Leinster Schools Junior Cup

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The Leinster Schools Junior Challenge Cup

The Leinster Schools Junior Challenge Cup is an under-age rugby union competition for schools affiliated to the Leinster Branch of the IRFU.

Competition is confined to students under the age of 16. The cup is held every January - March with the final in late March. It is usually seen as a good forecast as who will win the Leinster Schools Senior Cup in the following years.

The first recorded Junior Cup was held in 1909 where St. Andrew's College edged out Belvedere to take the "inaugural" cup. There is speculation that the competition was in existence before this but there are no surviving records to prove this.

Like the Senior Cup the competition is now dominated by the "big 6" rugby schools (Blackrock, Belvedere, Terenure, Castleknock, Clongowes Wood and St Michaels). While Castleknock College is in fourth place with 8 wins, its last win was 1966. Presentation College Bray has recorded 5 wins, however their last win was in 1990. Pres Bray are still the only non-fee paying school to lift the Junior Cup. Only 12 different schools have lifted the Junior Cup, compared to the Senior Cup where 18 different schools have won the title. However, in the last 20 years, Gonzaga, Newbridge, Pres Bray and Castleknock have contested the final.

Blackrock College have the most victories (51), followed by Belvedere College (17) with Terenure College the next best (10). Despite the domination of the rugby schools the Cup is much less prone to "runs" of victories by a single school, the longest being Belvedere's 4 (1916-1919) and Blackrock's 4s (1979-1982) and (2013-2016)

To date only five schools have achieved the Senior and Junior Cup double. These are Blackrock, who have achieved this feat 27 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, 2018), St Michaels (2012), Belvedere (2005), Terenure (1958) and Castleknock (1920). Since the Junior Cup records began, only the decade of the 1970s did not produce a double.

Even more rare is to lose both the Senior and Junior Cup Finals in the same year. This depressing feat has been achieved by seven schools on 12 occasions. Terenure College leads with 4 (1957, 1964, 1969 & 1987), followed by Belvedere College with 3 (1930, 1944 & 1962), next Blackrock College (2017), St. Michael's College (2010), St Mary's College (1943), Newbridge College (1939) and Cistercian College Roscrea (1910) with 1 each. Remarkably Blackrock College had never been beaten in both finals in the same year until 2017.

Blackrock College have only been defeated in successive finals on three occasions. In the 1919/20 they were runners up two times in a row, defeated by Belvedere in 1919 followed by a walkover by Castleknock in 1920. The second occasion was thirty years later in 1949/50 when they were defeated in successive finals by Clongowes Wood College and Newbridge College respectively. The third and last occasion was when Blackrock College were beaten three times in a row by Terenure College in 1976, 1977 and 1978.

During the 16 years from 1975 to 1990 the Junior Cup was won by only three different schools. Blackrock College with 7 wins, Terenure College with 5 wins and Presentation College Bray with 4 wins.

In the 1971 JCT final Terenure College were defeated 6-5 in a replay by St Mary's College, following an earlier 3-3 draw. Terenure College scored a converted try which at the time was just 5 points (3+2) to St Mary's two penalties 6 points.

In the 1977 JCT Final at Lansdowne Road, Terenure were trailing Blackrock by 10 points to 9 points at the stroke of full time when they were awarded a penalty from inside their own half, directly in front of the posts. Up stepped their out-half, 15 year old Paul Downes who converted the 60 yards (55 metre) penalty with a beautiful strike to win the cup. When asked afterwards was he nervous before taking the shot, he replied "not at all, I thought we had 10 minutes left". Paul had looked at the clock before he took the shot and saw 30 minutes had passed, he mistakenly thought the game ran for 40 minutes, leaving him relaxed to take the shot and win the cup.

St Michael's has the distinction of being runners up in 5 finals in a row (2007-2011), they were eventual winners in their 6th final in a row in 2012.

In 2018 St Mary's College once again lost a JCT final to its sister school Blackrock College. St Mary's College have never managed to defeat Blackrock College in either a JCT or SCT final, losing out on four occasions in both competitions.

Performance by school[edit]

School Titles Winning years
Sq3 skywhitesky.svg Blackrock College 51 1910-11-12, 1923, 1927, 1932-33, 1935-36, 1941-42-43, 1945-46, 1948, 1951, 1953-54, 1956-57, 1959, 1962, 1964-65, 1968-69-70, 1972-73, 1979-80-81-82, 1984, 1986-87, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2006-07, 2011, 2013-14-15-16, 2018

SCT & JCT Double 27 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, 2018

Sq3 blackwhiteblack.svg Belvedere College 17 1913-14, 1916-17-18-19, 1925, 1929, 1931, 1937, 1940, 1960-61, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005 (D)
Sq3 blackpurplewhite.svg Terenure College 10 1955, 1958 (D), 1967, 1976-77-78, 1983, 1989, 2009-10
Sq3 navyskyyellow.svg Castleknock College 8 1915, 1920 (D)-21-22, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1966
Sq2 bluewhite.svg St. Mary's College 6 1934, 1963, 1971, 1974, 1992, 1997
Sq3 purplewhitepurple.svg Clongowes Wood College 5 1944, 1947, 1949, 1952, 2008
Sq3 blackyellowred.svg Presentation College, Bray 5 1930, 1975, 1985, 1988, 1990
Sq2 skynavy.svg St. Michael's College, Dublin 4 1991, 2002, 2012 (D), 2017
Sq3 bluewhiteblue.svg St. Andrew's College, Dublin 1 1909
Sq3 blackredblack.svg The High School, Dublin 1 1938
Sq2 whiteblack.svg Newbridge College 1 1950
Sq3 blackwhiteblack.svg M.S.J. Roscrea 1 1939

Note: This list is based on the information below which may be incomplete.

1900s[edit]

1910s[edit]

1920s[edit]

1930s[edit]

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Gerard Siggins's series of novels, Rugby Spirit (2012), Rugby Warrior (2014), Rugby Rebel (2015), Rugby Flyer (2016) and Rugby Runner (2017) tell the story of a boy, Eoin Madden, who plays rugby for the fictional Dublin school "Castlerock College", a portmanteau of Castleknock College and Blackrock College. He takes part in several campaigns with the school, including the Leinster Junior Cup. The school's name is an homage to that in Paul Howard's books, as Siggins had coined the name "Ross O'Carroll-Kelly".[7][better source needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irish Independent Report on 2012 Cup Final". Irish Independent. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  2. ^ "Blackrock defeat Belvedere in Junior Cup final with late try for double delight". Irish Times. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Blackrock are Bank of Ireland Junior Cup Champions". www.leinsterrugby.ie. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Comerford's early try key to Rock's fourth title in a row". Irish Independent. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.irishschoolsrugby.ie/leinster/junior-cup/
  6. ^ "Blackrock denied five in a row as Michael's claim Leinster Junior Cup". The 42. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Amazon.co.uk: Gerard Siggins: Books". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-06-03.