Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup

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The Leinster Schools Senior Challenge Cup

The Leinster Schools Senior Challenge Cup is the premier rugby union competition for secondary schools affiliated to the Leinster Branch of the IRFU. First held in 1887, the Cup celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2007.

Schools Senior Cup Rugby is divided into 4 tiers in two sections and each cup competition bears a name as follows: Section A Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Development Cup (effectively division 4), Section A Leinster Schools Rugby McMullen Cup (effectively division 3), Section B Leinster Schools Vinnie Murray Cup (effectively division 2), Section B Leinster Schools Senior Challenge Cup (effectively division 1).

Attendances are high for a schoolboy competition, with up to 25,000 present at the final. This match traditionally takes place on Saint Patrick's Day at Lansdowne Road (now known as the Aviva Stadium). In 2008, the final was played at the Royal Dublin Society Grounds (RDS) after Donnybrook proved to be way too small for the 2007 final, (Lansdowne Road was closed for redevelopment) and has been the home since.

The competition has been subject to criticism from various quarters as being "elitist" (as most of the competing schools are fee-paying; in fact only one non fee-paying school has won the cup, De La Salle Churchtown) and for putting undue pressure on its participants. It is also the subject of satire through the Ross O'Carroll Kelly newspaper column and novels. The competition and schools rugby in the four provinces has been praised though with "Irish (rugby) game in debt to schools rugby".[1]

Blackrock College are the most successful school in the Cup's history, having lifted the Cup 68 times, followed by Belvedere College and Terenure College with both 10 wins .[2]

Two schools have won the Cup at their first attempt; Blackrock College in the competition's maiden year in 1887 and Castleknock College who won the first of their eight Leinster titles at the first time of asking when they defeated Blackrock in the 1913 final.

To date only five schools have achieved the almost mythical Senior and Junior Cup "double". These are Blackrock, who have achieved this feat 26 times (1910, 1912, 1927, 1933, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1945, 1948, 1953–54, 1956–57, 1962, 1964, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1995, 2004, 2006, 2013-14), St Michaels (2012), Belvedere (2005), Terenure (1958) and Castleknock (1920). No double was won by any school (including Blackrock) in the 16 years from 1964 to 1981.

Even more rare is to loose both the Senior and Junior Cup Finals in the same year. This depressing feat has been achieved by six schools on 11 occasions. Terenure College leads with 4 (1957, 1964, 1969 & 1987), followed by Belvedere College with 3 (1930, 1944 & 1962), next St Michaels College (2010), St Mary's College (1943), Newbridge College (1939)and Cistercian College Roscrea (1910) with 1 each. Remarkably Blackrock College have never been beaten in both finals in the same year.

Blackrock College have only been defeated in successive finals on two occasions. In the 1920's they were runners up three times in a row, defeated by St Andrews in 1921 & 1922 followed by Belvedere in 1923. The second occasion was in 1979 & 1980 when they were defeated in successive finals by Terenure College. In fact Terenure College defeated Blackrock College in five Schools Cup Finals in a row in the period 1976 to 1980, JCT 1976, 77 & 78 and SCT 1979 & 1980. Blackrock College students from the late 1970's, to this day harbor a great fear of the "Purple Black and White" of Terenure College.

The Cup, and the Schools who play for it, have a history of producing fine rugby players, many of whom go on to play for Ireland. Players such as Denis Hickie, who captained his St. Mary's College team to win the cup in 1994, and Gordon D'Arcy have impressive senior cup records. The most international players produced have come from Blackrock College, with players such as Brian O'Driscoll, Victor Costello, Shane Byrne, Bob Casey, Leo Cullen and more recently Luke Fitzgerald. Terenure College has also produced many Irish international players including Mick Hipwell (also Lion's 1971), Kevin Flynn, Paul Haycock, Niall Hogan (Irish Captain 1995), Conor O'Shea, Ciaran Clarke, and Girvan Dempsey.

Two captains have gained the distinction of lifting the cup twice, Ross Gallagher (Blackrock College) in 1989 and 1990, Barry Gibney (Blackrock College) in 1995 and 1996.

