Ethan Black’s two penalties propelled St Michael’s into the final of the Leinster Schools Junior Cup in a tremendous tackle at Energia Park on Monday afternoon.
Here was a wild opening as Blackrock used the two-man tackle to drive primary ball carriers back.
As St Michael’s tried to relieve the pressure, a kick from Paddy Clancy from the half isolated Jack O’Sullivan and the Cavalry came on to force a penalty. Clancy took the lead in the third minute.
Pretty soon, St. Michael’s were in their form, trying to play through centers Charlie McConnell and Ethan Black, their dangerman.
While ‘Rock was poised, willing and able to obliterate those two, St Micael’s agility in the collapse through Ryan Greally, Eamon Burke and Senan Wall coupled with Cathal Lydon’s interesting cultivators gave them the field position for Black to settle the matter to equalize 16th minute.
It was a stalemate from there until the break, when St. Michael’s wins in the ruck were countered by Blackrock’s athleticism on the lineout.
St Michael’s started the second half better than the first, shifting the attack to score another penalty. In the 34th minute, Black hit the posts to make it 6-3.
Blackrock came like a hurricane down the left through Michael Walsh, Johnny O’Sullivan jabbing into the field where St. Michael, McConnell and Black centers closed the door for a penalty.
. When O’Sullivan came out at the other end of a tackle, his forward kick was just finished off by McConnell and Oran Richardson.
St Michael’s continued to build courage and Black’s maturity to play the ball away spoke to the confidence in the captain’s surroundings.
They could even afford an illegal try from Eamon Burke when they strangled Blackrock at the Collapse where Burke, Sean Wall and Ryan Greally excelled.
St Michael – E Black 2 pins.
Blackrock – P Clancy pen.
ST MICHAEL COLLEGE: J O’Sullivan; O Richardson, E Black (Captain), C McConnell, D Ryan; C Lydon, L Kilmurray; Miller H, Willis D, Maguire D, Elliott J, Burke E, Wall S, Berman M, Greally R.
Replacement – J McInerney for Elliott 48 minutes; H Bracken for Miller, C O’Neill for Berman, both 54 minutes.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: JReddan; C Sheahan, C O’Connell, R Houlihan, J O’Sullivan; P Clancy, H Phelan; McConn-Walsh A, Wyse M, Bishti S, Wall G, O’Halloran B, Daly A, Walsh M (Captain), Walsh B.
Replacement – A Smykovskiy for O’Halloran 42 minutes; B Crowley for Phelan 49 minutes; N McCarthy for Wyse 59 minutes; J Luff for Wand 61 minutes.
Referee – R. Jenkinson, Leinster Branch.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/schools-rugby/two-ethan-black-penalties-see-st-michaels-past-blackrock-and-into-leinster-schools-junior-cup-final-41496173.html Two penalties from Ethan Black take St Michael’s past Blackrock into the Leinster Schools Junior Cup final