Schools Profile: Cistercian College Roscrea
After their magnificent victory over favourites Terenure secured a semi-final berth, who’s to say that Roscrea can’t go on and win the first Leinster Senior Cup in their history?
Before we go on, it’s time to set the record straight, or at least try to, because despite the goodwill that must have been generated by their mighty win over Terenure earlier this week, a reference to Roscrea as an Offaly college in a match report in these parts caused a few tasty comments to be thrown in the direction of ourselves (and Ross O’Carroll Kelly) on Twitter yesterday.
So yes, although the college is located just a couple of miles inside the Offaly border, which dictates that they play their rugby in Leinster schools competitions, it is intrinsically linked with the Tipperary town of Roscrea and would very much be considered a Tipperary school. We hope that has set the record straight and if not, well, feel free to load up and shoot at us with both barrels.
Still, a little bit of confusion over the identity of the college was but a minor issue on Tuesday afternoon. The big story was, of course, the taking of Terenure’s scalp in Tallaght Stadium, a result widely regarded as the shock of the Leinster Senior Cup so far.
Victory over Terenure went down well...
But was it really such a big surprise? Last year, it took two games and a few controversial refereeing calls before eventual winners St. Michael’s overcame the challenge of Cistercian College and the year before, they were beaten, albeit comprehensively, by Clongowes in the final. As well as that, they have lifted silverware already this season when winning the Senior League with a victory over Gonzaga in the final.
Besides, as anyone who witnessed the cracker in Tallaght will testify, Roscrea have a very impressive outfit indeed.
Captain Sean O’Brien – who, as far as we’re aware, is no relation of the Tullow Tank himself – and Rory Maloney are powerful and inspirational back row performers.
Tim Foley is a very assured presence at out-half, while in the front row, Ciaran Gavin and a try scorer yesterday, Jacob Walshe, have both represented Connacht at underage level, as have O’Brien and centre Dwayne Corcoran. Maloney, meanwhile, has featured in Leinster colours recently with Oisin Heffernan and Cormac Brennan.
Roscrea’s coaching team John Lillis, Alan Tynan and Brendan McKeogh were all involved when Roscrea last reached the final in 2011 and that experience could prove vital now that it’s very much squeaky bum time in the Leinster Senior Cup.
Only two wins away from what would be their maiden success in the competition, to Tipp Roscrea for the title at this point wouldn’t require an Offaly big stretch of the imagination (I’ll get my coat).