CBC advance to another final after win over arch rivals PBC
8th March 2009 By Munster Rugby
The centenary year of the Munster Schools Senior Cup will see the schools who competed in the very first final coming face to face again as the great rugby traditions in both Rockwell and Christians carry on.
Eoin O’Donnell and Darragh Dunne proved to be the heroes for Christians in their typically enthralling Cork derby, with O’Donnell producing a last minute match winning tackle while Dunne gave his side the early initiative with two well taken tries on either side of half-time.
Christians looked to be coasting to a relatively comfortable victory over their arch rivals Pres’ but in the end they had to endure a couple of extremely nervy moments. A try right on the seventy minute mark by the impressive PBC hooker David Vaughan gave his side a life-line going into injury time.
It looked as if the Mardyke were going to snatch an unlikely victory through winger Patrick O’Connell not just once, but twice. O’Connell created the opening with a moment of magic as he cut open the Christians defence with a run from half-way but opposing winger Eoin O’Donnell proved to be the saviour for the Sydney Hill school as he made up plenty of ground before hauling down O’Connell just metres short of the line.
Pres’ managed to recycle the ball and once again it looked as if O’Connell was set to touch down as he was waiting to receive the ball in the corner with no shirt in red covering but he was unable to hold onto Kevin Kidney’s lightning pass and knocked the ball on. Christian’s held out for another couple of nervy moments inside their own Twenty-Two before Darragh McCormack’s final whistle, which was met with cheers of relief more than anything from CBC supporters and players alike.
The opening half of the game didn’t show many signs of the drama that was to eventually unfold. Christians looked to keep things tight playing into a strong wind with scrum-half Brian Slater marshalling his players very well. Captain Brian Hayes had a superb game with himself and Simon Hanbridge securing plenty of line-out ball while Will Ryan and Damian Attridge were also putting themselves about.
Their forward drives had mixed success, often making good ground with some excellent rolling mauls but equally Pres’ strong defence knocked them back on numerous occasions. Pres’ looked to mix their game up a bit more with David Vaughan and Johnny McCarthy making some strong runs. Out-half Kevin Kidney narrowly missed a couple of difficult penalties early on to put his side in front.
As the half wore on, Christians began to gain more authority and finally made the breakthrough with Dunne spotting the slightest of gaps; after consistent pressure was applied by his front eight right on the stroke of half-time. Dunne added the conversion and was in the thick of the action again within minutes of the re-start.
He ran a great line to open up the Pres’ defence and finished off his run with an audacious chip over Jack Costigan which Dunne managed to gather and touch down. Joe Holland added the extra two points to put his side into a commanding fourteen point lead.
Pres’ were never going to accept defeat and with thirty minutes of the match remaining they knew they still had a chance to turn things around. Cian Bohane almost produced the perfect response as he hacked the ball past the CBC defence but was unable to gather the ball just short of the line.
This break did give his side excellent field position and they took full advantage. After being awarded a penalty under the posts, the team from the Mardyke elected to go for the scrum with David O’Mahony combining with Jack Costigan, who by now had moved to scrum-half and he stretched over the line for a try.
Pres’ continued to exert pressure as the match burst into life with Bohane and Olan Dennehy making some great breaks but they had to wait until the thirty-fifth minute of the half before reducing the arrears further through a well taken try by David Vaughan who crashed over on the right wing.
This produced an enthralling finale with supporters of both sides having their hearts beating fast as it looked like O’Connell was in for a try on two occasions but CBC just managed to hold out and set up the final showdown with Rockwell.
Scorers for C.B.C.: D Dunne 2 tries, con, J Holland con.
P.B.C.: J Costigan, D Vaughan tries.
C.B.C.: R Clune; E O’Donnell, B O’Leary, J Holland, G Mackesy; D Dunne, B Slater; C Corkery, K Stokes, D Attridge; B Hayes, S Hanbridge; E Doyle, R Barry, W Ryan. Replacements: Y Brown for Barry. R Martin for Attridge and C Quinn for Mackesy all 66, M O’Mahony for Corkery 70 + 3
P.B.C.: J Costigan; P O’Connell, C Bohane, J McCarthy, W Murphy; K Kidney, R Barry; N Scannell (c), B Vaughan, I Mullarkey; J O’Sullivan, D O’Mahony; R O’Herlihy, J Duffy, B Carroll.
Replacements: C O’Flaherty for Carroll HT, S Og Murphy for R Barry 42, O Dennehy for Bohane 60.
Referee: D McCormack (M.A.R.)