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Leinster Schools: St Michael’s beat Terenure to progress to semi-finals

Billy O’Donohoe’s try seals the deal for Dublin 4 school at sunny Energia Park

Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final: St Michael’s College 29 Terenure College 21

Billy O’Donohoe’s try in the last play of the game helped St Michael’s see off Terenure in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final at sunny Energia Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The early going was predictably muscle-bound with the forward packs testing each other head-on. Terenure employed the two-man tackle and a rip strategy to convince Joe Quigley to accept three points when Sam Corrigan earned a penalty in the seventh minute.

Geoff O’Sullivan’s retrieval of Casper Gabriel’s restart provided momentum for Gabriel to take advantage of a gap for a try which the outhalf converted in the 10th minute.

The speed and accuracy of passing down the short side saw Patrick Wood head for the corner where Gabriel flew to the rescue with body-on-the-line intensity for which he was withdrawn soon after.


An inch-perfect kick by Quigley catapulted St Michael’s to a five-metre lineout. When Charlie McConnell was held up, hooker O’Donohoe piled over from a penalty for 8-7 in the 32nd minute.

There was nothing fancy about St Michael’s next tactic, a blockbuster carry by McConnell doing the trick. Quigley converted to make it 15-8 in the 41st minute.

Terenure were back in it when fullback Paddy Curry’s high-class catch and acceleration released Dan Martin for a try, converted by left wing O’Sullivan.

A touch of tension started to creep in as untypical, unforced errors led to a stop-start section and a rising number of kicks, each hunting a game-turning mistake or the tonic of a 50:22.

A comedy of handling errors prevented Terenure from going back in front when Curry could not collect a bobbling ball.

Then, a pass went to the ground. Ethan Black twice hacked ahead. David Pryce was just beaten to the ball by the recovery speed of Curry.

Still, Terenure had to launch from their line. Frazer McKenna made a good decision on the ball. It was cleaned quickly for Chris O’Connor to sniff out the try, converted by Black in the 64th minute.

Unbelievably, Terenure were unruffled. Martin’s ball was taken through a hole by Curry and inside the last man for Louis Moran to coolly convert.

It was game on again. A penalty inside the 40-metre line was eschewed by St Michael’s for kicking inside the 22.

It eventually worked out. Terenure could not escape their half and a battalion of carriers paved the way for O’Donohoe to plunge over for Black to convert at the whistle.

SCORERS – St Michael’s: B O’Donohoe 2 tries, C McConnell, C O’Connor try each; J Quigley pen, con; E Black 2 cons. Terenure: C Gabriel try, con; D Martin, P Curry try each; L Moran, G O’Sullivan con each.

ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE: D Lucey; D Pryce, E Black, C McConnell, P Wood; J Quigley, J Sherwin (capt); B O’Donohoe, D Maguire, R Coogan; D Walsh, F McKenna; J Elliot, R Brown, S Corrigan.

Replacements: C O’Connor for Sherwin (53 mins); D Ryan for Quigley (61); M Berman for McKenna (66).

TERENURE COLLEGE: P Curry; D Cullinan, D Martin, L Moran, G O’Sullivan; C Gabriel, E Mallen; A Cooper, M Egan, L Kearney, J Mooney, J Carter, B Blaney, M Murphy, L Wardick (capt).

Replacements: G Morgan for Gabriel (33 mins); L Friery for Blaney (45); S McAllister for Kearney (53); L McNiff for Carter; E Balamash for Cullinan (both 54).

Referee: D Blake (Leinster).

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