CBC bring out the best in Duffy and St Michael's
Two-try hero Robert Duffy shrugs off CBC's Robert Jordan in yesterday's Leinster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook. photograph: morgan treacy/inpho
St Michael's 13 CBC Monkstown 7:It took two final-quarter tries from flanker Robert Duffy to maintain St Michael’s’ grip on the Powerade Leinster Schools Junior Cup in this quarter-final thriller at Donnybrook yesterday.
The weight of sympathy towards a gallant and skilful CBC was heavy as they put it up St Michael’s. They improved out of all recognition from their Junior League final win over Gonzaga to throw down the gauntlet to the holders.
There was well-measured risk and purpose to everything they did. There had to be. Centre Dan Casey was a standout for them and it was his brilliance that took CBC out to a 7-0 lead at the break.
Casey shot through a hole in midfield and accelerated into space, quickly eyed up his options and kicked over the head of fullback Michael Heaney to regather on the bounce for a superb individual try at the posts. He converted as well.
The challenge had been laid down to St Michael’s. The points were now there to back this threat of an upset.
And how the champions responded!
They kept to their game plan, running wide of traffic whenever the space opened up. They took control of territory and number eight Barry Fitzpatrick kicked a penalty when CBC were too slow to roll away at a ruck in the 35th minute.
The pressure was building going into the final quarter. St Michael’s won a lineout on the right. A simple, effective move at the tail put them onto the front foot.
Prop Sam Griffen powered ahead. The ball was swung left. Centre James Hickey cut back against the grain before Duffy appeared in the right place at the right time for an 8-7 edge.
It was still there for either side. Casey went close from two difficult penalties.
But, it would fall to Duffy to provide the killer blow in the 62nd minute.