Impressive CBC cruise into Munster Schools Senior Cup final
Five first-half tries help dispose of the challenge of game but outclassed Ardscoil Rís
Christian Brothers School’s Billy Cain in action against Ardscoil Rís during the Munster Senior Schools Senior Cup semi-final at Irish Independent Park, Cork. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Christian Brothers School’s Conor Walsh offloads the ball despite a tackle from Jack Ward Murphy of Ardscoil Rís during the Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final at Irish Independent Park, Cork. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
CBC ensured an all-Cork Munster Schools Senior Cup final on St Patrick’s Day with a magnificent display at Musgrave Park on Tuesday. They meet either great rivals PBC or Bandon Grammar School.
Christians were close to their scintillating best as forwards and backs alike all looked comfortable with ball in hand and they crushed Ardscoil’s resistance with their awesome power.
A solid and reliable set-piece provided the platform for half-backs Mark O’Connor and Cian Whooley to control matters while their pace and handling ability out wide caused their Limerick opponents endless problems.
Five first-half tries sent Christians on their way as they swept to a commanding 31-12 lead at the interval.
The Cork school took just 90 seconds to claim the opener with Harry O’Riordan crossing and it was 12-0 after only five minutes.
Number eight Cian Hurley thundered over from close range with Billy Cain converting and five minutes later Christians swept 19 points in front.
Again more pressure on the Ardscoil line resulted in O’Riordan claiming his second, Cain adding the extras.
The Limerick side responded with a try from number eight Daniel Okeke off a well-worked move from a scrum to make it 19-5 after 18 minutes.
Back came Christians with their fourth try six minutes later, wing Aaron Leahy scoring out wide, though Ardscoil prop Alex Long replied with his side’s second try, converted by John Moloney, 24-12.
In injury-time, however, Christians pounced for a fifth try, Cain cutting through to also convert.
The pattern continued on the resumption despite the wet conditions as Christians started to empty their bench to illustrate the quality of their players in reserve.
A high tackle led to Cain kicking a booming penalty in the 45th minute before one of the newcomers, Dylan McAuliffe, got in on the act with his side’s sixth try eight minutes later. Cain converted for 41-12.
Outhalf Whooley, one of a handful of survivors from last season, when Glenstal Abbey denied them in the final, showed his class by jinking through for try number seven and he also converted, 48-12.
Ardscoil never gave up the chase, however, and kept battling to the finish, but Christians were in a different class and will take some stopping in the final as they bid for a record 30th title. They are level on 29 with Pres.
CBC: B Caine; P O’Hara, K Coughlan, H O’Riordan, A Leahy; C Whooley, M O’Connor; C Rasmussen, S Buckley, M Donnelly; A Brien, J Willis; R O’Sullivan, C Hurley, C Walsh. Subs: A O’Brien, O Leahy, P O’Brien, D McAuliffee, R Kelleher, B Kahn, J Moylan, S Kelly.
Ardscoil Rís: L O’Keeffe; E Collins, K Dineen, A O’Halloran, J Salmon; J Moloney, I Leonard; A Long, D Dineen, O Czyszczon; W O’Callaghan, J Hourigan; S Clery, D Okeke, J Ward-Murphy. Subs: J White, J Moore, K Danaher, G Power, C O’Reilly, C Moloney, R Desmond, S Fitzgerald.
Referee: C Harrington (Munster)