Christians’ power sees off Rockwell

CHRISTIAN Brothers College Cork secured their place in the semi-finals of the Avonmore-sponsored Munster Christians had too much power up front and plenty of pace in the back division to see off what was, nevertheless, a spirited Rockwell challenge spearheaded by the impressive number eight Stephen Maguire and loose head prop Cian O’Donnell.

Ultimately, and particularly following the retirement through injury of Maguire, Rockwell didn’t have enough class throughout the team to match an excellent CBC side that was well drilled in the set pieces and always ready for action from broken play.

Kevin Slater led the side by example in the middle of the pitch, while Darragh McNamara was always a threat when running from deep positions at full back. Michael Ryan’s scoring ability on the left wing (he got his third try in the tournament) was another huge bonus and Charlie O’Regan invariably got the best out of the back division with a quality performance at scrum half.

Rockwell, to their credit, did frustrate their Cork opponents by pinching ball in defensive situations and that ability kept alive their slim hopes of survival.

But despite the creation of a couple of scoring chances late in the game, victory always looked beyond them from the time Ryan grabbed the 23rd minute opening try for CBC following McNamara’s early penalty.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first, with Christians dominating territory, and they were rewarded when Stokes blasted his way impressively through the defence for the second try 11 minutes in.

McNamara converted to stretch the lead out to what proved to be an unassailable 15-point lead.

From there, Christians, despite a couple of mild scares, never looked like losing and they will now play Castletroy College on March 5 in the semi-final.

Crescent Comprehensive will meet holders PBC on the same date. Both games will be played in Limerick at venues yet to be decided.

CBC: D. McNamara, A. Joyce, K. Slater (captain), C. O’Halloran, M. Ryan, B. Monaghan, C. O’Regan, C. Slowey, M. Kennedy, K. O’Sullivan, R. O’Dowling, C. Keogh, C. Scannell, D. Stokes, D. Nolan.

Replacements: J. Corbett for Slowey, D. Philpott for Kennedy, K. Moynihan for O’Sullivan, P. Ryan for Scannell, C. Barry for O’Halloran, J. McCarthy for Joyce, J. Cronin for McNamara.

ROCKWELL: C. O’Sullivan, R. Breedy, A. Wallace, D. Brennan, J. Reilly, C. Holland, D. Hannigan, C. O’Donnell, B. Duggan, O. McCarthy, M. J. Murphy, S. Dwyer, R. Moran, S. Maguire, M. Cummins (capt).

Replacements: L. Cummins for McCarthy, P. Bolger for Duggan, R. Murtagh for Murphy, B. Moloney for Maguire (injured), C. Kennedy for Holland, B. Haugh for O’Sullivan, A. Pierse for Hannigan.

Referee: D. Browne (M.A.R.).

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