Roll of honour[edit]

School Location Titles Winning years
Sq3 skywhitesky.svg Blackrock College Blackrock, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 68 1887-88, 1890, 1893–97, 1900–05, 1907-1910, 1912, 1915-1919, 1925, 1927-1930, 1933-1936, 1939-1940, 1942–43, 1945, 1948-1950, 1956-1957, 1960, 1962,1964, 1967, 1974–75, 1977, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1989–90, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2014

SCT & JCT Double 26 times - 1910, 1912, 1927, 1933, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1945, 1948, 1953–54, 1956–57, 1962, 1964, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1995, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013-14

Sq3 blackwhiteblack.svg Belvedere College Great Denmark Street, Dublin City 10 1923–24, 1938, 1946, 1951, 1968, 1971–72, 2005 (Double), 2008
Sq3 blackpurplewhite.svg Terenure College Terenure, Dublin City 10 1952, 1958 (Double), 1979–80, 1984, 1992–93, 1997, 2001, 2003
Sq3 purplewhitepurple.svg Clongowes Wood College Clane, County Kildare 8 1926, 1978, 1988, 1991, 1998, 2000, 2010–11
Sq3 navyskyyellow.svg Castleknock College Castleknock, Fingal 8 1913, 1920 (Double), 1931, 1937, 1944, 1947, 1959, 1965
Sq2 bluewhite.svg St. Mary's College Rathmines, Dublin City 5 1961, 1966, 1969, 1994, 2002
Sq3 bluewhiteblue.svg St. Andrew's College Booterstown, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 4 1906, 1911, 1921–22
Sq2 skynavy.svg St. Michael's College Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4 2 2007, 2012(Double)
Sq3 maroonyellowmaroon.svg De La Salle Churchtown Churchtown, South Dublin 2 1983, 1985
Sq2 whiteblack.svg Newbridge College Newbridge, County Kildare 2 1941, 1970
Sq3 redyellowblack.svg Corrig School¹ Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 2 1889, 1892
Sq3 blackwhiteblack.svg Cistercian College, Roscrea Roscrea, County Tipperary, Munster, BLACK & WHITE ARMY 1 2015
Sq3 redyellowblack.svg C.B.C. Monkstown Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 1 1976
Sq3 blackredblack.svg The High School Rathgar, South Dublin 1 1973
Sq3 blackyellowred.svg Presentation College Bray, County Wicklow 1 1932
Sq2 blueblack.svg Mountjoy School² Clontarf, Dublin City 1 1914
Sq3 whitegreenred.svg Saint Columba's College Whitechurch, South Dublin 1 1899
Sq3 navywhitered.svg Wesley College Ballinteer, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown 1 1898

¹ Corrig School moved premises to Monkstown Park in 1950 and was renamed C.B.C. Monkstown.

² Mountjoy School was amalgamated with other schools in 1972 to become Mount Temple Comprehensive School.

Results[edit]

Point values[edit]

The point values of scores in rugby union have changed many times in its history. This table summarises them.

Change in points
Period Try Conversion Penalty Drop goal Goal from mark
To 1891 1 2 2 3 3
1891—93 2 3 3 4 4
1893—1905 3 2
1905—48 3
1948—71 3
1971—77 4
1977—92
1992—present 5
Castleknock College celebration dinner, 1965
CBC Monkstown students in Donnybrook Stadium during the 2008 Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup
Blackrock v St Michael's 2006 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final at Lansdowne Road

Finals[edit]

Drawn finals are replayed. In this table, the result of the replay is given below the result of the drawn game.

