Brady entry strengthens 'Rock as CBC revival crushed at Donnybrook
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 17
CBC MONKSTOWN 8
The introduction of replacement scrum-half Tristan Brady transformed this crackerjack Leinster Junior Cup first-round contest at Donnybrook on Tuesday.
The diminutive Brady brought a sure hand to the breakdown and a slick awareness of the runners around him, bringing them onto the ball around the fringes from his entry two minutes into the second half. He was needed.
Leinster League finalists Monkstown had to absorb a bout of early pressure from a Blackrock side driven forward by their number eight Nicholas Timoney and an inter-changeable backline of many talents, which eventually prised open the CBC defence for centre Joe O'Hehir to lunge for the line in the seventh minute.
At this point, 'Rock looked like they did not need any help from the bench. They flowed well, with out-half Jack Power keen to use the runners at his right shoulder and the energy of full-back Zach O'Hagan.
It was obvious CBC had plenty to offer. They played their way into the game. They moved the ball confidently and quickly on the counter. When centre Sean Smyth was brought down after a piercing run, fly-half Sean Kearns sucked in the last defender for wing Joseph Halwax to level it up in the left corner on 25 minutes.
Gradually, the tide of territory turned in favour of CBC, their running game causing havoc, with centres Smyth and Michael Courtney a constant source of yards gained. Kearns slipped them to the front with a sharply taken drop goal at the end of the first half.
This was wiped out by 'Rock lock David O'Connor's dive for the line on the restart and left wing Dillon Coughlan's conversion, which glanced in off the left upright.
This was a lift to their confidence. The Williamstown school dominated the ball, centre O'Hehir, full-back O'Hagan and wing Johnny Redmond all denied by tenacious defending.
Blackrock replacement Brady made a telling contribution by chipping over the top for his wing Redmond to take advantage of a wicked bounce of the ball for a tidy finish in the 52nd minute.
In fact, Brady became the central figure in the match for the way he manoeuvred his pack forward with a variety of passes and ignited his three-quarter line with quick passing. It enabled Blackrock to hold onto the ball and control territory with the benefit of a favourable wind.
Blackrock College: Z O'Hagan; J Redmond, J O'Hehir, I Kinsley, D Coughlan; J Power, S Colgan; S Lynch, G Moylan, E Holland, J Dwan, D O'Connor, J Moore, E Fanning, N Timoney (capt). Replacements: T Brady for Colgan 37 mins; O Jager for Moore 56 mins; G Glynn for Kinsley 66 mins; D Fitzpatrick for Lynch, H Kean for Moylan, D O'Mahony for Coughlan all 69 mins.
CBC Monkstown: C Cullinane; K Wolfe, M Courtney (capt), S Smyth, J Halwax; S Kearns, B Mahon; G Byrne, C Cunningham, K Patterson, J O'Connor, C McDonald, B Keavney, D Haney, J McGrath. Replacements: S O'Donnell for Halwax, M Hallam for Byrne, J Toale for Mahon all 57 mins; C McGovern for Keavney 69 mins.
Referee: A Lynch, Leinster Branch.