Kealy uses his pace to put St Gerard's into last-four meeting with Belvedere


St Gerrard’s School 7 Newbridge College 5:One moment of class from full-back Ben Kealy was enough to win St Gerard’s passage into the Powerade Leinster Schools’ Junior Cup semi-final at Donnybrook yesterday.

They have earned the right to take a crack at Belvedere next Tuesday. While their defence does not need work, they will have to secure more ball to have any chance of springing another upset.

This replay followed a similar theme to the original fixture with Newbridge dominating the ball and territory without the points to reward their approach play.

Last year’s beaten finalists continued their optimistic outlook, moving the ball left and right through David Murphy at outhalf with their openside Colm Stapleton to the fore in the loose.

The problem was they could not breakdown a steely St Gerard’s defence in which centre Conor O’Farrell and captain Billy O’Reilly led the resistance.

In contrast, St Gerard’s were not as culpable when they moved into the danger zone, Kealy showing pace and strength to get on the outside and stay there for the opening try in the 24th minute. Scrum-half Tom Foley converted from the left. When referee Arthur Lynch blew for half-time, he had his attention called to a prior incident. The result was a yellow card for St Gerard’s prop Shane Gallagher and a penalty that Newbridge centre Gavin Burke could not execute from distance.

Making the hits

The Kildare boys must have thought the space would open up in the St Gerard’s defence with one man less to hold the fort. It didn’t turn out that way. Gallagher returned with the 7-0 lead intact. They just kept making the hits and climbing to their feet.

This must have been disheartening for Newbridge. So much possession; so little to show for it. Eventually, number eight Dylan Walker did squeeze over off a ruck. Burke was given the chance to force extra-time. He could not take it from out on the right.

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