Line-out action from Ardscoil Ris' Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final clash with CBC at Musgrave Park this Tuesday
ARDSCOIL Ris' dream of reaching a first Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final since 2015 were shattered at Musgrave Park on Tuesday as a powerful CBC side ran out convincing 48-12 winners of their semi-final clash at Musgrave Park
Ardscoil's hopes of upsetting their fancied opponents effectively disappeared inside the opening quarter after pre-match favourites Christians' stunned their opponents with three early tries and a significant 19-point lead.
To their credit, resilient Ardscoil, who had managed to turnaround their quarter-final against Castletroy College in spectacular fashion after also falling behind early on, battled bravely and were rewarded for their endeavour with two tries from number eight Daniel Okeke and prop Alex Long to trail by 12 points, 12-24 at the half hour mark.
However, that was as good as it got for Ardscoil against physically imposing opponents who had 13 survivors from their 2018 extended squad which reached the Senior Cup final against Glenstal, including seven from the actual matchday squad.
CBC, who were given a stiff test in the recent quarter-finals by Crescent College Comprehensive before pulling through, bagged four further tries to ease to victory against their North Circular Road opponents.
WATCH: The @ArdscoilRisLimk players are on the pitch for their @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final v CBC at Musgrave Park #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #MSSC #ASR pic.twitter.com/m83Jz2OiOZ— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) March 5, 2019
The rain arrived just in time for kick-off at Musgrave Park, but it didn't take CBC long to get into their stride.
A fine break up the left wing from winger Aaron Leahy created the initial opening. The ball was quickly recycled, with number eight Cian Hurley putting centre Harry O'Riordan over to score in the right corner in the third minute.
Christians' doubled their lead just two minutes later when when number eight Hurley barged over from close range. Full-back Billy Cain was also able to add the conversion on this occasion for a 12-0 lead.
That advantage quickly became 19-0 when centre O'Riordan sniped over for his second try of the game under the posts, leaving Cain with the easy task of knocking over the conversion.
WATCH: Really clever move from @ArdscoilRisLimk off scrum deep inside the CBC '22 leads to their opening try in today's @ClaytonHotel Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final v CBC at Musgrave Park #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #ASR pic.twitter.com/9PWJAJN7Ql— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) March 5, 2019
To their great credit Ardscoil Ris fought back and fortune certainly did favour the brave in the 18th minute when the Limerick students opted for a scrum off a penalty award deep inside their opponents '22.
In a delightful pre-rehearsed moved, with the CBC defence expecting scrum-half Ian Leonard to pick the ball from the back of the scrum moving right, instead flanker Jack Ward Murphy gathered the ball moving left before transferring to powerful number eight Daniel Okeke who stormed over the tryline from close range for 19-5.
However, CBC responded in style with winger Aaron Leahy grabbing his side's fourth try a short time later after Ardscoil's defence was again stretched to breaking point.
Ardscoil lost their talented centre O'Halloran to injury short time later and he was replaced by Scott Fitzgerald.
To their credit, Ardscoil maintained their resolve and prop Alex Long dotted down from close range on the half hour mark. John Moloney's conversion made it 24-12.
The see-saw nature of the scoring continued just before half-time when pre-match favourites Christians' got over for their fifth try of the game through full-back Cain.
He also added the extras to help the Leesiders into their commanding 31-12 interval lead.
Ardscoil introduced Cian Moloney at half-back early in the second half in a bid to kick start an unlikely comeback. However, it was the home side who managed to opening points of the half through a 45th minute penalty goal from the reliable Cain.
WATCH: At Musgrave Park where @ArdscoilRisLimk players are warming up ahead of @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final v CBC. Dry conditions. Kick-off 2pm #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #MSSC #ASR pic.twitter.com/3M7PJCyR9w— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) March 5, 2019
Christians went on to add two further tries to their tally to set up a final showdown against the winners of Wednesday's semi-final clash of PBC, of Cork, and Bandon Grammar School.
SCORERS: CBC: Harry O'Riordan two tries, Cian Hurley, Aaron Leahy, Dylan McAuliffe try each, Billy Cain try, four cons, pen. Cian Whooley try, con. Ardscoil Ris: Daniel Okeke, Alex Long try each, John Moloney con.
It finishes @ArdscoilRisLimk 12 @CBC_rugby 48 in @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final at Musgrave Park. 7 tries to 2 says it all really #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #MSSC pic.twitter.com/Cogwi4OQDg— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) March 5, 2019
CBC: Billy Caine; Patrick O'Hara, Killian Coughlan, Harry O'Riordan, Aaron Leahy; Cian Whooley, Mark O'Connor; Charlie Rasmussen, Scott Buckley, Mark Donnelly; Aidan Brien, John Willis; Ronan O'Sullivan, Conor Walsh, Cian Hurley. Replacements: Alex O’Brien, Oisin Leahy, Padraig O'Brien, Dylan McAuliffe, Robbie Kelleher, Bobby Kahn, James Moylan, Sean Kelly.
ARDSCOIL RIS: Lochlainn O'Keefe; Eoghan Collins, Killian Dineen, Alex O'Halloran, John Salmon; John Moloney, Ian Leonard; Alex Long, Darragh Dineen, Oskar Czyszczon; Will O'Callaghan, James Horrigan; Stephen Clery, Jack Ward Murphy, Daniel Okeke. Replacements: James White, Josh Moore, Kevin Danaher, Gearoid Power, Cian O’Reilly, Cian Moloney, Rory Desmond, Scott Fitzgerald.
REFEREE: Chris Harrington (MAR)