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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Champions turn on the style to advance to Leinster Schools Senior Cup semi-finals

St Michael’s were comprehensive winners against Gonzaga in a repeat of last year’s decider.

St Michael’s College 34
Gonzaga College 3

Daire Walsh reports from Donnybrook

THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS St Michael’s College advanced to the semi-finals of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup with a comprehensive triumph over Gonzaga College this afternoon.

hugo-fitzgarld-tackles-jack-boyle Gonzaga College's Hugo Fitzgerald attempts to tackle Jack Boyle of St Michael's College. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Thanks to a brace of tries from James Power, the Ailesbury Road outfit held a 14-3 interval lead. Gonzaga had claimed the scalp of 69-time champions Blackrock College in the opening round, but with Michael’s fullback Chris Cosgrave amassing a personal haul of 14 points, it was the holders who progressed in fine style.

This game was a repeat of last year’s decider at the nearby RDS, where Michael’s comfortably secured their third senior title on a 28-5 scoreline. Although they took their time settling into this contest, the deadlock was broken in the 11th minute.

From just their second entry into the Gonzaga ’22, Jack Boyle released fellow prop Power for a powerful finish over the line for Michael’s.

Power was in tremendous form during the opening period and following an extended spell on the right flank, the tighthead powered over for his second converted try on 21 minutes.

Cosgrave was wide of the mark off a subsequent long-range effort, before Gonzaga finally opened their account through a Harry Colbert penalty on the stroke of the interval.

The Michael’s scoring sequence was only temporarily interrupted, however. Just six minutes after the restart, hooker Lee Barron applied the finishing touch to a line-out maul at the Bective end of the ground.

lee-barron-scores-a-try Lee Barron scores a try for St Michael's College. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Cosgrave’s outstanding touchline strike increased the Michael’s cushion and left them within touching distance of a last-four spot.

Gonzaga suffered a further blow when blindside flanker Arthur Henry was yellow-carded on the third-quarter mark and Barron immediately punished them with his second try of the half.

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Cosgrave once again supplied the extras and later contributed a brace of penalties to ease St Michael’s through to the penultimate round.

Scorers for St Michael’s College
Tries: James Power 2, Lee Barron 2
Conversions: Chris Cosgrave [4 from 4]
Penalties: Chris Cosgrave [2 from 3]
Scorers for Gonzaga CollegePenalties: Harry Colbert [1 from 1]

Chris Cosgrave; Eddie Kelly, Simon O’Kelly, Hugo McWade (Luke Russell ’64), Henry McErlean (James Nicholson ’45); Niall Carroll, Fintan Gunne (Jeffrey Woods ’56); Jack Boyle (Josh Egan ’67), Lee Barron (Zach Baird ’67), James Power (Dylan Rogan ’70); Jack Guinane, Stephen Woods; Dylan Ryan (Michael Barron ’56), Conor Booth (Dan Carroll ’67), Will Hickey.

GONZAGA COLLEGE: Jamie MacNulty; Hugh Lynn (Luke Hassett ’60), Brian Barron, Jack Browne (Davy Colbert ’18), Simon Wilson; Harry Colbert, Eadbhard O’Callaghan (Max Colgan ’44); George Morris (Noah Maguire ’44), George Kenny, Ronan Shaw; Seamus Carroll (Callum Murphy ’70), Spencer O’Connell; Arthur Henry, Tom Cullen, Hugo Fitzgerald.

Referee: Andrew Cole.

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