Castletroy College players celebrate one of Jack Oliver's two tries in their Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final win over Ardscoil Ris at Thomond Park on Tuesday
CASTLETROY College powered their way into the semi-finals of this season's Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup after scoring a 26-15 quarter-final victory over local rivals Ardscoil Ris in an exciting seven-try derby clash at a sun-drenched Thomond Park this Tuesday.
Clinical Castletroy laid the foundation for this win in the opening 25 minutes after which the Newtown school held a significant 21-0 lead, scoring three converted tries.
Centre Aidan Walter opened the scoring for the winners with an eighth-minute try, following an excellent line-out steal from second-row Evan O'Connell on the Ardscoil '22.
Scrum-half Jack Oliver, son of former Scottish international and current Elite Player Development Officer with the Munster Academy, Greig Oliver, duly added the conversion and the highly influential half-back also added the extras to his own try on 17 minutes and a third Castletroy try from talented out-half Gavin Rowsome.
Castletroy held the upperhand with the likes of flanker Rhys White, captain Reece Kelly, number eight Lee Burke and second-rows O'Connell and Oisin Toland leading the way into the engine room.
To their credit, Ardscoil Ris gave themselves a shot at staging a second half comeback when powerful number eight Colin Kelly dotted down on the stroke of half-time.
The crucial score of the game arrived 12 minutes into the second half when Oliver struck for his second, and Castletroy's fourth try of the game, cleverly sniping over from close to the Ardscoil '22.
The Castletroy lead was now out to 26-5. However, resilient Ardscoil Ris fought back in the final quarter scoring two tries. From a scrum deep inside their opponents '22, number eight Kelly fed scrum-half Mark Moloney, who sent winger Amar Jagana scampering over in the right corner.
It took an excellent cover tackle from Castletroy full-back Stephen Kiely to prevent Ardscoil centre Paddy Hassett from dotting down soon after as he raced clear.
The lively Jagana did manage his second and Ardscoil's third try late on. However, time ran out on the North Circular Road side's of pulling off an unlikely comeback and Castletroy closed out a deserved victory.
SCORERS: Castletroy College: Jack Oliver two tries, three cons, Aiden Walter, Gavin Rowsome try each. Ardscoil Ris: Amar Jagana two tries, Colin Kelly try.
ARDSCOIL RIS: Samuel Riordan; Andre Birdthistle, Paddy Hassett, Cian Noonan, Amar Jagana; Rory O’Gorman, Mark Moloney; Kieran Bolger, Seimi Gully, Gearoid Ryan, Steven Mitchell, David O’Loughlin, Thomas Collins, Adam Kennedy, Colin Kelly. Replacements: Paul Gavin, James O’Mara, Killian Sexton, Eoin Collins, Kornel Czyszczon, Cathal O’Sullivan, Harry Long, Victor Oyebeji, Jack O’Connor, James Frahill.
CASTLETROY COLLEGE: Stephen Kiely; Harry Lynch, Cillian O’Farrell, Aiden Walter, Lee Morgan; Gavin Rowsome, Jack Oliver; Oisin O’Shea, Declan Aylward, Neil McLoughlin, Oisin Toland, Evan O’Connell, Rhys Whyte, Reece Kelly, Lee Burke. Replacements: Conor Davies Molloy, Alan Sands, Jack Roche, Conor Ryan, Lee Bennett, Andrew Clinton, Noel Clancy, Adam Cummins, Glen Ryan, Max Ivory, Rory Collins.
REFEREE: John David Adams (MAR)