Year Winner Score Runner-up
1887 Blackrock College 3–0 Farra School, Westmeath
1888 Blackrock College 8–0 Rathmines School
1889 Corrig School 4–0 Galway Grammar School
1890 Blackrock College 22–0 Corrig School
1891 Blackrock College 1–0 Wesley College
1892 Corrig School 0–0
6–2
Rathmines School
1893 Blackrock College 18–0 Rathmines School
1894 Blackrock College 5–0 Corrig School
1895 Blackrock College 15–3 Wesley College
1896 Blackrock College 8–3 Wesley College
1897 Blackrock College 25–0 The High School
1898 Wesley College 15–0 Rathmines School
1899 St. Columba's College 8–5 Blackrock College
1900 Blackrock College 63–0 Corrig School
1901 Blackrock College 13–0 Corrig School
1902 Blackrock College 3–3
18–0
St. Andrew's College
1903 Blackrock College 8–5 St. Andrew's College
1904 Blackrock College 8–0 Mountjoy School
1905 Blackrock College 0–0
6–0
Mountjoy School
1906 St. Andrew's College 5–0 Blackrock College
1907 Blackrock College 28–3 The King's Hospital
1908 Blackrock College 9–3 St. Andrew's College
1909 Blackrock College 25–0 The High School
1910 Blackrock College 0–0
6–3
M.S.J. Roscrea
1911 St. Andrew's College 9–3 Mountjoy School
1912 Blackrock College 11–0 St. Columba's College
1913 Castleknock College 8–5 Blackrock College
1914 Mountjoy School 3–0 Wesley College
1915 Blackrock College 12–0 The High School
1916 Blackrock College 14–3 Castleknock College
1917 Blackrock College 21–0 Belvedere College
1918 Blackrock College 12–0 Mountjoy School
1919 Blackrock College 25–0 The High School
1920 Castleknock College 9–0 Mountjoy School
1921 St. Andrew's College 6–0 Blackrock College
1922 St. Andrew's College 3–0 Blackrock College
1923 Belvedere College 2–0 Blackrock College
1924 Belvedere College 8–3 Castleknock College
1925 Blackrock College 2–0 Castleknock College
1926 Clongowes Wood College 9–5 Belvedere College
1927 Blackrock College 12–5 Clongowes Wood College
1928 Blackrock College 6–0 Clongowes Wood College
1929 Blackrock College 8–0 Clongowes Wood College
1930 Blackrock College 11–7 Belvedere College
1931 Castleknock College 6–0 Belvedere College
1932 Presentation Bray 6–4 Newbridge College
1933 Blackrock College 10–0 Belvedere College
1934 Blackrock College 33–0 Wesley College
1935 Blackrock College 18–3 Wesley College
1936 Blackrock College 14–0 Clongowes Wood College
1937 Castleknock College 8–0 Mountjoy School
1938 Belvedere College 3–0 Castleknock College
1939 Blackrock College 8–3 Newbridge College
1940 Blackrock College 3–0 Castleknock College
1941 Newbridge College 0–0
9–3
M.S.J. Roscrea
1942 Blackrock College 9–6 Castleknock College
1943 Blackrock College 9–6 St. Mary's College
1944 Castleknock College 18–3 Belvedere College
1945 Blackrock College 28–3 Newbridge College
1946 Belvedere College 8–0 St. Mary's College
1947 Castleknock College 6–0 Blackrock College
1948 Blackrock College 9–0 Castleknock College
1949 Blackrock College 6–3 Clongowes Wood College
1950 Blackrock College 18–0 Castleknock College
1951 Belvedere College 12–0 The King's Hospital
1952 Terenure College 9–3 Castleknock College
1953 Blackrock College 11–0 Clongowes Wood College
1954 Blackrock College 11–3 Belvedere College
1955 Blackrock College 11–8 Castleknock College
1956 Blackrock College 11–0 Terenure College
1957 Blackrock College 5–3 Terenure College
1958 Terenure College 3–0 Belvedere College
1959 Castleknock College 11–9 Newbridge College
1960 Blackrock College 13–6 Terenure College
1961 St. Mary's College 11–0 Castleknock College
1962 Blackrock College 9–3 Belvedere College
1963 Blackrock College 6–0 The High School
1964 Blackrock College 3–0 Terenure College
1965 Castleknock College 12–8 Blackrock College
1966 St. Mary's College 14–6 Newbridge College
1967 Blackrock College 11–3 St. Mary's College
1968 Belvedere College 14–11 De La Salle Churchtown
1969 St. Mary's College 10–9 Terenure College
1970 Newbridge College 19–5 Blackrock College
1971 Belvedere College 14–11 Presentation Bray
1972 Belvedere College 20–10 Terenure College
1973 The High School 19–7 Belvedere College
1974 Blackrock College 10–6 St. Mary's College
1975 Blackrock College 11–7 De La Salle Churchtown
1976 C.B.C. Monkstown 3–0 Castleknock College
1977 Blackrock College 24–12 St. Mary's College
1978 Clongowes Wood College 9–6 Terenure College
1979 Terenure College 15–9 Blackrock College
1980 Terenure College 12–10 Blackrock College
1981 Blackrock College 9–3 Clongowes Wood College
1982 Blackrock College 22–3 The King's Hospital
1983 De La Salle Churchtown 13–6 Castleknock College
1984 Terenure College 15–3 C.B.C. Monkstown
1985 De La Salle Churchtown 10–6 Blackrock College
1986 Blackrock College 10–3 De La Salle Churchtown
1987 Blackrock College 15–9 Terenure College
1988 Clongowes Wood College 6–3 St Michael's College
1989 Blackrock College 28–16 Belvedere College
1990 Blackrock College 14–6 Clongowes Wood College
1991 Clongowes Wood College 7–3 St Michael's College
1992 Terenure College 19–6 Belvedere College
1993 Terenure College 8–3 Clongowes Wood College
1994 St. Mary's College 14–14
7–3
Clongowes Wood College
1995 Blackrock College 8–3 Clongowes Wood College
1996 Blackrock College 37–3 Newbridge College
1997 Terenure College 22–15 Clongowes Wood College
1998 Clongowes Wood College 37–18 Terenure College
1999 Blackrock College 17–9 Cistercian, Roscrea
2000 Clongowes Wood College 13–11 Terenure College
2001 Terenure College 21–19 Blackrock College
2002 St. Mary's College 10–6 Belvedere College
2003 Terenure College 6–6
3–0
St. Mary's College
2004 Blackrock College 24–9 Clongowes Wood College
2005[3] Belvedere College 16–10 Blackrock College
2006 Blackrock College 14–12 St Michael's College
2007 St Michael's College 6–0 Clongowes Wood College
2008 Belvedere College 11–10 St. Mary's College
2009 Blackrock College 18–9 Terenure College
2010 Clongowes Wood College 38–20 St Michael's College
2011 Clongowes Wood College 46–15 Cistercian College, Roscrea
2012 [4] St Michael's College 17–10 Clongowes Wood College
2013[5] Blackrock College 23–20 St Michael's College
2014[6] Blackrock College 22–17 Clongowes Wood College
2015[7] Cistercian College, Roscrea 18–11 Belvedere College

