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Offaly's Roscrea make history by winning the Leinster Schools' Senior Cup for the first time

The underdogs got the better of Belvedere College on a scoreline of 18-11 at the RDS.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

CISTERCIAN COLLEGE ROSCREA have made history and claimed the Leinster Schools’ Senior Cup for the first time by beating Belvedere College 18-11 in an absorbing final at the RDS.

A try from winger Daniel Keane was a second-half turning point but the shooting accuracy of captain Tim Foley proved a big difference too.

The opening period was tight but the Dublin college dominated the early exchanges and they took the lead within the opening ten minutes when scrum-half Hugh O’Sullivan made a superb sniping run and then found winger Sean Long who touched down.

Still, Roscrea responded well and after Foley landed a penalty to cut the deficit, it was the much-heralded number eight Dan Trayors who grabbed a try for the underdogs after a 5m scrum had Belvedere under pressure, though Foley missed the subsequent conversion.

Dan Trayers scores a try Cistercian College Roscrea's Dan Trayers scores a try Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

But Belvedere ensured the sides were level at the break when Conor Jennings made up for an earlier penalty miss and slotted a later kick between the posts. 8-8 at the interval, everything was perfectly poised.

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Again it was the side from the capital that began brightly and they got their just rewards for the early pressure when Jennings knocked over his second penalty of the afternoon to push them three points in front.

Roscrea, however, weren’t going to stumble under the spotlight and when full-back Tim Carroll broke superbly, it was Keane who followed in support and raced to the line to give his side a four-point advantage with less then twenty minutes to go.

The pressure continued from the guests and when an attempted drop-goal was blocked, play was brought back for a penalty. Up stepped Foley once again and stretched Roscrea’s lead to seven points.

A converted try behind, Belvedere mounted a spirited siege on the Roscrea line and came within inches of grabbing an all-important score. But the Midlands’ outfit stood firm, dug in their heels and offered up some immense defensive work.

In the build-up to the game, Roscrea coach Pieter Swanepoel said that his team needed to change history. And at the fifth time of asking, they’ve managed to do just that.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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