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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 15 August, 2018
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League winners St Gerard's lay down Cup credentials in defeat of St Fintan's

The Leinster Senior Schools Cup first round continued today.

Ethan Baxter bursts through a couple of tackles during today's game at Donnybrook.
Ethan Baxter bursts through a couple of tackles during today's game at Donnybrook.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

St Gerard’s 23

St Fintan’s High School 7

ST GERARD’S SAFELY advanced to the next phase of the Leinster Senior Schools Cup with a comprehensive opening round success over St Fintan’s High School at Donnybrook this afternoon.

A third-minute try by Darragh Kelly helped Fintan’s to make a dream start to the contest, but with Oliver Haydock and Ethan Baxter in sparkling form, Gerard’s ultimately progressed in convincing fashion.

Kelly returned from the Sutton school’s agonising 31-29 defeat to Clongowes Wood College at the same stage last year, and following an early driving maul towards the Gerard’s line, he had a simple finish in the left-corner.

Frank O’Dea brilliantly converted from the touchline to stretch the Fintan’s lead to seven points.

However, by the 14th minute of the opening half, Leinster Senior League champions Gerard’s had got themselves back on level terms.

After an attempted clearance by Fintan’s was charged down, Gerard’s skipper Ethan Baxter crossed over with relative ease — and Oliver Haydock supplied the extras.

The sin-binning of Kelly for a high-tackle on David O’Brien subsequently handed the initiative to Gerard’s in the closing stages of the half, and a lengthy period of attacking pressure ended with number eight Rory Wilson diving over for an unconverted try.

This offered the north Wicklow school a 12-7 interval lead, which was extended to eight points courtesy of a superb Haydock penalty just after the restart.

After a promising opening to the action, Fintan’s hopes of reaching the last-eight for the very first time were beginning to fade.

Rory Wilson Rory Wilson of St Gerard's. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

They continued to persevere with their challenge, but heading into the final quarter, another routine Haydock place-kick had given Gerard’s a commanding cushion.

Jason Emery’s side were now playing with supreme confidence, and they rounded off an emphatic performance with a Morgan Freeley try six minutes from the end.

Meanwhile, in the day’s other first round game, eight-time winners Clongowes booked their place in Friday’s quarter-final draw with a 29-21 win over The King’s Hospital at Clontarf RFC.

St Gerard’s scorers: Tries: Ethan Baxter, Rory Wilson, Morgan Freeley
Penalties: Oliver Haydock [2 from 2]
Conversions: Oliver Haydock [1 from 3]St Fintan’s scorers:

Tries: Darragh Kelly
Conversions: Frank O’Dea [1 from 1]

ST GERARD’S: 15. Max O’Reilly; 14. Paddy Opperman, 13. Oliver Haydock, 12. Cormac Foley, 11. Morgan Freeley; 10. David O’Brien, 9. Jack O Caoimh; 1. David Carroll, 2. Robert Byrne, 3. Adam O’Reilly, 4. Donal Ahern, 5. Daniel McGovern, 6. Charles Byrne, 7. Ethan Baxter (captain), 8. Rory Wilson.

Replacements: 16. Jack Dempsey, 17. Isaac Philips, 18. Luke Concannon, 19. Thomas Cahill-Hannigan, 20. Ben Watson, 21. Jack Kennedy, 22. Conor Diamond, 23. Marc Finn.

ST FINTAN’S HIGH SCHOOL: 15. Daniel Callen; 14. Niall O’Halloran, 13. Darragh Kelly, 12. Mikey McGiff, 11. Sean Boyle; 10. Frank O’Dea, 9. Jack Ussher; 1. Adam Kenny, 2. Killian Hickey, 3. Michael Fitzpatrick Kelly, 4. David Lally, 5. Sam Donohue (captain), 6. Shane Cox, 7. Cormac Graham, 8. Aidan O’Kane.

Replacements: 16. Charlie Fearon, 17. Alex Kelly, 18. Thomas Bourke, 19. Robert McCormack, 20. Conor Hickey, 21. Alan Keogan, 22. Eoin Dickson, 23. Sean O’Connor.

Referee: John Carvill.

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About the author:

Daire Walsh

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