CLINICAL St Munchin's College powered their way into the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup final with an exciting 26-20 win over PBC, of Cork, at UL's North Campus this afternoon.
Classy St Munchin’s scored four tries over the hour, two in either half, to stun their Cork opponents and set up a mouth-watering final showdown with another Leeside heavyweight, holders CBC, at a Limerick venue at the start of next month.
It is 20 years now since St Munchin’s last tasted Munster Schools Junior Cup success, with that 1998 winning side featured former Munster centre Barry Murphy.
However, on the evidence of their Cup campaign to date, this highly regarded, composed, well-coached Corbally side is favourably placed to finally end that drought this time round.
Both sides deserve great credit for their open attacking approach in this entertaining semi-final, the pace of the game helped by the speed of the playing surface. St Munchin’s led 14-12 at half-time. The Limerick side’s opening try arrived on six minutes when prop Kieran Ryan powered over. A terrific conversion from the boot of ever-reliable centre Darragh Long stretched the lead to 7-0.
WATCH: The first of 4 @stmunchins tries v PBC in their 26-20 Munster Schools Junior Cup semi-final win at UL today with nimble footwork from match referee #msjc @Limerick_Leader #LLSport @StMunchinsSport @LimkLeaderSport pic.twitter.com/R3VbcyecAe— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) February 21, 2018
The home side threatened to increase their lead on 13 minutes following a terrific break from exciting full-back Josh Egan. However, the Pres’ defence managed to scramble sufficiently to avert the danger.
After PBC replied with a converted try from hooker Ben Comiskey on 18 minutes., the Corbally rugby nursery went in front on 27 minutes when out-half, Alexander Wood, son of former Munster, Ireland and Lions hooker Keith, neatly kicked in behind the Pres’ defence for winger Conor O’Shaughnessy to score.
Long’s conversion made it 14-7. However, PBC hit back before half time and a try from out-half Darragh French cut the Limerick side’s advantage to just two points, 14-12.
St Munchin’s took a firm grip on the game three minutes after the restart when number eight Liam Neilan, son of UL-Bohemian head coach Christy, touched down in the right corner.
Long was again on target with the conversion for it 21-12. After Pres’ replied with a penalty, a fourth St Munchin’s try from full-back Egan made the game safe.
Pres' did manage a late consolation try through winger Ronan Wilson.