Friday’s Munster Schools Senior Soccer Cup final is an all-Limerick affair with perennial challengers CBS Sexton Street taking on new kids on the block, Colaiste Iosef of Kilmallock.
CBS are no strangers to success in the competition having won Munster six consecutive years from 2003 to 20009. They took home the All-Ireland in 2007 and 2008 and then lost the 2009 final. Such a pedigree will ensure they start favourites for Friday’s match.
It is unlikely that Colaiste Iosaef will be over-awed, however, having beaten some illustrious opponents on their way to a first ever Munster final.
Principal and team manager, Sean Twomey, said: “It’s a great opportunity for the school to be in a Munster final of the premier soccer competition and the fact two Limerick schools are there is fantastic. We’ll go in as underdogs, CBS have the tradition, they’ve already beaten us once this season but we won’t roll over.
“There may be a burgeoning rivalry, we have only really come up into the A grade in senior this year but they (CBS) are the only team from Limerick to have won Munster and we are only the second to reach a Munster final.”
Twomey, although he realises the size of Friday’s task, is hopeful of a victory. It would not be the first time they have upset the odds this year having beaten De La Salle of Waterford in the quarter-finals.
“That would have been a big surprise (beating De La Salle) they have four of the current Irish U-19 team. They would have gone in firm favourites but we played an exceptional first half of football and took a 3-0 lead. They got it back to 3-2 but then we got a fourth and again they got it back to 4-3. It could have gone either way but we came out on top.”
Barry Sheedy, Sean Barrett, Sean Finn, Shane Irwin and Graham Whelan are just some of the talent to look out for from the Kilmallock side.
Twomey is hopeful of bringing a fair contingent of support with his team into the city. “We’re bringing four year groups from school and the people of Kilmallock are fantastic to support sport so I would say we will be bringing 200 or 250 people.”
CBS soccer supremo Mike Molyneaux will not be taking the challenge of Colaiste Iosef lightly and is cautiously optimistic: “These would be the new challengers; they knocked out De La Salle who would have been the hot favourites to win the All-Ireland. If we had the full panel from first year, I might be talking to you in a different (more confident) tone,” said Molyneaux.
Asked about any rivalry between the Limerick sides, Molyneaux continued: “We’ve played each other alright but this would be the first meaningful match. The rivalry was actually between ourselves and De La Salle.”
A history of success brings with it a sense of expectation and that is something not lost on Molyneaux: “We have dominated, we have a history and a tradition but it’s hard to keep it going.”
Looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jeffrey Judge and Lee Jay Lynch who came through the ranks of CBS are the likes of Jamie Stewart, Shane Walsh and Lee Whyte along with striker Jamie Bromell. Molyneaux hopes Bromell has kept some goals for Friday, having scored a hat-trick for his club side Ballynanty over the weekend.
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