Belvedere send out strong message with five-try performance
Last year’s beaten finalists too strong for Cistercian College Roscrea
Belvedere’s Conor Kelly holds up Alekseiy Soroka during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup first-round game against Cistercian College Roscrea at Donnybrook. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Belvedere College 34
Cistercian College Roscrea 19
Belvedere College sent out a statement of intent at Donnybrook on Thursday afternoon with an emphatic victory over Cistercian College Roscrea in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup first round.
Beaten finalists in last year’s competition, the 12-times champions dominated this contest – a repeat of the 2015 and 2016 deciders – from the get-go. Despite the best efforts of Diarmuid Kilgallen for Roscrea, Belvo progressed to set-up a quarter-final clash against Newbridge College.
After outhalf Justin Leonard split the uprights with an early penalty, outside centre Cailean Mulvaney powered past a series of covering tackles to dot down for an eighth-minute try.
Roscrea subsequently lost Dylan Keane to injury, before suffering an additional set-back to their challenge when a Rory Dwyer clearance was superbly gathered by left wing Matthew Grogan, who raced free for a sublime five-pointer.
Their opponents fired back with a Kilgallen try, but this only provided their under siege defence with a temporary release. Following another relentless attacking spell inside the opposition ‘22’, Dwyer touched down underneath the posts.
Leonard supplemented this score with a conversion and he also converted a clinical Alekseiy Soroka finish to give Belvo a commanding 27-5 interval cushion.
Roscrea were much improved after the resumption and were richly rewarded on 53 minutes. Although they initially encountered stubborn resistance from the disciplined Belvo rearguard, outhalf Darragh Tynan (son of head coach Alan) released Kilgallen for his second try of the proceedings.
His midfield partner Billy Foley was on hand to convert, giving his side a glimmer of hope in the process. While Aaron Coleman rounded off a breakaway move to eliminate any prospect of a dramatic fightback, Roscrea at least had the final say courtesy of Bill Burns’s stoppage-time five-pointer.
SCORERS – Belvedere College: C Mulvaney, M Grogan, R Dwyer, A Soroka, A Coleman try each; J Leonard pen, 3 cons. Cistercian College Roscrea: D Kilgallon 2 tries, B Burns try; B Foley 2 cons.
BELVEDERE COLLEGE: R Dwyer; D O’Grady, C Mulvaney, J Meagher, M Grogan; J Leonard, P Lysaght; H Flood, A Synnott, C Cagney; A Soroka, J Jones; C Kelly, E Rutledge, A Coleman.
Replacements: C Rogers for Mulvaney (half-time); B Jennings for Rutledge (48); J MacNiece for Lysaght, C Yalloway for Jones, M Galinski for Flood (all 55),; D Hawkshaw for Grogan (61); J Sargent for Synnott (62); J Ross for Kelly (65).
Replacements: A Dunne for Keane (8 mins); J McKeon for Egan (40); M Fallon for D Loughnane (44); Z Whelehan for Mallon, C Bird for Matthews, B Burns for McCloskey (all 58); S Connolly for Cahir, C Power for R Loughnane (both 65).
Referee: D Blake (Leinster).
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