Ard Scoil conquer CBC for deserved victory

Ard Scoil RÍs 8 CBC 7

In doing so, Ard Scoil avenged their defeat by the same opposition in last year’s decider. Having struggled for much of the first half when helped by the strong, cold wind, the winners raised their game in highly commendable fashion on the turnover, keeping Christians pinned in their own territory for long stretches as a strong, well drilled forward pack took control.

Ard Scoil had a couple of key men up front in live-wire hooker Paul Clayton and number eight and captain Barry Sheehan, while out-half Dave Lynch performed with a maturity that belied his tender years. His distribution and kicking were of a very high standard. Christians left Thomond Park disappointed that they hadn’t performed to their full potential, their cause not helped when Brian Fleming missed a penalty from a favourable position as early as the third minute.

A crooked line-out throw on 15 minutes led to a five-metre scrum for Ard Scoil from which Sheehan broke to the right and skilfully avoided a couple of tackles before diving over for what proved to be the decisive score.

From there to the interval, Christians held the initiative but their inability to erode any of Ard Scoil’s advantage was to prove decisive. Brian O’Callaghan at number eight was a key figure with Billy O’Regan and Brian Fleming doing well at half-back but the Ard Scoil defence was equal to all demands.

Still, Christians looked good when turning to play with the wind and only five points adrift. But they were never able to regain their first half supremacy as Sheehan, Clayton and company gained a monopoly of possession and put it to be the best possible use, time and time driving into the Christians pack and gradually wearing them down. Ard Scoil full-back Craig McNamara was almost over in the left corner but the attacks on the Christians line remained constant until Dave Lynch knocked over a penalty to stretch the gap to eight.

Christians battled for all their worth but the result was a foregone conclusion when O’Callaghan forced his way over between the posts after a close range penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time for Brian Fleming to add the points.

ARD SCOIL RIS: C. McNamara; P. Gleeson, A. Hennigar, C. O’Brien, T. O’Sullivan; D. Lynch, C. Moore; L. Hayes, P. Clayton, D. Cantillon, F. Manning, C. Hyland, G. Moore, J. Deegan, B. Sheehan capt.

Replacements: S. Ryan for Hayes 59 ins; M. Carroll for Hyland and N. McGrath for Hennigan, 60.

CBC: W. Ryan; T. Vaughan, S. Creagh, P. Parfrey capt, C. O’Reilly; B. Fleming, W. O’Regan; A. Joyce, D. Attridge, J. Bransfield, J. Mulcahy, J. Finn, J. Crowley, D. Loftus, B. O’Callaghan.

Replacements: G. Houston for Crowley 35 mins; G. Finneran for Attridge and O. Mulrooney for Ryan 60.

Referee: D. Moloney (Munster).

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