Wednesday 13 December 2017

Roscrea send over early warning for St Michael's

THERE were still sore bodies and sore minds at Cistercian College Roscrea today from their epic 16-16 draw against St Michael's in the first round of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup at NUIM Maynooth on Tuesday.

The incredible 17 minutes of injury-time that allowed Ross Byrne to level it up with a penalty could hover over them.

The nature of sport at this level is that you have to move on quickly. They must do so.

The replay has been fixed for Maynooth next Wednesday.

There is a new opportunity to settle this score.

It is not too often one of the mid-tier schools in Leinster manages to apply time and pressure to the point of getting to within one final play of breaking the joint-Cup favourites.

St Michael's have received the wake-up call that could potentially be the making of their campaign.

They have to do better. They must do better.

Their most obvious worry centres around Ireland Schools 13 Rory O'Loughlin, their try-scorer, who was replaced with a shoulder injury in the second period. He would be a serious loss. They would also do well to make more use of their headline ball carrier Dan Leavy as a decoy. Their attack became predictable to the point where Roscrea closed them down without knocking them out.

St Michael's: C Diamond; R Kavanagh, R O'Loughlin, B Holland, A Leavy; R Byrne, L Martin; A Barr, H Murray, J Lawless; R Moloney, S Harold; D Leavy (capt), J Parsons, D Lawlor. Replacements: B McDermott for O'Loughlin (49 mins); J Murphy for Harold, N McCarthy for Martin (both 51 mins); G Kelly for Murray, (62 mins).

Cistercian, Roscrea: P O'Dwyer (capt); F Higgins, C Brennan, M Mellotte, M Fitzgerald; C Gaffney, G Ryan; S Moran, S Cody, O Heffernan; A McGrath, E Quirke; R Enraght-Mooney, R Moloney, S O'Brien. Replacements: M Gavin for McGrath (68 mins).

REFEREE: G Glennon (Leinster Branch).

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