Records[edit]

Sponsorship and Media Coverage[edit]

The competition was known for several years as the "Coca-Cola Leinster Schools Senior Cup" and in more recent years the "Powerade Leinster Schools Senior Cup" (Powerade is also owned by the Coca Cola Company). In September 2013, Beauchamps Solicitors became the new title sponsor for the Leinster Schools Senior Cup. For the duration of this partnership with Beauchamps, the Senior Cup will be known as the "Beauchamps Leinster Schools Senior Cup".[8]

The competition receives extensive coverage in Ireland's broadsheets, in particular The Irish Independent and The Irish Times. Both publish previews of each years competition and provide match reports for each game played.

In years gone by the competition's final on St Patrick's Day would sometimes be broadcast on TG4, however, this was discontinued in the early 2000s. From 2005 onwards, however, Setanta Sports began extensive coverage of school's rugby. This included the finals of all provincial finals and coverage of the Leinster Schools Junior Cup. The Leinster Senior Cup was most prominent, however, with coverage from every game played at Donnybrook and every round of the competition.

Leinster School of the Year Award[edit]

In 2008, Leinster Rugby instituted a new award for overall performance of a school at every level of schools rugby. The award, Powerade Leinster Rugby School of the Year is given at the annual Leinster awards ceremony.

The inaugural winners were C.B.C. Monkstown. They were followed in by Terenure College (2009), St Gerard's School (2010), Clongowes Wood College (2011) and St. Michael's College (2012).[9][10][11]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]