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Eight-try Clongowes eventually surge past St Gerard's to book semi-final spot

In a 79-point affair, Gerard’s fought back to level proceedings in the second half but Clongowes powered home in the final quarter.

Diarmuid McCormack dots down for the Kildare school.
Diarmuid McCormack dots down for the Kildare school.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Clongowes Wood College 55

St Gerard’s, Bray 24

Daire Walsh reports from Energia Park

CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE will face Castleknock College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup semi-final after they ran in eight tries to get the better of St Gerard’s, Bray, at Donnybrook.

Despite finding themselves on level terms (24-24) in the early stages of the second half, Clongowes turned on the afterburners to comfortably progress into the last four. Defending champions St Michael’s College play Newbridge College on the opposite side of the draw.

michael-spillane-scores-a-try Michael Spillane crosses for Clongowes. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Courtesy of Michael Spillane’s superb finish – and five points from the boot of Oisin Devitt – Clongowes developed a 10-point advantage during the early exchanges. While Craig Kenny touched down to get their Wicklow counterparts up and running, Eoghan Cumbers and Diarmuid McCormack subsequently powered over the whitewash to keep Clongowes firmly in the ascendancy.

However, a determined Gerard’s fired back with a stunning scoring blitz at the tail-end of the opening period. Front-row partners Brian Glass and Fred Happonen crossed the Clongowes line in clinical style to leave them just seven points (24-17) in arrears at the break.

The momentum had now swung in the direction of Jason Emery’s side and they proceeded to wipe out the Clongowes lead on the resumption. After he intercepted a pass from opposite number Charlie Reilly, Gerard’s out-half Patrick Burke put Kenny through for his second try of the action.

craig-kenny-on-his-way-to-scoring-try Craig Kenny takes one to the house for Gerard's. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Although this threw down the gauntlet to Clongowes, they delivered in spectacular fashion.

Harry O’Neill and David Wilkinson were introduced as double replacements in the 45th minute and made telling impacts in their time on the pitch. Either side of a try for industrious flanker Evan O’Boyle, both players bagged five-pointers of their own to place the outcome beyond doubt in the final quarter.

Further scores arrived through Sean Sexton and Jack Kearney in the closing moments to cap a scintillating attacking showcase by Pat Kenny’s charges.

clongowes-players-celebrate-after-the-game-with-supporters Clongowes celebrate with their supporters after the game. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Clongowes Wood College Scorers:

Tries: Michael Spillane, Eoghan Cumbers, Diarmuid McCormack, Harry O’Neill, Evan O’Boyle, David Wilkinson, Sean Sexton, Jack Kearney

Conversions: Oisin Devitt (6)

Penalties: Oisin Devitt (1)

St Gerard’s, Bray Scorers:

Tries: Craig Kenny (2), Brian Glass, Fred Happonen

Conversions: Patrick Burke (2)

CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE: Rory Morrin; Michael Spillane, Peter Maher, Chris Grimes, Sean Sexton (Hugh Wilkinson ’62); Charlie Reilly (David Wilkinson ’45), Oisin Devitt (Harry McGoey ’63); Luke McMahon, Eoghan Cumbers (Ruairi O’Regan ’63), Barry Dooley (Hugh Hogan ’64); Jack Kearney, Killian Fitzpatrick (Harry O’Neill ’45); Evan O’Boyle (Eddie Carr ’62), Calum Dowling (Aran Mannion ’67), Diarmuid McCormack.

ST GERARD’S, BRAY: Cormac Long (Ken O’Grady ’57); Jacob Brodeur (Oliver Newsome ’10), Callan O’Reilly, Joshua Watson, Craig Kenny; Patrick Burke, Saul Fitzpatrick (Oscar Hayes Restan ’35-’37 & ’57); Ralph Ledwidge, Fred Happonen, Brian Glass (Callum Desmond ’41); Max Merrin (Bernard McCauley ’50), Thomas O’Connor; Matthew Whelehan (Timothy Wilkinson ’41 (Marcus Von Teichmann ’43)), Conor Pickering (Benjamin Hogan ’57), Aidan Long

Referee: Cillian Hogan

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