Domestic Season Review | Age-Grade Rugby
22nd June 2022 By The Editor
The 2021/22 season saw age-grade rugby back in full swing after Covid-19 interruptions over the last two years.
The huge appetite for the return of age-grade competitions throughout the province was evidenced in some of the scintillating rugby that was witnessed in all corners of Munster this season.
Here, we take a look back at the winners from 2021/22, highlighting the schools, clubs and Munster Interprovincial squads that stood out this season.
Schools – Boys
Crescent College Comprehensive won the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup for the first time since 2014 when they recorded a 26-5 victory over Presentation Brothers College at Thomond Park in March.
Tries from Brandon Nash, Jed O’Dwyer, Oscar Davey and Max Clein secured a comfortable win for the Limerick school in what was their 12th Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup title.
Comp enjoyed narrow wins over PBC and Bandon Grammar School in the previous rounds while the Cork school had to take a longer route to the final due to their initial loss to Crescent in the semi-final qualifier.
PBC dispatched St Munchin’s College 31-12 before beating their rivals CBC 21-19 in one of the more dramatic matches this season. 12 points down in the second half, PBC launched a comeback which culminated in fullback Ben O’Connor scoring a try in the corner which he converted from the touchline to win the game.
PBC did have success in the Munster Schools Junior Cup, however. They beat their Cork rivals CBC 14-10 in Musgrave Park.
Ardscoil Rís and Castletroy College won the Munster Senior Plate and the Munster Junior Plate competitions, respectively.
The McCarthy Cup ‘A’ and ‘B’ were both won by PBC while Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai won the ‘C’ equivalent.
Abbey CBS won both the Cleary Cup and the Giles Shield while CBC won the Kidney Cup.
The King Cup went the way of Kinsale Community School while PBC won the Bowen Shield and High School Clonmel won the Mungret Shield.
The Bowen Shield ‘B’ was awarded to St. Anne’s Killaloe while Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai and Kinsale Community School won the Mungret Cup and O’Brien Cup, respectively.
Abbey CBS won the O’Gorman Cup, PBC the Barry Cup and St. Munchin’s the Dudley Herbert Sean Conneely Cup.
Crescent College won the Limerick Senior City Cup and Castletroy College won the junior equivalent.
Schools – Girls
The inaugural Munster Schools Girls Senior and Junior Cups took place this season and there was no shortage of excitement as Ardscoil Mhuire, Limerick and St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe made history by becoming the first winners of the Junior and Senior Cups.
A brace of tries from Aoife Grimes and one try from Orlaith Grimes saw Ardscoil Mhuire emerge 17-17 winners over St Anne’s Community College in the Junior Cup final.
The second match of the double-header in Musgrave Park saw St Anne’s Community College beat Bandon Grammar School 22-19 in the Senior Cup final.
Ella Joslin was a standout player for St Anne’s with the flanker scoring her side’s opening try before scores from Eibhlis Coleman, Grainne Mahony and a second from Joslin at the death secured a narrow 22-19 win.
Club – Boys
In what was one of the best games played this season, Cobh Pirates won the Bank of Ireland Munster U18 Club Cup with a 33-27 win over Waterpark at Musgrave Park in April.
Tries from Jack Worall, a brace from Saul Kahn and two tries from Sean Edogbo secured the win for the East Cork side. There was some excellent performances from both sides with Mark Wallis and Jack Coady impressing for Waterpark.
Earlier that day, Waterpark lifted the Bank of Ireland Munster U16 Cup with a 22-7 win over Ennis.
Tries from Shay Kennedy, Dylan Coady and Sam Jones and seven points from the boot of Ben Wallis secured the win for the Waterford side.
There was plenty of silverware lifted at this time of the season with Bantry Bay winning the U18 Plate and Clonakilty winning the U16 Plate. Skibbereen won the U18 Bowl while an amalgamated side of Clanwilliam, Galbally and Kilfeacle won the U16 Bowl.
Five Bank of Ireland Munster Age-Grade Development Club finals also produced silverware-winning teams. Sundays Well lifted the U18 Development Cup, Mallow lifted the U18 Development Plate, Bandon lifted the U16 Development Cup, Ballincollig won the U16 Development Plate and Cork Con won the U16 Development Bowl.
There were other excellent matches in the different regional club competitions, results of which can be found here.
Club – Girls
Ballina-Killaloe RFC enjoyed a strong season after winning the U18 League and also the U18 Plate. An amalgamated side of Carrick-on-Suir, Thurles and Fethard won the Bank of Ireland Munster Girls U18 Cup after a thrilling 22-15 over Ennis at Fethard Town Park.
Killarney had a double winning season after they won both the U16 League and the U16 Cup. The U16 Cup was played in Musgrave Park during the age-grade festival of rugby with tries from Fia Whelan, Katie O’Donoghue, Ava O’Malley, Holly O’Sullivan and a penalty try securing a 31-15 win over Shannon in what was a brilliant game of running rugby.
Bruff lifted the U16 Plate while an amalgamated side of Bruff and Garryowen won the U14 League. A Dunmanway and Bantry combined side won the U14 Cup while Clonakilty won the U14 Plate.
Four Bank of Ireland Munster Age-Grade Development Club finals saw four different clubs win trophies. Bantry Bay lifted the U18 Development Bowl, Skibbereen won the U16 Development Bowl, Waterpark claimed the U14 Development Bowl while Kanturk won the U14 Development Shield.
There was mixed results for our interprovincial squads at the beginning of the season.
The Munster u18 Girls lost to both Leinster and Connacht.
The Munster U19s beat their Ulster and Connacht counterparts but lost to Leinster.
The Munster U18 Clubs side were unlucky in their campaign as they lost all three matches by no more than four points on each occasion. The Munster U18 Schools played two games, losing to Leinster and Ulster.
There was strong Ireland representation this year with nine Munster players making the Ireland U19 squad for a double-header with France in April; Conall Henchy, Danny McCarthy, Ruadhan Quinn, Henry Buttimer, Josh Costello, Liam McCarthy, Ihechi Oji, Jeff Williams and Andrew O’Mahony.
10 Munster players were included in the Ireland U18 Schools squad for April’s U18 Mens Six Nations Festival in Marcoussis, France; Emmett Calvey, Brian Gleeson, Kamil Novak, Evan O’Connell, Danny Sheehan, Jacob Sheahan, Stephen Kiely, Harry Long, Ben O’Connor and Jake O’Riordan.
Back in October, Kyle Read, Sean Edogbo and Kieran Kennedy were selected in an Ireland U18 Clubs matchday squad which faced Italy while Sean Condon, Sean Edogbo, Dawid Novak, Kyle Read, Cillian O’Connor and Oisin Pepper were named in a combined Ireland U18 Clubs and Schools side for a clash with Leinster Development in April.
Three Munster players were named in the Ireland U18 Women’s Squad for April’s inaugural Under-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival in Edinburgh; Kate Flannery, Rebecca Rodgers and Beth Buttimer.
For a full list of all of the domestic competition winners this season, please click here.
For a review of the domestic adult season, please click here.