atkinson touching down in the corner for a 5-0 lead after 20 minutes.

After he was unsuccessful with his conversion the rain again began to come down, and both defences were on top, with slow ball stopping either side from gaining any momentum.

Coached by Shane Mullaly and Brian Downey, Clements began the second half with clear directions — ‘have a real go’. And for the opening 10 minutes of the second half Castletroy were on the ropes. Captain Clancy’s long-range penalty dropped short, but Clement’s were pinning Castletroy back, with No 8 Enis Haxhiaj outstanding in the loose, and full back Sean Keane looking dangerous when putting boot to ball, and in broken field play.

Eoin Murnane and Aidan Quinlavan tackle Joseph Conway Clement’s Eoin Murnane and Aidan Quinlavan tackle Joseph Conway of Castletroy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

For all their effort, Clement’s didn’t manage to yield any score, and Castletroy then began to assert their dominance. Carrying in twos and threes, the Newtown schools pack went to a power game, and Clements could do nothing when Joey Conway and co barged their way over the line from close distance after a maul gained significant yardage.

Atkinson was again unsuccessful with a difficult kick, but the game was still in the balance at 10-0. Clements had to get more adventurous in their approach to get scores, but when a sliced kick landed in Reeves-Wasik hands 30 metres from the line, he drew two defenders before unselfishly putting winger Eoghan Carew over in the corner for 15-0.

In the final 10 minutes Clement’s rallied, and to their credit played some scintillating rugby cutting through Castletroy’s defence on several occasions, but to no avail.

Castletroy will find out on Thursday afternoon who they will meet in the semi finals, while Clement’s, after a 20-year absence from Senior Cup Rugby, can hold their heads high after a dogged display.

St. Clement’s fans Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers:

Castletroy: S.Atkinson, J.Conway, E. Carew  one try each.

Castletroy College XV: Shane Hogan; Shane Mullins, Ronan McDonnell, Paul Clancy, Eoghan Carew; Stephen Atkinson, Conor Lyons; Joseph Conway, Darragh O’Neill, Conor Myers; Evan Slattery, Sean English; Eoin Hourigan, Niall O’Shea (Capt.), Dylan Reeves-Wasik. Replacements: Adam Myers, Mike Ryan, Sean Fitzpatrick, Conor Bermingham, Gerard Clancy, Conor Cosgrave, Rory Hannon, Muiris Rowsome.

St. Clement’s College: Sean Keane; James Flanagan, Nathan Clancy (Capt.), Joshua Page, John Flynn; Jordan Higgins, Aran Hehir; Tony McMahon, Derry Gleeson, Conor Clancy; Aidan Quinlavan, Dillon Cotter; Shane Brosnahan, Eoin Murnane, Enis Haxhiaj. Replacements: Dylan Daly-Conway, Donal Browne, Sean Ryan-Tobin, Denis Mortell, Sean Wilmot, Adam Barry, James Neville, Scott Devitt.

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About the author:

Daragh Frawley

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