Domestic Season Review | Age-Grade Rugby
16th June 2023 By The Editor
It has been another incredibly exciting season for age-grade rugby throughout the province.
We take a look back at the winners from 2022/23, highlighting the schools, clubs and Munster Interprovincial squads that stood out this season.
Schools – Boys
PBC won the Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup after they beat CBC 24-0 in an action-packed clash at Musgrave Park back in March. That win means that PBC have now drawn level in overall Senior Cup titles with CBC on 31.
In the final, PBC scored their tries through Gene O’Leary Kareem and James Wixted, who notched a hat-trick, while Ben O’Connor notched two conversions as Pres lifted the Garrett Fitzgerald Cup for the 31st time.
The champions took the longer route to the final when they lost to CBC in the semi-final qualifier. PBC then beat Rockwell College and St Munchin’s College to reach the final.
It was a special season for PBC as the school also won the Munster Schools Boys Junior Cup when they beat Ardscoil Rís 20-8 in the final in Thomond Park. Frankie Óg Sheahan and Sé Clarke scored tries for PBC while Daniel Murphy kicked two penalties and two conversions.
Ardscoil Rís and Rockwell College won the Munster Senior Plate and Munster Junior Plate, respectively.
The McCarthy Cup A was won by PBC while CBC won the McCarthy Cup B and C competitions.
Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí won their qualifiers at both Senior Cup and Junior Cup level, over CBS Clonmel and Villiers respectively, to compete in both competitions. The West Cork school won their first-ever game in the Senior Cup when they beat Glenstal Abbey in the first round before they were defeated by Rockwell College in the quarter-final.
Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí also won the Mungret Cup, Abbey CBS the Cleary Cup, St Patrick’s Castleisland the Giles Shield while Kinsale Community School won the King Cup and the O’Brien Cup.
CBC were winners of the Barry Cup and the Bowen Shield this season while St Munchin’s and Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig won the Kidney Cup and Mungret Shield, respectively.
St Munchin’s and Crescent College won the Limerick City Senior and Junior Cups while St Joseph’s CBC Nenagh won the O’Gorman Cup.
Schools – Girls
The Munster Schools Girls Junior and Senior Cup built on its inaugural season in 2021/22 with more teams competing this year.
It was a special double for St Anne’s Community College as they won both the Munster Schools Girls Junior and Senior Cup competitions at a double-header in Musgrave Park back in March.
St Anne’s retained their Senior Cup title with a 17-5 win over Ardscoil Mhuire. St Anne’s tries came through Amy Reilly, Ellen O’Shaughnessy and Rebecca Rogers with Emily Byrne notching a conversion. Ardscoil Mhuire got their only try through Kelsey Reeves but it wasn’t enough as St Anne’s won their second successive Senior Cup title.
In the Junior Cup final, St Anne’s had too much for competitions debutants Coláiste Íde Dingle. Mia Hennelly (x3), Tuathla Ryan, Charlie Dillon (x2), Lucy Pearl and Lauren Dowling were the try-scorers. Dillon also notched five conversions.
Club – Boys
There was high drama in the Bank of Ireland Munster Clubs Boys U18 Cup final back in March as Bantry Bay scored a try at the death against Carrigaline-Dolphin to clinch the cup. Carrigaline-Dolphin scored tries through Chris Callinan, Ciarán O’Dubhgáin and Daire O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan converted his own try. Bantry’s tries came through Joey O’Sullivan and Michael Donovan which were both converted by Dylan Hicks. This gave Carrigaline-Dolphin a 17-14 lead entering the final few minutes.
Hicks spread the ball wide to replacement prop Dean Cotter who crossed for the match-wining try to seal the U18 Cup and a 19-17 win.
Earlier that day, Bandon secured a 27-8 win over Bruff to lift the Bank of Ireland Munster Clubs Boys U16 Cup.
Bandon’s tries came from Brian Galvin, Cillian O’Flynn, Alan O’Regan and Harvey Smyth McCormick with Daniel Coughlan landing two conversions and a penalty. Gavin Hartnett scored Bruff’s only try while Matthew Daly kicked a penalty for the Limerick side.
There was plenty of silverware lifted at this time of the season with Clonmel winning the U14 Cup, Nenagh Ormond winning the U18 Plate and Kinsale winning the U16 Plate. Kanturk won the U18 Bowl while Castleisland won the U16 Bowl.
There were a number of Development finals as well which saw Old Crescent win the U18 Development Cup and Clonakilty the U16 Development Cup. Old Christians won the U18 Development Plate, Killorglin won the U16 Development Plate and Nenagh Ormond won the U16 Development Bowl.
