David Walsh’s hat-trick powers St Michael’s past Castleknock

Secondrow proved lethal from close range as St Michael’s power proved the key in Donnybrook

St Michael’s College 34 Castleknock College 5

David Walsh notched a hat-trick as St Michael’s moved beyond a committed Castleknock College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup first round at Energia Park on Monday.

The constant rain did little to prevent St Michael’s from settling into their patterns, with David Lucey almost slipping through a gap to score.

Castleknock were hampered by the loss of fullback Luke Mooney to injury, which caused a restructuring of their back three.

Sam Corrigan’s clear out at a ruck and Johnny Cahalan’s wrap tackle spoke to the properly honed technique on view on both sides.


The aggression in St Michael’s carries was evident, wing Patrick Wood adding a little spice for a gain of 20 metres down the left.

The ball retention was impressive enough to draw a penalty which they turned down in favour of a match of muscle from the five-metre line.

Secondrow Walsh drove low for the try converted by Joe Quigley in the 12th minute.

Rory Brown and Corrigan devoured the metres to set up camp on the Castleknock line, Walsh eventually stooping to collect his second try, converted by Quigley in the 22nd minute.

At this point, Castleknock were struggling for territory, a penalty allowing Ben Foley to grab a lineout and hooker Max Lavelle a try from a splendid maul for 14-5 on the half-hour

When Quigley was binned for an upright tackle on Cory O’Connor, Ethan Black stepped in at outhalf as St Michael’s held firm to half-time.

A rocketing maul from Walsh’s majestic take travelled 20 metres in the blink of an eye. It was enough to generate position and pressure, Corrigan powering through for the try. Quigley had just returned to convert in the 41st minute.

The killer blow came soon enough, the forwards and scrumhalf James Sherwin tearing holes in the heart of the defence for Lucey to send Wood in at the corner for a 26-5 lead in the 43rd minute.

Another bout of territory led to a penalty which Quigley used to slice the posts.

All that was left was a test of resolve for Castleknock and they showed a gutful, threatening through the maul and O’Connor’s chip over the top, smartly dealt with by Lucey.

The ‘Knock came with a torrent of intent, putting every ounce of muscle into their forays inside enemy territory.

When that did not produce any tangible reward, St Michael’s were clinical in marching forward for Walsh to complete his hat-trick in a similar fashion to his other two tries.

SCORERS – St Michael’s: D Walsh 3 tries; P Wood, S Corrigan try each; J Quigley pen, 3 cons. Castleknock: M Lavelle try.

ST MICHAEL’S: D Lucey; D Pryce, E Black, A Cosgrave, P Wood; J Quigley, J Sherwin; B O’Donohoe, D Maguire, R Coogan; D Walsh, F McKenna; J Elliot, R Brown, S Corrigan.

Replacements: C McConnell for Cosgrave (44 mins); M Berman for Elliot, C O’Connor for Sherwin (both 56); M Furlong for Maguire, E McLaughlin for O’Donohoe, H Miller for Coogan (all 60); O Twomey for Brown, D Ryan for Quigley (both 64).

CASTLEKNOCK: L Mooney; J Carroll, A Tilly, M Brennan, B Egenton; C O’Connor, C Ward; P Gildea, M Lavelle, J Cadogan; C Lennon (capt), B Foley; B O’Toole, J Cahalan, S Lavin.

Replacements: H Matthews for Mooney (5 mins); J Ginnety for O’Toole (h-t); R Niland for Gildea (47); PJ Mathews for Lavelle, E Shanahan for Cadogan, F Leach for Cahalan, T Powderly for Ward, C Dowd for Egenton (all 65).

Referee: M Weston (Leinster).

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here