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We'll meet again! St Michael's and Blackrock set for Leinster Junior Cup final replay

It was a low-scoring encounter in tough conditions at Donnybrook this afternoon.

Scott Barron is tackled by Conor Booth during today's final.
Scott Barron is tackled by Conor Booth during today's final.

St Michael’s College 7

Blackrock College 7

ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE and Blackrock College will have to do it all again, after they couldn’t be separated at the end of an engrossing Leinster Schools Junior Cup final at a wet and windy Donnybrook this afternoon.

In a low-scoring affair, Michael’s had taken the lead with a first-half try from Jack Boyle.

However, thanks to a 35th-minute five-pointer by Michael Lowey, a replay will now be required to determine the winner of this year’s competition.

Just five days on from their school’s Senior Cup defeat to Belvedere College, ‘Rock were eager to end the rugby season on a high.

However, it was Michael’s who broke the deadlock from a ninth minute attack, when influential number eight Boyle powered over the whitewash after receiving the ball in a central position.

This was followed by a routine Chris Cosgrave conversion (his 15th in just three games), which offered Michael’s a strong platform to build on for the remainder of the half.

Yet, they found themselves on the back-foot for large spells, and disciplined defensive work was needed to ensure they remained in the ascendancy at the midway point.

However, ‘Rock eventually restored parity five minutes into the second period — when neat interchange from Ben Brownlee and Shane Murray allowed Lowey to touch down in the left corner.

With out-half Adam Dixon superbly splitting the posts from a touchline conversion, the momentum appeared to be with ‘Rock, but instead it was a determined Michael’s who posed the greater danger heading into the final quarter.

They applied serious pressure inside the ‘Rock half, and an attempted close-range drop-goal by Cosgrave was blocked down on 50 minutes.

Charlie O'Carroll and Ben Kelly Murphy with Tim Gilsenan Charlie O'Carroll and Ben Kelly Murphy with Tim Gilsenan of St Michael's. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Yet, as the final whistle approached, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between for Michael’s, and they ultimately had to settle for a re-match with the 50-time winners.

St Michael’s scorers:Tries: Jack Power
Conversions: Chris Cosgrave [1 from 1]

Blackrock scorers:

Tries: Michael Lowey
Conversions: Adam Dixon [1 from 1]

ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE: Eddie Kelly; Simon O’Kelly (Senan O’Shea ’55), Chris Cosgrave, Tim Gilsenan, Zach Harrison (Hugo McWade 60); Niall Carroll, Jeffrey Woods; Lee Barron, Conor Booth, James Power; Stephen Woods, Jack Guinean; Oscar Hurley, William Hickey, Jack Boyle.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Shane Murray; John Campbell, Sam Small, Ben Brownlee (Paddy McGowan ’48), Michael Lowey; Adam Dixon, Matthew Cullen; Ben Melly Murphy, Charlie O’Carroll, Scott Barron (Harry Cullen ’55); Mark Morrissey (Jack Byrne ’51), Hugo O’Malley (David Molony 60); Adam Simpson (Matthew Wood ’11), James Culante, Liam Heylin.

Referee: Brian MacNiece.

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Daire Walsh

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