Gonzaga see off Castleknock challenge to progress

Tries from Fergus Ó hOisín and Jack Barry change course of game in Clontarf

 

Gonzaga College 26 Castleknock College 24

Two quick second-half tries helped Gonzaga see off a strong challenge from Castleknock in this Leinster Schools Senior Cup first round clash at Castle Avenue on Wednesday.

Gonzaga showed the greater guile in attack throughout, their game well suited to the all-weather surface at Clontarf RFC.

The introduction of Ben Griffin in the frontrow did give Castleknock a more competitive edge in the second half before Gonzaga killed off their hopes through tries from Fergus Ó hOisín and skipper Jack Barry.

Gonzaga had opened the scoring courtesy of a fourth-minute penalty from scrumhalf Jack Connolly, who then doubled his side’s tally with a more difficult kick from inside the left touchline on 10 minutes.

Castleknock edged in front when centre Fionn Gibbons raced clear with Adam Colbert adding the conversion.

A penalty in front of the posts from Connolly would see Gonzaga restore their lead and then off a lineout take from Tom Cullen, Henry Godson went over in injury time with Connolly’s conversion making it 16-7 at the break.

A converted try from McMenamin coupled with a Adam Malone penalty would leave Castleknock just a point short on 45 minutes.

Gonzaga were back in the ascendancy when Ó hOisín scored off a skipped pass with captain Jack Barry then going over in the left corner with seven minutes to go.

That left Gonzaga nine points clear before McMenamin pounced for his second try late on in the game with Louis McDonough adding the conversion to leave two points between the sides.

SCORERS – Gonzaga College: H Godson, F Ó hOisín, J Barry tries; J Connolly 3 pens, con. Castleknock College: P McMenamin 2 tries; F Gibbons try; A Malone pen, 2 cons; L McDonagh con;

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE: I Bermingham; B Culliton, F Gibbons, C Dunne, J Roche; A Malone, L McDonagh; S Callinan, E Chester, K McMenamin; M Ryan, D Slupko; C McKarrick, P McMenamin, L Callinan

Replacements: A Doherty for Culliton (temp, 14 mins), B Griffin for K McMenamin (35), J Wallace for Malone, F Slattery for L Callinan ( both 70)

GONZAGA: C Hennessy; F Ó hOisín, F O’Grady, K Morgan, B Barron; H Colbert, J Connolly; H Godson, H Fitzgerald, R Shaw; L Tyrell, J Coolican; A Henry, T Cullen, J Barry

Replacements: C Kirby Ó Briain for Henry (45 mins), O Rogers for Cullen (70).

Referee: M Casey (Leinster).

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