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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Castleknock's Luke Callinan takes a line-out.
# Schools Rugby
Clutch McDonough penalty sees Castleknock climb over Belvo and into LSSC semis
The 2016 and 2017 champions were undone by McDonough’s boot and two tries from Ben Griffin.

Castleknock College 15

Belvedere College 14

CAPTAIN LOUIS MCDONOUGH kicked a 64th-minute penalty at Donnybrook to give Castleknock College a shock victory over Belvedere College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final.

With 12 titles to their name – including back-to-back crowns in 2016 and 2017 – Belvo were favourites to prevail in this contest. They had recovered from a 12-point deficit to lead on the hour mark, before McDonough’s late intervention ensured Castleknock claimed a major scalp.

After a line-out maul placed them on the front foot, Castleknock tighthead prop Ben Griffin held off a host of challenges for a deadlock-breaking finish in the third-minute.

McDonough’s conversion attempt was wide of the mark, but Castleknock continued to dominate possession as the action progressed.

Following an extended spell inside the Belvo ’22’, the imposing Griffin powered over the whitewash for his second try. McDonough made no mistake off his next bonus strike to offer Castleknock a deserved 12-0 cushion on the stroke of 15 minutes.

While Belvo inevitably grew into the game, they couldn’t find a breakthrough of their own before the interval. However, the north Dubliners came to life after the resumption.

jonathan-sargent-and-conor-delaney Ryan Byrne / INPHO Belvo's Jonathan Sargent tackled by Casteknock's Conor Delaney. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

At the end of a intricate move across the Castleknock line, lock Darragh Coan released Peter O’Farrell for a clinically-taken try. O’Farrell’s midfield partner, Jed Tormey, supplied the extras to leave just five points between the teams on 43 minutes.

This ramped up the tension and when Griffin was sent to the sin-bin in the final-quarter, it served as a springboard for Belvo to edge in front. Loosehead prop Jonathan Sargent exploited space on the left-flank to touch down and Tormey nailed a superb conversion to give the Great Denmark Street outfit a slender cushion.

They were expected to push on from this point, but Castleknock had other ideas. Under intense pressure, McDonough superbly split the posts off a 30 metre place-kick to ultimately propel his side into the last-four. 

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Castleknock College Scorers:

TriesBen Griffin 2

ConversionsLouis McDonough [1 from 2]

PenaltiesLouis McDonough [1 from 1]

Belvedere College Scorers:

TriesPeter O’Farrell, Jonathan Sargent

ConversionsJed Tormey [2 from 2]

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE: Conor Delaney; Alex Watson, Fionn Gibbons, Conor Dunne (Will Hennessy ’38), Jake Rooney; Louis McDonough, Conor Deegan; Ben Bislin (Gearoid Quinn ’65), Alex Creedon, Ben Griffin; Luke Callinan (James Duffy ’65), Stephen Callinan; Fergus Stanley, Ciaran McCarrick, Ian Birmingham (Ethan Keogh ’62).

BELVEDERE COLLEGE: Daniel Hawkshaw; James Dillon (Joshua Maher ’68), Peter O’Farrell, Jed Tormey, Eoin Mac Adaimh (Will Finegan ’47); Finn McCarrick, Jack MacNiece (Patrick O’Farrell ’68); Jonathan Sargent, Cal Marrey, Hugh Flood; Eoghan Murphy, Darragh Coan; Jonathan Ross, Zander Hayden (Daniel O’Driscoll half-time), Hugo McPeake (Ben McCabe ’47).

Referee: Marcus Casey.

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