Belvedere turn on the style at the RDS to clinch Leinster Schools Senior Cup

Defending champions Roscrea had no answer to Belvo’s free-flowing rugby.

Belvo players celebrate their win.
Belvo players celebrate their win.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Belvedere College 31
Roscrea 7

BELVEDERE COLLEGE HAVE clinched their 11th Leinster Schools Senior Cup after beating Cistercian College Roscrea in perfect conditions at the RDS this afternoon.

It was Belvedere who took the lead with less than five minutes on the clock, when full-back Hugh O’Sullivan squirmed his way through the Roscrea defence to touch down under the posts.Credit must go to prop Daniel McCaffrey who made some good territory in the build-up. Conor Jennings converted to give the Dublin school an early 7-0 lead.

Roscrea responded well and nearly went over themselves but for some last ditch defending by Belvo. However, poor handling and several knock-ons scuppered a couple of chances for Roscrea to score in the first-half.

More good play from Belvedere’s forwards saw them get the second try of the game. This time it was flanker Max Kearney who dived to the base of the posts to provide another early setback for the Offaly men.

Another Jennings conversion saw Belvo lead by 14 points, with control of the game in their sights.

Belvedere fans ahead of the game Belvo fans had plenty to shout about at the RDS. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

The passing from the Great Denmark Street school was sharp and crisp and after a superb breakaway, they nearly got their third try of the game.

Peter Maher’s quick thinking by chipping and catching the ball after a lovely offload, sent James McKeown through.

However, Maher’s pass was deemed to be forward by the TMO, denying the final a try it deserved.

Shortly after, Conor Jennings missed a kickable penalty which kept Roscrea very much in the game at half-time with the score at 14-0.

The interval didn’t hamper Belvedere’s momentum though. More free-flowing attacking rugby followed at the start of the second-half with McKeown grounding in the corner.

Shrugging off two Roscrea defenders with his pace and power, the winger magnificently grounded the ball in the corner. The conversion was missed but Belvedere had a comfortable 19-0 lead.

Roscrea lacked any sort of penetration and never really looked like getting back in the game.

The Dublin school showed a much higher standard of attacking potency and fluidity in their play and they were soon in for a fourth try after another superb finish, this time from Peter Maher.

Hugh O’Sullivan tackled by Philip O’Shea Belvedere's Hugh O’Sullivan tackled by Philip O’Shea of Roscrea. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Jennings missed another conversion but it didn’t matter as Belvo had two hands on the trophy with an insurmountable 24-point lead.

It looked as if the game was petering out but there was still enough time for James McKeown to score his second try of the game after an excellent break from O’Sullivan.

There was a late try for Roscrea as Jack Culligan bundled the ball over but it was little consolation for the Offaly men.

It is the first time the Dublin school have won the famous trophy since 2008, and in doing so have avenged last year’s final defeat to Roscrea.

Belvedere College scorers: 
Tries: Hugh O’Sullivan, Max Kearney, James McKeown x2, Peter Maher
Conversion: Conor Jennings x3
Roscrea scorers:
Tries: Jack Culligan
Conversion: Alan Tynan
Belvedere College: 15. Hugh O’Sullivan, 14.James McKeown, 13.Conor Jennings, 12.Hugh Sexton, 11.Peter Maher, 10.David Hawkshaw, 9.Paraic Cagney, 1.Daniel McCaffrey, 2.Cian Galvin, 3.Conor Walsh, 4.Hugh Fenlon, 5.Brian Egan (Captain), 6.Senan McNulty, 7.Max Kearney, 8.Tom De Jongh.Replacements: 16.Sam Osborne, 17.Cillian Molloy, 18.Jesse Iredale, 19.James Kenny, 20.Jake Robinson, 21.Ruadhan Byron, 22.Fergus Flood, 23.Fiachra Smith.

Cistercian College Roscrea: 15.Conor Kelly, 14.Daniel Keane, 13.Philip O’Shea, 12.Sam Hastings, 11.Joe Murphy, 10.Alan Tynan, 1. Michael Milne, 2.Eoghan Maher, 3.Dylan Murphy,4. Fineen Wycherley, 5.Aaron Browne, 6. Brian Diffley, 7.Jack Canning, 8.Simon Meagher (Captain).

Replacements: 16.Jack Culligan, 17. Ryan Lomas, 18.Darragh Treacy, 19.Aaron Murphy, 20.Cathal Walsh, 21.Finbarr Crowley, 22.Ben Hyland, 23. Evan Browne.

Referee: Dermot Blake.

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Shane Costello

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