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Report | PBC Clinch Back To Back Schools Senior Cup Titles

12th March 2024 By The Editor

Report | PBC Clinch Back To Back Schools Senior Cup Titles

PBC captain Gene O’Leary Kareem celebrates the final whistle ©INPHO

PBC were crowned the 2023/24 Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup champions after a dramatic final at Virgin Media Park which saw a CBC fightback cut just short as Pres emerged 33-31 winners.

Both schools were on 31 titles each ahead of today’s final with PBC now leading the roll of honour with 32.

PBC opened the scoring after just three minutes when they lost the ball in CBC’s 22 but as the Sidney Hill school attempted to clear their lines, Pres captain Gene O’Leary Kareem blocked down the kick and was first on the scene to ground the ball for the opening try of the game. The centre converted his own try to give his side an early 7-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for CBC to hit back as Michael Foy blocked down a PBC box kick to restore possession for his side and Pres ended up conceding a penalty for offside during the panic.

From a tap and go penalty, Ian Morton crashed over for Christians with Charlie Patrick O’Shea levelling the game with the conversion after 11 minutes.

PBC began to reapply the pressure and they got their second try when powerful centre James O’Leary ran a hard line off a lineout. The inside centre powered through multiple tackles and kept his balance to race clear and dot down under the posts. O’Leary’s cousin O’Leary Kareem converted to restore PBC’s seven-point lead.

CBC started to apply defensive pressure high up the pitch which forced a number of turnovers. It was from a knock on under pressure from PBC which saw CBC strike.

From the resulting scrum, captain Danny Rock produced a powerful carry to bring play to a few metres from the Pres line. Quick recycling saw the ball go to Bill McCarthy who crossed for his side’s second try. O’Shea notched the tricky conversion attempt to level the game once more.

CBC’s pressure on PBC’s setpiece was also yielding results as they won possession from a Pres lineout and a few phases later, Darragh Prenter reached out to ground the ball but it went forward at the crucial moment.

It proved to be the wake-up call that Pres needed as they scored two quick fire tries to give them a 12-point lead at half-time.

O’Leary and cousin O’Leary Kareem combined in midfield which saw Gene tackled just short of the line but a few phases later James O’Leary crashed over for his second try which was converted by O’Leary Kareem.

The captain was at the fore for his side’s fourth try as O’Leary Kareem produced an excellent offload to the pacy John Wigginton Barrett who rounded the CBC fullback to score under the posts. O’Leary Kareem converted to give his side a 26-14 lead at half-time.

Pres were playing into the wind in the second half and it took them 12 minutes to score another try. O’Leary Kareem was creator once again as he offloaded in the tackle to release Neville O’Leary who crossed in the corner. O’Leary Kareem then notched the difficult touchline conversion into the wind to give his side a commanding 33-14 lead.

O’Shea then made a big break through the PBC defence to bring play just inches from the Pres line. They lost the ball but came back for the penalty advantage which saw Michael Foy crash over to get his side back into the game. O’Shea’s conversion saw the scoreline at 33-21 with just under 20 minutes remaining.

A try from CBC’s Ronan O’Keeffe out wide reduced the arrears to 33-26 with the difficult conversion unsuccessful.

With the clock in the red and CBC camped on the Pres line, a sublime crossfield kick from O’Shea found Alex O’Connell.

It was heartbreak for CBC, however, as the difficult touchline conversion drifted narrowly wide as PBC were crowned champions.

PBC: Deckie Fitzgerald; Neville O’Leary, Gene O’Leary Kareem (C), James O’Leary, John Wigginton Barrett; Harry Murphy, Liam Tuohy; Maurice Minogue, Padraig Doyle, William Cronin; Daniel Foley, George O’Keeffe; Oscar Squires, Cormac Bohan, Alexander Alderson.

Replacements: Rio McLoughlin Barry, Fionn O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Sheehy, Charlie Donnelly, Daniel Noonan, Frankie Óg Sheahan, Mark Hetherington, Luke Sisk O’Mahony, Evan O’Dowd, Olan Dillon.

CBC: Daire O’Callaghan; Alex O’Connell, Leo O’Leary, Gavin O’Riordan, Bill McCarthy; Charlie Patrick O’Shea, Christopher Barrett; Denis Callaghan, Darragh Prenter, Cian Walsh; Michael Foy, Conor Kennelly; Mark Skelly, Ian Morton, Danny Rock (C).

Replacements: Craig Hughes, Ronan O’Callaghan, Sean McDonald, Robert O’Sullivan, Conor Galvin, Joseph Barrett, Cian Boylan, Cian Corkery, Aidan Brady, Ronan O’Keefe.

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