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Gonzaga earns his spot in the Leinster Senior Cup finals after defeating St Mary’s challenge

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Gonzaga got past the post first on Wednesday to advance to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup final at Energisa Park.

t Mary’s certainly didn’t come to play second fiddle and they started beautifully, moving the ball with the confidence of Luc Manselli diving forward on the open side for Conor Tracey to convert in the sixth minute.

Gradually, Gonzaga took control of her maul and her penchant for letting the ball hit the man with precise passes, resulting in Hugo McLaughlin’s penalty in the 19th minute.

A crisp throw from Tim Cotter and a sensational leg stretch from Toby Hammond for 40 yards allowed center Jody Browne to finish with a dog leg defense, McLaughlin converted in the 22nd minute.

They were soon back at it, pulling defenders out of a maul and their driving game for Hugh Goddard’s superb pass timing to place McLaughlin down the left for seven points.

Paul Wilson’s work performance was rewarded as he launched an attack with a front foot carry and then ended it by catching the St. Mary’s defense flat-footed on the third try, with McLaughlin leading 24-7 at halftime transformed.

A clever move from the lane put St Mary’s Peter O’Beirne into the void. Andrew Sparrow rolled over tacklers and Evan Moynihan had the power to turn onto the line, Tracey added the extras in the 47th minute.

Referee Paul Haycock ruled a Moynihan tackle high and missed a penalty try that renewed Gonzaga’s 17-point lead in the 50th minute.

St Mary’s flanker Aaron O’Brien’s leg drive earned Tracey another attempt to add the conversion and McLaughlin sealed the problem for Gonzaga with a 65th-minute penalty.

Scorers – Gonzaga: L McLaughlin try, 2 pins, 3 disadvantages; P Wilson, J Browne each try; try pen. St. Mary’s: E Moynihan, L Manselli, A O’Brien each try; C Tracey 3 cons

GONZAGA COLLEGE—H. McLaughlin; H Neville, H Goddard, J Browne, O O’Neill; S McMahon, M Sullivan; T Hammond, T Cotter, G Morris, T Murphy, L O’Callaghan, N Maguire (Captain), GO Donnell, P Wilson. Substitute – A McVerry for Hammond 22 mins – Temp; O Murray for Sullivan 56 minutes; T Noone for O’Donnell 61 minutes; A O’Flanagan for Neville 65 minutes.

ST MARY’S COLLEGE—J Brennan; P O’Beirne, R Moore, E Moynihan, S Kennedy; D Gilbourne (Captain), C Tracey; King F, McHugh M, Sparrow A, McEniff T, Policky L, O’Brien A, Manselli L, McGauran L. Substitute – L Jennings for Manselli ht; T O’Shea for King 37 minutes; Z Hopkins for Moore 56 minutes; G Mulvihill for Tracey, S O’Leary for McHugh, D Leane for Policky, R Smyth for O’Brien, M Blake for Kennedy every 65 minutes.

Referee – P Haycock, Leinster Branch.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/gonzaga-earn-their-place-in-leinster-senior-cup-final-after-seeing-off-st-marys-challenge-41479951.html Gonzaga earns his spot in the Leinster Senior Cup finals after defeating St Mary’s challenge

Fry Electronics Team

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