ST Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise took the first step in retaining the Leinster Rugby Anne McInerney Cup with a comprehensive win over Creagh College, Gorey in Togher on Tuesday. To add to the school’s senior team winning this competition last year, the junior won the Pat Rossiter Cup resulting it being named the Leinster Rugby Development School of the Year. Facing a big Gorey outfit, Portlaoise wasted no time in laying down a marker. They hit the ground running with Cian Butler crashing over for their first try and Daniel Thornton adding the conversion. Shortly after Ciaran O’Brien-McCormack drove his way under the posts for an easy conversion and a 14 point lead. Creagh would fight back though with their centre breaking the Portlaoise defensive line and scoring but failing to added the extras for a 14-5 scoreline. That wasn’t the score for long with Aaron Kingston finding his way over for another try. Then just before the break quick hands let Paddy Reddin score in the corner giving the CBS a lead of 24-5 at the break. The second half was no different to the first with Cian O’Brien-McCormack scoring his second of the game early after the restart and Daniel Thornton converting once again to push the CBS even further ahead. Great work in the forwards from the likes of Clinton O Eijofor, Nathan Duffy, and Charlie O’Dwyer in the scrum helped massively for the win. Paddy Reddin was then at the double after running over his man and tapping it down in the corner increasing the score to 36-5. Adam Glynn was next on the scoresheet for the CBS crashing over the whitewash with Thornton there again to convert. The final nail in the coffin for Gorey was a piece of brilliance from PJ Larkin. Starting in his own 22 he dodged and evaded the Gorey players all the way before placing the ball under the posts. With another Thornton conversion the match ended with a convincing win for the CBS. Man of the match was shared by the two powerhouses in the front row, Adam Raji and Charlie O’Dwyer. They will now play Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan, who got a bye in the first round, next Wednesday, 15 November at a venue to be decided. ST MARY’S CBS PORTLAOISE: Tadhg O’Sullivan; Paddy Reddin, Cormac Deegan, PJ Larkin, Jake Byrne; Daniel Thornton, Daniel Maunsell; Adam Raji, Ciaran O’Brien-McCormack, Charlie O’Dwyer; Aaron Kingston, Clinton O Eijofor; Cian Butler, Nathan Duffy, Adam Glynn. Replacements: Tomi Adayemi, Joey McGuinness, Jamie Bartley Bray, Robert William Keane, Darragh Walker, Theo Adams, Owen McGowan, Patrick O’Callaghan.

Credit – Denis Croke, Laois Nationalist 8th November 2023