Clongowes deny Castleknock final berth with devastating finish

The Kildare school grabbed two late tries to seal their place in the Senior Cup final.

Clongowes Wood College's Oisin Devitt and Conor Delaney of Castleknock College.
Clongowes Wood College's Oisin Devitt and Conor Delaney of Castleknock College.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Clongowes Wood College 29

Castleknock College 19

CLONGOWES PRODUCED A devastating finish at Donnybrook to reach their first Leinster Schools Senior Cup decider since 2014.

Castleknock were in line to end a 37-year wait to their last final appearance when a Jake Rooney try offered them a 15-19 advantage on the hour mark. However, converted tries courtesy of Eddie Carr and Oisin Devitt ensured Clongowes will advance to the March 17 showpiece at the RDS.

Despite being firm favourites to progress, the Clane side found themselves 14-0 adrift with just 12 minutes on the clock.

Fullback Alex Watson released Will Hennessy on the right-flank for a deadlock-breaking try, before fly-half Louis McDonough crashed over off a quick ‘tap and go’ inside the opposition ’22’.

Although the early signs were ominous for Clongowes, their challenge finally came to life on the first-quarter mark.

Powerful lock Jack Kearney was picked up out in an advanced area and proceeded to power over the line for his third try in as many games. The returning David Wilkinson was wide the mark off a tricky bonus kick, but his successful penalty on 28 minutes left Clongowes just six points in arrears (8-14) at the end of a pulsating first half.

jake-rooney-celebrates-his-sides-second-try-with-fergus-stanley Jake Rooney celebrates Castleknock's second try. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Following a tentative third-quarter – where both sides coughed up possession on a number of occasions – Clongowes finally hit the front on 56 minutes. After placing ‘Knock on the back-foot with a series of five-metre drives, captain Calum Dowling touched down for a clinically-taken try.

The Castleknock faithful started to dream again when Rooney sprinted over at the end of a sweeping attack before Carr’s impressive finish was immediately supplemented by a superb solo try from Devitt.

This was enough to ultimately secure a spot for Clongowes in the final, they await either St Michael’s or Newbridge College, who face off in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Clongowes Wood College Scorers

Tries: Jack Kearney, Calum Dowling, Eddie Carr, Oisin Devitt

Conversions: David Wilkinson [3 from 4]

Penalties: David Wilkinson [1 from 1]

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Castleknock College Scorers

Tries: Will Hennessy, Louis McDonough, Jake Rooney

Conversions: Louis McDonough [2 from 3]

CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE: Rory Morrin; Michael Spillane, Peter Maher, Chris Grimes, Hugh Wilkinson; David Wilkinson, Oisin Devitt; Barry Dooley, Eoghan Cumbers (Ruairi O’Regan ’63), Luke McMahon (Eddie Carr ’57); Jack Kearney, Tom Mulcair (Killian Fitzpatrick ’60); Evan O’Boyle (Harry O’Neill ’63), Calum Dowling, Diarmuid McCormack.

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE: Alex Watson; Will Hennessy, Fionn Gibbons, Conor Delaney, Jake Rooney; Louis McDonough (Adam Malone ’67), Conor Duggan (Conor Mahon ’64); Ben Bislin (Gearoid Quinn ’50), Alex Creedon, Ben Griffin (Ethan Keogh ’67); Luke Callinan (James Duffy ’66), Stephen Callinan; Fergus Stanley, Ciaran McCarrick, Ian Birmingham (Alec Birnie ’57).

Referee: Dermot Blake.

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