All Cork Senior Cup Final
7th March 2007 By Munster Rugby
It was a thrilling day in the Avonmore Munster Schools Senior Cup, as both semi-finals went right down to the wire, before Christian’s and Pres’ both prevailed with late tries to set up another all Cork Final on Monday March 19th.
St Munchin’s reign as champions came to an end but their players can hold their heads up high as they put it up to a very powerful
Christian’s side. It looked as if the game was going to head for a replay until Conor Martin set up Niall Courteney for a try, two
minutes into injury time to snatch victory.
The strong wind played a major part in the game, with both sides keeping it tight as the packs fought it out. While one would have the
thought the team with the wind would hold the advantage, as is so often the case it was the side playing into the conditions who
enjoyed the better of each half.
Munchin’s enjoyed an excellent opening period as they opened up an 8-3 lead. Eoghan Cunnane and Stephen Gallagher were securing quality ball at the line-out while Conor Murray was controlling affairs from scrum-half and he gave his side the lead with a penalty on twenty-two minutes.
C.B.C. struck towards the end of the half, with Chris Nolan as usual proving to be very evasive when he has the ball in hand and he set up
Odhran Mulrooney for a try with Mulrooney also adding a penalty on the stroke of half-time to put the Cork side 8-3 in front.
Their was a strong improvement in the Christian’s performance after the break with the pack fronting up where John Ryan and Aidan Foley were making plenty of ground around the fringes.
Nolan thought he extended his side’s lead after racing half the length of the field following an intercept but he was called back by
the referee. Having obtained a bit of luck, Munchin’s took advantage and Diarmuid McMahon set up Craig O’Hanlon to draw the sides back level.
It wasn’t to be for the Corbally School as Courteney struck right at the end to snatch victory for the Cork school.
It was every bit as dramatic in Dooradoyle, where Crescent Comprehensive looked as if they were set for victory going into the latter stages of the game as they held an 11-6 lead. Pres’ managed to make one last ditch effort. Barry Kelleher made a strong break to
create an opening and after the ball was moved through the hands. Simon Zebo was on hand to finish off as he touched down in the corner
to level the scores.
Even after the concession of this score, it looked that Crescent would at least have a draw as not only was the conversion out by the
touch-line, but it was also into a strong wind. Even the strongest of kickers wouldn’t have fancied their chances but Scott Deasy stood up
and produced an outstanding kick to secure Pres’ place in their fifth successive Final.
It was heartbreak for the Limerick school who put up a very strong display. Their pack in particular produced a superb display, with
their scrums putting Pres’ in trouble while they were also securing excellent ball in the line-out, mainly through second-row Ken Hanley.
Another one of the outstanding pack members was Darren Muclair who got through immense work at number eight and he opened the scoring, powering over the line with ten minutes gone.
Pres, with the advantage of the wind fought their way back into the match. Niall Barry had a great all-round game at centre while Brian
O’Hara was also impressive in the back-row. They managed to force two penalties before half-time which Deasy slotted over to give his
side a 6-5 lead.
On the turnaround, the Limerick side were fired up and it needed some strong defence by PBC to keep them out, with Alec Rose putting in some notable hits. Crescent did take the lead, with Sean Scanlon striking over not one, but two drop-goals to edge his side five points in front.
Just as the Crescent looked like they were about to close the game out, Pres’ managed to strike for a dramatic victory.