Line-out action from St Munchin's College's Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final with PBC, of Cork, at Musgrave Park this Wednesday
ST MUNCHIN'S College's brave bid to reach the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final came unstuck in a heart-breaking 33-10 semi-final defeat to PBC, of Cork, at Musgrave Park this Wednesday.
A youthful St Munchin's outfit, back-boned by their 2018 Junior Cup winning team, produced an excellent opening quarter to race into a 10-0 lead. However, the Corbally side found themselves trailing by two points, 10-12, at half-time after the concession of two tries.
St Munchin's remained hugely competitive through the third quarter and did have the opportunity to get within a score of their hosts with 15 minutes remaining through a kickable penalty award at 10-19. However, having a one man advantage at that stage as Pres' had a player in the sin-bin, the Limerick side opted for a scrum.
Unfortunately, from their point of view, the ball was subsequently turned over and Pres' managed to clear their lines.
WATCH: @stmunchins Alexander Wood adds the extras to his own try as Corbally side lead PBC 10-0 after 22 mins in @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final at Musgrave Park #LLSport @LimkLeaderSport #MSSC pic.twitter.com/YrtQekuGpR— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) February 26, 2020
The Limerick side tackled tenaciously throughout, but Pres' sheer size and power eventually told in the end.
Three more tries for the Leesiders in the second half, one scored just before full-time, ultimately broke St Munchin's stern resistance and set up a final showdown with another Cork side, CBC, on St Patrick's Day.
The final margin of defeat was tough on a brave St Munchin's College side which has improved with every outing since the start of the knock-out phase of the Senior Cup.
And St Munchin's will take great encouragement from the fact that some 10 members of their starting line-up are eligible to play Senior Cup again next season.
St Munchin's made a terrific start, racing into a significant 10-0 lead by the mid-point of the opening half.
WATCH: Respect shown by both sets of players at full-time in today's @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final between @stmunchins & PBC at Musgrave Park #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #MSSC pic.twitter.com/tl4YvdKZDC— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) February 26, 2020
The 2006 Senior Cup winners began the game really well in the favourable playing conditions.
St Munchin’s, who earned their place in the semi-finals following a thrilling 27-24 quarter-final victory over local rivals Castletroy College, opened the scoring in the 16th minute.
Scrum-half Donnacha O’Callghan prodded a neat kick in behind the Pres’ defence and when the Leesiders were subsequently penalised at the breakdown, Munchin’s out-half Alexander Wood used his trusty left boot to kick the Limerick side 3-0 in front.
Wood, son of former Munster, Ireland and Lions hooker Keith then seized on a Pres’ turnover just inside the Cork side’s half to gather possession, before racing clear to score.
Wood also converted for 10-0. However, Pres' hit back with two tries before half-time from number eight Alex Kendellen and second-row Sam O'Sullivan to lead 12-10 as scrum-half Alex Walsh also converted the second try.
The @stmunchins Senior Cup side observing a minute's silence before kick-off in their Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final v PBC. Just underway now at Musgrave Park #LLSport @Limerick_Leader #MSSC pic.twitter.com/OdfSUFfAhB— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) February 26, 2020
St Munchin's did come within a whisker of getting their noses in front just before the break when lively scrum-half O'Callaghan cleverly opted for a tap and go from a penalty award inside the Pres' 22.
However, Munchin's winger Conor O'Shaughnessy was stopped just short of the tryline by his opposite number James Keohane.
PBC's greater size and power began to tell as the second half began and powerful number eight Kendellan barged his way over the tryline from close range for his second try of the contest.
Walsh's conversion made it 19-10 to the Leesiders after 38 minutes.
Two more converted tries in the final quarter eased Pres' to a deserved victory as the Cork side's greater physicality told.
At Musgrave Park for @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final @stmunchins v PBC at Musgrave Park. Kick-off 2pm. Corbally side looking for quick double over Pres' after Junior Cup 1/4 final win yesterday #LLSport #MSSC @Limerick_Leader pic.twitter.com/9aHmlQJVJf— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) February 26, 2020
SCORERS: PBC: Alex Kendellen two tries, Sam O’Sullivan, Daniel Hurley, James Keohane try each, Alex Walsh four cons. St Munchin’s College: Alexander Wood try, pen, con.
PBC: Patrick Campbell; James Keohane, Darragh French, Daniel Squires, Daniel Hurley; Billy Kiernan, Alex Walsh; Billy Kingston, Ben Comiskey, Darragh McSweeney; Sam O’Sullivan, David O’Halloran; Jack Kelleher, John Forde, Alex Kendellen. Replacements: Ross McAulliffe, Ciaran O’Connor, James McCarthy, Tom Gough, Mark Deane, Liam Ormond, Peter Hyland, Sean McLoughlin, Jacob O’Brien, Bevan Forde.
ST MUNCHIN’S COLLEGE: Daragh McDermott; Conor O'Shaughnessy, Seamus McCarthy Burbage, Darragh Long, James O'Brien; Alexander Wood, Donnacha O'Callaghan; Kieran Ryan, Jack Devanny, Craig Finn; Graham Kirwan, Louis McCormack; Joachim Clohessy, Evan Hickey, Liam Neilan. Replacements: Gus Harrington, Nathan Walsh, Stephen Hayes, Jonathan Kelly, Kean Sheehy, Sean Nestor, Kieran Tracey, Conor O’Brien Comerford, Joshua Costello, Josh Egan.
REFEREE: Richard Horgan (MAR)