This year’s competition has a new format — quarter finals of two rounds — one which threw the losers of yesterday’s games a lifeline which CBC were happy to grab with both hands after suffering a nine point loss to their Limerick rivals.
While they, too, are still one game away from the semi-finals, their victory handed St Munchin’s the easier task as they will fancy their chances against Ard Scoil Rís who were beaten by PBC yesterday.
That was after reaping their just reward at Musgrave Park where they ground out a workmanlike victory over a Christians side that promised more than they delivered.
The Cork side took the lead 12 minutes into the game when Brian Hayes won a line-out inside the Munchin’s 20 metre line. He fed to speedy winger Graham Mackesy who then weaved his way through for a delightful try.
It gave CBC the lead but it proved costly because Mackesy, who was helped off the field with a damaged ankle, took no more part in the game and, on what was a bad day for kickers at Musgrave Park, Darragh Dunne, one of five survivors from last year’s team, missed the conversion.
Christians began conceding penalties in the rucks and while Michael Madden would go on to miss five out of seven, he kicked the one that brought Munchin’s back into the game in the 17th minute.
CBC were also ragged in the line-out and while they escaped when Kieran Stokes overthrew for Keith McManus to pick up after 25 minutes, they paid the price when McManus got possession from another overthrown line-out on the half hour and got the ball out to second centre Declan Browne who had Sean Duggan in support.
When Duggan went to ground the ball was produced for fly-half Robert Guerin, whose cross-field kick was perfectly timed by Craig O’Hanlon who took the ball on the run for their second try.
Madden missed the conversion and missed another penalty before half time when they went into the break three points to the good but still in something of a precarious position.
Christians were presented with an opportunity to level the scores on the restart when they were awarded a penalty but Simon Barry missed and they were let off the hook again when Madden missed another kick at goal.
Munchin’s had them on the back-foot at this point. Craig O’Hanlon was stopped just short of the line with another try at his mercy and then a penalty provided Darragh Dunne with an opportunity to kick Christians out of trouble.
They won the line-out but Munchin’s turned the ball over and when presented with another penalty opportunity Madden kicked this one to increase their lead to six points.
CBC enjoyed a lengthy period of sustained pressure but the Munchins’ defence held out defiantly. When they eventually got the ball out of their own half they were awarded another penalty. This time Madden hit the post but CBC fiddled and failed to clear and an offside in the centre presented Madden with an easy task in front of the goal which he duly converted.
: J Murray; C O’Hanlon, D Browne, D turner, C Cunnane; R Guerin, C O’Driscoll; C O’Hanlon, E Hogan, A O’Brien; M Madden, S Duggan; M Healy, K McManus, G Burke.
Replacements: J Sherin for K McManus, 53; T Goggin for M Healy, 63; P Loughran for C O’Hanlon, 71.
R Clune; E O’Donnell, J Holland, S Barry, G Mackesy; D Dunne, B Slater; C Corkery, K Stokes, D Attridge; B Hayes, S Hanbidge; E Doyle, R Barry, W Ryan.
Replacements: B O’Leary for G Mackesy, 12; E O’Sullivan for C Corkery, 68; R Martin for D Attridge, 71.
Referee: David O’Flynn (Munster Branch)