Castletroy College's Sean Quirke gathers possession in their Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup Group A fixture with Munster CSP at Thomond Park on Wednesday evening Picture: Gareth Williams
CASTLETROY College suffered a 15-3 defeat to a clinical Munster CSP amalgamation side in their Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup Group A fixture played at a wet and cold Thomond Park on Wednesday evening.
Castletroy, who were unbeaten after their opening two round robin fixtures in the new-look Senior Cup, remained very much in the contest when trailing by just three points, 3-5 at half-time.
However, Munster CSP, a newly-formed team made up of club players from across the province, scored 10 unanswered points in the second period, to remain of Group A as a result of earlier wins over Bandon Grammar School and Ardscoil Rís.
Munster CSP had a had an excellent display in their pack once again from flanker Diarmuid Dennehy, of Bruff RFC. Galbally RFCs Bradley Ahern was also a key member of their matchday squad.
Castletroy College, who had beaten Bandon Grammar School and drawn PBC, of Cork, in their two previous round robin games fell behind to an 11th minute try at Thomond Park.
The Newtown students were attacking deep inside the 'Munster' half when the ball was intercepted and the amalgamation quickly moved the ball downfield through a series of excellent carries and a well-judged crossfield kick before centre Liam McGarry dotted down in the left corner.
Back came Castetroy College and a 14th minute penalty from scrum-half Jack Oliver left just two points between the sides at the break.
WATCH: Beyond the tunnel! @CastletroyC players take to pitch at @thomondstadium for @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup group game v Munster CSP. About to kick-off #LLSport #MSSC @LimkLeaderSport pic.twitter.com/kpRnQbmClI— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) November 13, 2019
Given the wet, greasy conditions which made for difficult ball handling, it was extremely difficult for either side to hold onto the ball for long stages.
Handling errors all too often ended enterprising moves which had promised to deliver more.
Munster CSP increased their advantage in the third quarter, thanks to a sweetly struck drop goal from the boot of out-half Tony Butler.
With the gap at just five points, Castletroy remained within touching distance and a reliable set-piece provided the Newtown side with a dependable supply of good quality ball.
The Limerick side did lack a small degree of composure at a couple of vital stages of the contest, a crucial pass or two not going to hand when they had the opposition defence stretched.
Great lineout steal this for @CastletroyC close to half way. Limerick side trail Munster CSP 3-5 after 25 mins in @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup group game at Thomond Park #LLSport #MSSC @LimkLeaderSport pic.twitter.com/x3rEjcxNS8— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) November 13, 2019
Munster CSP made the game safe in the 64th minute when, following a excellent piece of patient, accurate continuity play, lively scrum-half Ethan Coughlan crossed for a well-executed try.
Coughlan also added the straight forward conversion to increase the 'Munster lead to 12 points.
Under the new format of the competition this season, the competing teams are divided into two groups of five teams each.
Each competing school will play four round robin fixtures before Christmas with the knock-out phase of the Cup beginning in the New Year.
WATCH: Sweetly struck drop goal has Munster CSP 8-3 to the good v @CastletroyC in @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup Group game at Thomond Park #LLSport @LimkLeaderSport #MSSC pic.twitter.com/gcQCxAjXMa— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) November 13, 2019
Schools are also guaranteed to play at least one further fixture in the New Year in the play-off phase ensuring players will get a minimum of five competitive fixtures in the Senior Cup this season.
A 'B' school qualifier will also be involved in the play-off phase of the competition in the New Year.
The Munster CSP side will be unable to win the Munster Schools Senior Cup and the side's interest in the competition will end following the conclusion of the round robin stage.
The creation of the amalgamation side allows players who would not other play against the leading rugby schools in the province an opportunity to do so.
The Castletroy College Senior Cup backroom team this season includes coaches Darragh Frawley, Nathan Randles and Niall O’Shea, team manager Bernard King, strength and conditioners Brendan Colleran, Hillary Cleary and Paul Harman, while Matt Kiely is team doctor and Rory O’Donnell is physio.
MUNSTER CSP: Conor McMahon, Luke Underwood-Doyle, Liam McGarry, James Finn, Emeka Asiegbu; Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan; Kian Regan, Jack O'Sullivan, Daniel McCarthy; Ciaran Vaughan, Jay Traynor, Diarmuid Dennehy, Patrick Cronin, Jack O'Sullivan. Replacements: Dylan Murphy, Matthew McCarthy, Bradley Ahern, David Bamidele, Sam Quinlan, Conall Whelan, Fabien Loughrey, James O'Sullivan.
CASTLETROY COLLEGE: Evan O'Halloran; Mark Lyons, Aiden Walter, Sam Hanrahan, Louis Cunneen; Michael O'Hanrahan (Captain), Jack Oliver; Nesta Nyamakazi, Robert Magill, Jason McCormack; John Moloney, John Toland; Jamie McNamara, Sean Quirke, Dylan McMahon. Replacements: Lee Bennett, Oisin O'Shea, Conor Davies-Molloy, Samuel DenDikken, Stewart Bradshaw, Cian Mulkern, Luke Heuston, Jason Aylward.