Cistercian College Roscrea rounded off their 2019/20 rugby campaign with a comprehensive victory over The King’s Hospital School in the Leinster Rugby Senior Plate final last Wednesday and Laois was well represented with six county men in the Roscrea squad.
Roscrea, who reached the final of the Leinster Schools League by beating Castleknock College in the semi final were disappointed to be turned over by the same opponents in the cup and so this competition presented them with the prefect opportunity to finish on a high as the players turned the final pages on their schools rugby careers.
Adam Lambkin of Portarlington RFC lined out in the final at scrum half after a commanding performance in the semi final where his speed of play helped CCR to a stunning 62-10 win over Wesley College.
And the proud Port man impressed again in the final keeping his side on the front foot throughout their 29-7 victory.
Lambkin’s clubmate Séan Cullen of Mountmellick was unfortunately sidelined for the final having picked up a hip injury in the cup game.
But the winger’s contributions throughout the successful league campaign marked him out as an important member of this squad.
The third Portarlington player, James Dunne, came off the bench to bolster his side’s front row.
He will take a lot from a season that saw him starting regularly despite being a fifth year student in the school and this experience will really stand to the prop during his final year.
Portlaoise RFC were also represented by three players. Fionn McWey was among the most consistent performers for Roscrea during the season.
The Number 8 was their go to man in the line out and his leadership and control at the breakdown was evident during the decider as he drove his pack forward continuously.
Winger Adam Dunne from Abbeyleix looks a real prospect also and he showed impressive speed and power when scoring his side’s fifth try.
His composure in defence was just as important as his finishing as he kept Kings Hospital out on several occasions. Eoghan Brennan joined his Portlaoise clubmates on the pitch for the final having overcome an ankle injury that heartbreakingly ruled the back rower out of the cup tie at the eleventh hour.
He showed no signs of the injury though as he made some damaging carries that had been the hallmark of his season.
Both Portarlington RFC and Portlaoise RFC will be hoping that they wont have to wait too long to have these talented players involved with them again.
We all hope to see rugby and all sports back on the agenda sooner rather than later and when we do, no doubt these CCR graduates will carry on their great form with their clubs.