Ardscoil Ris produce magnificent recovery to make Senior Cup semis

Ardscoil Ris 45 Castletroy 17

Ardscoil Ris recovered in magnificent fashion from a dreadfully slow start to run in seven tries in a remarkable demolition of Castletroy in today’s quarter-final of the Munster Schools Senior Cup at Thomond Park.

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James Horrigan, Ardscoil Rís, touching down for a try against Castletroy College at Thomond Park. Picture Dan Linehan

Castletroy looked to be in total command when they raced into a ten point lead in as many minutes before Ardscoil settled and the first of seven superb tries came on the stroke of half time from number eight Daniel Okeke. It had a devastating effect on both teams with Ardscoil subsequently doing very much as they liked against totally demoralised opposition, Ardscoil mixing some brilliant tries with others which owed most to highly impressive teamwork.

Castletroy were comfortably the better side in the opening quarter and had gone close on a few occasions before scrum-half Michael O’Halloran darted over from close range in the seventh minute and Sean Madden converted. They remained on top and a Madden penalty stretched their lead shortly afterwards.

However, an Ardscoil pack powerfully led by second-rows Will O’Callaghan and James Hourigan gradually settled down and on the stroke of half time Okeke gained possession just inside the Castletroy before weaving his way past a succession of tacklers and scoring between the posts for Alex O’Halloran to add the points.

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If that came as a body blow to Castletroy, there was worse to follow in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Their second try was equal in quality to the first as centre Killian Dineen scorched away from halfway in a superb arcing run for the touch down, O’Hallaron converting.

Then came the turn of full-back Lochlainn O’Keeffe to reach the target after a concerted attack, Madden stretching the Ardscoil lead to 21-10. There was no stopping them at this stage and the next two tries came from the rampant second-row James Hourigan. Madden landed one of the conversions leaving a late Castletroy touch down for Cillian Toland converted by Michael O’Halloran to serve as little more than a consolation.

Even then, Ardscoil weren’t finished as winger John Salmon raced over in the corner to make them winners by a remarkable 28 point margin.

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Castletroy College – A Shanahan; J Lammond, S Hanrahan, J Aylward, L Cunneen; S Madden, M O’Hanrahan; J McCormack, K O’Shea, R Magill, C Toland, J Moloney, S Quirke, C White, D McMahon. Replacements – P Ross for O’Hanrahan; R Kiely for Quirke; S Den Dikken for McCormack; D McGinn for O’Shea.

Ardscoil Ris – L O’Keeffe; E Collins, K Dineen, A O’Halloran, J Salmon; J Moloney, I Leonard; A Long, J White, O Cryszczon, W O’Callaghan capt, J Horrigan, S Clery, J Ward-Murphy, D Ozeke. Replacements – D Dineen for White; G Power for Clery; R Desmond for Dineen.

Referee – Eoghan Cross.

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