Coghlan leads ruthless Clongowes display to set up semi clash with Gonzaga

CBC Monkstown were undone by tries from Thomas Gilheany, Hugo Philips Joe Carroll and Luke McDermott.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Clongowes Wood 38

CBC Monkstown 10

Sean Farrell reports from Donnybrook

POSSESSION IS ONLY nine tenths of the law. That top 10% can never be underestimated.

Clongowes Wood made sure to show the value of it as they rode out a half with scarcely a sight of the ball to emerge as five-try winners in this pulsating Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final clash.

Led by the excellent James Reynolds, Monkstown played a commendable and attractive brand of passing rugby. Although they appeared smaller than their opposite numbers in purple and white, for 30 minutes they showed a broader array of skills whether through hands, boot or movement.

Reynolds, his number 10 Eoin Quinn and fullback Sean Power – consistently dangerous on his captain’s shoulder – created some thrilling moments in attack to bring the best out of Clongowes’ defence.

However, with dynamic powerful forwards such as Tom Coghlan, and Thomas Gilheany leading the charge, Clongowes piled on 14 killer points either side of half-time to swing the tie irrevocably their way to set up a semi-final date with Gonzaga.

The Clane school put points on the board with their first meaningful attack. Gilheany barrelled through tackles to bring his side to the 22. Hugo Phillips made further yards as he cut towards the right corner. Though Monkstown stood firm, David Wilkinson struck his opening penalty nicely and Clongowes came away with the lead.

The response from Monkstown was a little extra cutting edge. Tadhg St Leger-Quinn broke the line off a line-out and Robbie Browne’s calls for the ball wide on the left were heeded thanks to slick hands from out-half Eoin Quinn and Reynolds. Clongowes held them at bay thanks to a thumping tackle from captain Coghlan to put Browne in touch.

Monkstown finally earned reward for their endeavours after 27 minutes, Reynolds’ attempted chase of his own grubber off messy ball and and advantage was thwarted and Quinn slotted the resulting penalty.

Hugh Lonergan with Hugh Ross Lonergan takes a line-out. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

All square was the least Monkstown deserved at that point, but it soon began to unravel as big carriers like Ryan McMahon, Hugh Lonergan and Diarmuid McCormack found their rhythm. Clongowes took the lead through a sweetly-struck 35-metre Wilkinson penalty and then went in for the kill.

Having been turned by two earlier superb touch-finders, right wing Luke McDermott fielded a kick to his corner, chipped and brilliantly regathered in Monkstown territory.

His pass inside was charged onto by Ross MacGoey, he had his back rows in support and Coghlan took the ball on before setting Gilheany charging at the posts to cap a thrilling move.

Cruelly, a game balanced on a knife-edge a few minutes before half-time went from 13-3 at the interval to 20-3 two minutes after the break.

With his pack setting up shop in the Monkstown 22, Wilkinson shaped to kick, but instead released Philips through the gap and under the posts.

Hugo Philips scores a try Philips celebrates while scoring his first. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The centre grabbed a second then as Clongowes began to cut loose and take the benefit of the space their power created. And the frustrations took the better of St Leger-Quinn as he earned a 46th minute yellow card for taking Lonergan out as he jumped to claim the restart.

Clongowes inflicted immediate punishment as Coghlan made another big break into open field to set the path for Joe Carroll to race over.

To their credit, Monkstown did dig deep to force a second-half try. Clongowes tighthead McMahon was sin-binned after persistent penalties as red pressure built and built in the corner and Cian Tallon sniped over under the posts for his side’s sole try of the day.

The replacements rolled on in droves for both sides, but the momentum remained fully behind the Kildare school. And, having ignited the game for his side late in the first half, McDermott rounded off the scoring with a try of his own.

Clongowes’ supporters raucously greeted the final whistle, and the decibel level only increased when the semi-final draw was made on the pitch post-match to pit them against Gonzaga in the final four.

Belvedere College await the winners of the postponed Blackrock v St Michael’s clash.

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Clongowes Wood

Tries: T Gilheany, H Philips (2), Joe Carroll, L McDermott
Conversions: D Wilkinson (2/4)
Penalties: D Wilkinson (3/3)

CBC Monkstown

Tries: C Tallon
Conversions: J Reynolds (1/1)
Penalties: E Quinn (1/1)

Clongowes Wood: John Maher (Tim O’Brien ’58), LUke McDermott, Joe Carroll, Hugo Phillips, Mark Galvin, David Wilkinson (Flyn Kiernan ’58), Ross MacGoey (Harry Arkwright ’63): Barry Dooley (Conor Duff ’63), Calum Dowling (Ethan Noone ’63), Ryan McMahon (Luke McMahon ’63); Calum Doyle (Gavin Dowling ’63), Hugh Lonergan; Diarmuid McCormack, Thomas Gilheany, Tom Coghlan (Patrick Dowling ’63).

CBC Monkstown: Sean Power, Logan Brady (Daniel Drummond ’63), James Reynolds, Gareth Hughes, Robbie Browne (Eoghan Healy ’60), Eoin Quinn, Cian Tallon (Ewan Watson ’65): Seamus Flannery (Patrick Nolan ’42), Conor Anderson (Eoin Quinn ’63), Luke Dunne (Theodore Brady ’63); Hugh Ross (Jonathan Browne ’50), Daniel Montayne, Liam Forster, Niall Scully (Calum McCoy ’67), Tadhg St Leger-Quinn.

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey break down Ireland’s dogged win against Scotland in Murrayfield, and look at the room for improvement, in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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