Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter final: St Munchin’s College 10, Presentation Brothers College Cork 5
A DISPLAY of courage, determination and serious effort today saw St Munchin’s qualify to meet Ardscoil Ris in the next round of this competition. They came into the tie still smarting from a 40-0 defeat at the hands of another Cork side CBC and this performance shows that they may well go further in this competition.
With the gale blowing directly from the Rossa Avenue side of the ground, the conditions were always going to be a factor and when the Limerick school turned into the second half trailing by just five points they had a distinctive advantage.
Containing their more fancied opponents to just that one score was a boost and with out-half Cillian O’Connor cleverly using the wind with his clearances in that second half, the Corbally side continually frustrated Pres.
The Cork boys got plenty of the ball in the opening 30 minutes but a series of dropped passes and some great turnovers by Munchin’s resulted in stalemate. The breakthrough eventually came when after continuous pressure on the home line lock forward Jacob Sheahan got over for a PBC try, the conversion drifting just wide of the left hand post.
St Munchin’s must have been encouraged by the one score deficit at the break and after overcoming the error of kicking the restart dead, they went ahead on 41 minutes, Oisin Minogue crashing over after patient build-up from the pack. Cillian O’Connor kicked the conversion for a 7-5 lead.
PBC tried hard to get back into the game but some magnificent defensive work by the Limerick side continually kept them at bay. Pres got a glorious chance with ten minutes remaining but the final pass to the unmarked winger went to ground. Munster sealed the victory five minutes from time, the impressive Cillian O’Connor nailing a penalty from 30 metres to give his side a place in the last four for the third year in succession.
SMC’s head coach Eoghan Rowley was understandably pleased with the result:
“After the hefty defeat at the hands of CBC many were writing us off but we went into this game determined to do well. We didn’t make any major changes to the team or our tactics but we just improved on some areas of play.
“Playing into the wind in the first half was certainly important for us after we won the toss and we were delighted that we held them (PBC) to just five points at the break. This squad has been together since last May and they deserve great credit for today’s performance.
“We have reached the last two Junior Cup finals, we play Ardscoil in the semi-final and hopefully we can produce another good result. Our fans were terrific today and their support really mattered.”
St Munchin’s College: Oisin Pepper; Josh McCarthy, Adam Cusack, Conor McCarthy, Eoin Walsh; Cillian O’Connor, Gordon Wood; Eoin Sarsfield, Sean Rice, Conor Ward; Mark Walsh, Alex Finn; Danny Williamson, Harry Bennis, Oisin Minogue. Replacements, Peter Dougan, Ben McCarthy, Charlie Deedigan, Rian Burke, Ben Quane, Tony Foley, Azad Moahammed, Eoin McGurran, Rory McDermott, Joe Noonan.