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Blackrock and Belvedere can’t be separated after absorbing Senior Cup clash

A Conor Dean penalty in the 65th penalty ensured the quarter-final went to a replay.

Blackrock's Gavin Mullin with Hugh Sexton of Belvedere College.
Blackrock's Gavin Mullin with Hugh Sexton of Belvedere College.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Blackrock College 10

Belvedere College 10

BLACKROCK AND BELVEDERE must meet again after playing out a gripping 10-10 draw in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup in the competition’s headline quarter-final.

Blackrock started brightly and were awarded a penalty just a couple of minutes into the game but it was missed by full-back James McGowan.

The south Dublin side continued to dominate the match and got the first score of the game when Luke Gaffney made the most of an opening in the Belvedere defence to set Richie Dunne free for the first try of the game. McGowan converted from under the posts to give the favourites a 7-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for Belvedere to get back into the quarter-final. Conor Jennings, who missed two penalties earlier in the game, successfully scored from a much simpler third attempt.

Jennings would go on to miss a fourth penalty before half-time, meaning Belvedere trailed by four points at the break.

Belvedere carried their forward momentum into the second-half and nearly scored form a superb counter-attack from their own half in the 38th minute, but it was somehow kept out by a terrific Blackrock defence.

They were, however, to be rewarded for their pressure when David Hawkshaw overpowered three Blackrock defenders to cross the line and give Belvedere the lead for the first time in the game. The conversion by Jennings extended the gap to three and set up a tense finale.

Belvo had the opportunity to extend their lead to six points after they were awarded a penalty with 12 minutes to go. Instead of kicking for goal, they opted for the corner, conscious of the several failed attempts in the first-half. No score resulted from the play and their lead remained three points.

That decision perhaps proved costly as with five minutes to go, Blackrock were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Conor Dean showed nerves of steel to kick the ball over the bar to tie the scores at 10-10.

The second-half was a battering affair, as both teams still tried their best to carve open opportunities with free-flowing rugby, and the outcome remained uncertain right until the final whistle.

Neither side looked happy with the draw, but they can both sleep easy tonight, knowing they are still in the competition.

The replay has been scheduled for 3pm on Monday, 22 February in Donnybrook.

Blackrock College scorers:

Tries: Richie Dunne

Conversion: James McGowan

Penalties: Conor Dean

Belvedere College scorers:

Tries: David Hawkshaw

Conversion: Conor Jennings

Penalties: Conor Jennings

Blackrock College: James McGowan, Patrick Patterson, Gavin Mullin, Liam Turner, Conor Kelly, Conor Dean, Luke Gaffney, Emmet Burns, Stephen McLoughlin, Richie Mouatt, Colm O’Flaherty, Charlie Ryan, Richard Dunne, John Fairley, Caelan Doris (Captain).

Replacements: Hugh Egleston, Charlie Connolly Giuseppe Coyne, Jack Gardiner, Hugo Burke, Paul Cullen, Alejandro Alonso, Dan Power.

Belvedere College: Hugh O’Sullivan, James McKeown, Conor Jennings, Hugh Sexton, Peter Maher, David Hawkshaw, Paraic Cagney, Daniel McCaffrey, Cian Galvin, Conor Walsh, Hugh Fenlon, Brian Egan (Captain), Senan McNulty, Max Kearney, Tom DeJongh.

Replacements: Sam Osborne, Cillian Molloy, Jesse Iredale, James Kenny, Jake Robinson, Brian Gibbons, Fergus Flood, Fiachra Smith.

Referee: Dermot Blake

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About the author:

Shane Costello

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