Christian Brothers College 3 Presentation Brothers College 6
It may not have been the most expansive of rugby games, but for Presentation Brothers College the result is what counts. Coming off the back of losing three consecutive Senior Cup finals, victory over rivals Christian Brothers College certainly helped to make up for previous disappointments. They picked up their 26th Senior Cup title in Musgrave Park in what can only be described as a gruelling encounter on St. Patrick s Day.
On a day when rain threatened and a mist set in over Musgrave Park, the two teams did battle for the most prestigious title in Munster Schools Rugby. The inclement weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the supporters who were vocal throughout, and the atmosphere was everything you would expect at the meeting of two schools steeped in a tradition of rugby, with a history of unearthing some of the brightest young talent in the sport.
With CBC playing with the wind in the first half, both sides took some time to settle. From the outset, it was clear that this game was going to be contested in the packs, with both sides testing defences early on. PBC got the upper hand and their pack started working well, forcing CBC to defend for much of the half. An early drop goal attempt by PBC s out half Gavin Dunne failed to hit its target and steered left of the posts.
PBC captain and scrum half set about controlling his pack with great success, keeping play inside the CBC half for much of the first half, but CBC defended well, and the well placed clearances of Peter O Sullivan at full back kept CBC out of danger. PBC s line outs were working exceptionally well, with Richard McCarthy and Robert Allen doing some excellent work. Errors on both sides conspired to prevent either team from getting any clear scoring chances. Late in the first half, a PBC penalty again failed to hits it mark.
Despite staying scoreless, PBC were very much in control until ten minutes before half time when CBC came back with a period of excellent play. A break by CBC s out half Alan Coughlan on the half way line spurred his team to life, and CBC attacked with tenacity. They were rewarded with a penalty after PBC were pulled up for a diving in offence. Full back Peter O Sullivan took the kick on the ten metre line and gave CBC a 3-0 lead, where it remained at half time.
After the restart, CBC opened with some excellent forward play, going from their own 22 to PBC s ten metre line. Both PBC s Scott Deasy and CBC s Shane O Sullivan exchanged kicks until the ball was collected by CBC s statuesque winger Gavin Blower who made a powerful break up the middle, only to be tackled by Sam Cronin. Cronin was injured in the exchange but continued for the rest of the game, despite being in obvious discomfort. PBC s full back Scott Deasy came into his own, and had a magnificent performance. He put PBC s first points on the board 19 minutes into the second half with an on target penalty to equalise. CBC continued to fight for possession, with captain Don Keogh at No. 8 setting a fine example. However, when PBC were awarded another penalty for ruck infringements, Scott Deasy was once again on target with a confident kick after 21 minutes, giving PBC a three point lead and putting tremendous pressure on CBC.
For the final minutes of the game, the pace was frenetic, but PBC kept the play well inside the CBC half and remained camped on their line for quite a length of time. Despite not scoring the try, PBC had done enough to take back the title.
In his acceptance speech, captain Sam Cronin eloquently paid tribute to the coaching staff and dedicated the win to the previous three PBC Senior Cup teams who lost out in their finals. An obviously disappointed CBC were gracious in defeat, after putting up tough resistance to a hungry PBC side.
Presentation Brothers College: 15. Scott Deasy, 14. Shane Costigan, 13. Brian Dennehy, 12. Tim Kenneally, 11. Sean McKeown, 10. Gavin Dunne, 9. Sam Cronin (captain), 1. Jason Carton, 2. Michael O Leary, 3. Neil Burke, 4. Richard McCarthy, 5. Robert Allen, 6. Traolach Hennebry, 7. Jack O Driscoll, 8. Eamon Nugent Replacements Ciaran McGrath for Robert Allen
Christian Brothers College: 15. Peter O Sullivan, 14. Gavin Blower, 13. Ivan Dinneen, 12. Frederic Chesne, 11. Kevin Doyle, 10. Alan Coughlan, 9. Christopher Nolan, 1. Karl O Donoghue, 2. David Nathan, 3. Ronan O Neill, 4. Kieran Essex, 5. Rogan Gee, 6. Shane O Sullivan, 7. Colin Liston, 8. Don Keogh (Captain) Replacements: Peter Murphy for Rogan Gee, Liam Melia for Ivan Dinneen, John Noonan for Colin Liston.
Referee: George Clancy, MAR