Clubs – Girls
Ennis-Kilrush and Carrick-Thurles both enjoyed strong seasons at U18 level as they both contested two major age-grade finals. Ennis-Kilrush beat Carrick-Thurles 22-10 in the U18 League final but the Tipperary side got the better of the Clare outfit in the Bank of Ireland Munster Clubs U18 Girls Cup final with another 22-10 scoreline but this time in Carrick-Thurles’ favour.
In the Girls U16 Cup final, Clonakilty were too strong for Shannon with the West Cork side earning a 15-0 victory. Elva McAuley and Erin McCarthy scored tries for Clonakilty with Saoirse O’Sullivan adding a conversion and a penalty.
Earlier that day, the U14 Cup final took place which saw Dunmanway-Bantry Bay beat Garryowen 21-7. Ellen Goggin’s try for Garryowen put the Limerick side into a 7-0 lead but Dunmanway-Bantry Bay responded with three tries, two of which were scored by Grace Cronin and Niamh White. Sarah Hurley landed three important conversions as the West Cork side ran home with a 21-7 win. Dunmanway-Bantry Bay also won the U14 league to complete an impressive double at that age-grade.
In the U18 Plate final, Ballincollig edged out Bruff 20-12 in a highly entertaining game which saw the Cork side emerge victorious despite a spirited fightback from the Limerick outfit.
Ballincollig scored four tries which included two tries from Caroline Victoria Tampwhou and one from Orlaith Morrisey. Bruff got on the board with a try from Megan O’Dwyer.
With a 20-7 lead, Bruff scored a second try from O’Dwyer but the missed conversion denied a grandstand finish as Ballincollig saw the game out to lift the U18 Plate.
Elsewhere at U18 level, Skibbereen-Bantry Bay won the U18 Development Cup. At U16 level, Bruff won the Development Cup, Ennis won the U16 Plate and Ballincollig-Dolphin won the U16 League.
There were a number of U14 competitions as well which saw Ballina-Killaloe-Scariff win the U14 Plate, Killarney the U14 Development Bowl and Ballincollig the Development Shield.
The Munster U18 Boys Schools side secured their first Interpro title since 2014 when they beat Leinster and Ulster at the beginning of the season.
Munster defeated Leinster 19-17 in Dublin before securing the title with a 38-0 win over Ulster in Musgrave Park.
The Munster U19s also had a good campaign which included a 19-15 win over Ulster and a 26-17 win over Connacht while they lost out narrowly to Leinster on a 24-19 scoreline in Dublin.
The Munster U18 Boys Clubs lost out to Leinster 36-15, beat Ulster 24-18 and lost out to Connacht 42-33.
The Munster U18 Girls side lost out to Connacht 39-17 in their opening game before beating Ulster 47-5 in Musgrave Park. In the final game, a brave comeback fell just short as Munster lost out to Leinster 10-7 in Musgrave Park.
There was strong Munster representation in the recent U18 Boys and U18 Girls 7s training squads named for an upcoming Rugby Europe tournament in July.
Gene O’Leary Kareem, Luke Murphy, Matthew Te Pou, Michael Foy, Oisin Minogue, Tom Wood and Zach Allen were named in the U18 Boys squad while Anna Roche, Caitriona Finn, Lucia Linn, Lyndsay Clarke and Niamh Crotty were named in the U18 Girls squad.
There was plenty of international action during the Easter break with Emmett Calvey, Mark Fitzgerald, Michael Foy, Dylan Hicks, Oisin Minogue, Luke Murphy, Jed O’Dwyer and Gene O’Leary Kareem involved for Ireland U18 Schools.
Fionn Casserly, Marcus Lyons, Jack Ryan, Eoghan Smyth and Matthew Te Pou were involved in the Ireland U18 Clubs & Schools squad during this period.
Stephen Kiely, Ben O’Connor, Evan O’Connell, Jake O’Riordan, Danny Sheahan, Jacob Sheahan and Oisin Pepper were involved for Ireland U19 for games against Japan and France.
For the U18 Women’s Six Nations festival, Munster representatives included Grainne Burke, Beth Buttimer, Lilly Morris, Niamh McCarthy, Saskia Wycherley, Lyndsay Clarke and Caitriona Finn.
Back in November, an Ireland U18 Clubs side took on Italy which included Eoghan Smyth, Dylan Hicks and Michael O’Donovan.
For a full list of all of the domestic competition winners, please click here.
For our Domestic Season Review on Adult Rugby, please click here.