Gonzaga overcome Roscrea in 11-try Senior Cup thriller
Gonzaga will play Blackrock in one semi-final, and Belvedere meet Clongowes in other
Gonzaga’s Michael O’Kennedy with Conor Kelly of Roscrea after the game. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Gonzaga completed the quartet for the Leinster Senior Cup semi-final with a resounding seven tries-to-four win over Roscrea at Donnybrook.
This was a spellbinding affair full of mistakes, brilliance, power, precision and high risk rugby in which the defences were generally outplayed by the attacks.
It was Gonzaga’s quick striking three-quarter line that eventually carried the day as it blew hot and cold.
When it was hot, it got very hot with lock Eoin Buggy and full-back David Lynch picking out two tries in four minutes for a 10-0 lead, Buggy picking up his second later in the half.
It was a double blow Roscrea took their time to overcome in gradually wearing down the ‘Zaga pack to take the lead at 19-17 for the first time just before the break on foot of tries by lock Neal Moylett, centre Philip O’Shea and prop Michael Milne.
The difference came in Gonzaga’a capacity to start both halves in lightening fashion.
They rocked Roscrea with another three tries in six minutes from wing Sean Galvin, outhalf Michael O’Kennedy and scrumhalf James Kenny to move into a commanding 36-19 lead.
There was just a suggestion of a miracle comeback when prop Ryan Lomas got up in support of fullback Tadhg Bird’s lung-bursting break for Roscrea’s fourth try.
This was quickly answered when ‘Zaga centre Eoin Barr surged to the whitewash to guarantee a semi-final place.
GONZAGA: D Lynch; S Galvin, B O’Donnell, E Barr, H Twomey; M O’Kennedy, J Kenny; M Gleeson, C Gleeson (capt), S Clear; E Buggy, R Kidney, I O’Grady, M Keegan, E Barron.
Replacements: M Meagher for M Gleeson 40 mins; E Allen for Twomey 63 mins; J Veale for Keegan 65 mins.
ROSCREA: T Bird; B Hyland, P O’Shea, A Donovan, P Keane; C Kelly (capt), F Crowley; R Lomas, T Byrne, M Milne, D Maher, N Moylett, C Walsh, R Enraght-Moony, J Brandon.
Replacements: J Matthews for Crowley 43 mins; E Browne for Keane 45 mins; J Cahir for Byrne, J Canning for Maher both 48 mins; J Culleton for Donavan 52 mins; J Corcoran for Walsh 54 mins; L Rigney for Brandon 59 mins.
Referee: B Cutriss, Leinster Branch.