Leinster Senior Cup: Belvedere bide time before sending Gonzaga on their way

Quickfire 14-point salvo puts northsiders on way to easy win in Donnybrook

Gonzaga College’s Ross McKeever tackles Eoin Cleere of Belvedere College during the Leinster  Senior Cup first-round tie at Donnybrook. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Gonzaga College’s Ross McKeever tackles Eoin Cleere of Belvedere College during the Leinster Senior Cup first-round tie at Donnybrook. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Belvedere College 32 Gonzage College 5

A quick-fire 14-point salvo took Belvedere away from Gonzaga in this first-round tie at Donnybrook yesterday.

Sure, the impressive northsiders owned the ball for the first 24 minutes. But they could not crack a resolute, organised Gonzaga defence, led by openside David Meenan.

All the territory and possession had to tell sooner or later, and it duly did as number eight Tom de Jongh launched himself over the line.

De Jongh’s score was followed two minutes later by centre James McKeown’s slalom through the Gonzaga defence following a sweet build-up by centre Sean Long and wing Oscair McGrath. Outhalf Conor Jennings converted for the second time.

With possession at a premium, it was a long way back from there for Gonzaga.

 

In business

Fullback Barry Goulding did break away on the right and momentarily they looked to be in business, but instead it was Belvedere who struck after scrumhalf Hugh O’Sullivan took an interception for 19-0 half-time lead.

 

Things went from bad to worse for Gonzaga after the impressive De Jongh put Long in at the corner flag. It was now a matter of how big Belvedere’s winning margin would be.

The graceful stride of centre Conor Gowing was always good for gains and his speed opened up Belvedere on the left for Goulding to close out a the best try of the game on the right.

There was a calm response. Jennings knocked over a penalty and O’Sullivan, now operating from full-back, was the extra man out wide to claim his second try in injury-time.

BELVEDERE: E Cleere; H Sexton, J McKeown, S Long, O McGrath; C Jennings, H O’Sullivan; M Sweeney (capt), F Dillon-Kelly, A Hynes, C McCaffrey, B Egan, J Iredale, M Kearney, T de Jongh. Replacements: E Molloy for Dillon-Kelly, G O’Kelly for Cleere, D Monaghan for McGrath (all 61 mins), D Boylan for Sexton, R McGreevy for McCaffrey (both 67 mins), J Kenny for Hynes, C Galvin for McKeown (both 70 mins).
GONZAGA: B Goulding; J Daly-Devereux, H Brennan, C Gowing, M Barrett; R McKeever (capt), N Peters; F Keane, C Gleeson, E Coyle, T Costelloe, H O’Grady, P Ryan, D Meenan, R Layden. Replacements: J McNamara for Costelloe (50 mins), C Cosgrove for Keane (60 mins), K White for Gleeson, D Coyle for Coyle, JJ O’Shea for Meenan, J Sheehan for Barrett (all 66 mins). Referee: D Blake (Leinster Branch).

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