Dinan had also notched PBC’s late try, a score that came against the run of play in their only foray inside CBC’s final third during the second half. Granted the outside centre was afforded a second opportunity, having seen his first conversion veer a foot wide, his repeat effort brushed off the inside right upright, keeping his college’s Cup hopes alive.
Christians will be bitterly disappointed, having dominated both possession and territory for long periods. A dominant pack, where Charlie Slowey, Colin Martin and Rob O’Dowling starred, afforded their swift-handling backline ample opportunity to run at Pres. Controlled by outstanding half-backs Eoin Geary and David O’Riordan and a backline on top of its game, Christians will be frustrated Pres weren’t put to the sword long before Dinan’s late interventions.
Pres survived an opening ten minute period of constant CBC pressure before carving out a well-worked 11th minute try. From a 10m lineout Gavin O’Callaghan almost burst over, but with play switching left, Ross McCarthy put Darragh O’Keeffe through in the corner.
Christians took control of proceedings once again, however, Cian O’Halloran and Andrew Joyce making incisive inroads in midfield while John McCarthy
always looked a threat out wide. In the 20th minute, they created a brilliant overlap after McCarthy’s charge to the line had sucked in large Pres numbers. Geary and O’Riordan sent Joyce into space and, though the centre went for the line, his final pass failed to find Adam McCarthy and Pres cleared.
CBC continued to apply the pressure but strong tackling from Matthew Curtain and William Foley and Dinan kept their opponents at bay. Then, three minutes from the break, Christians deservedly got their try, forming an effective close-in forward drive from which Rory Burke touched down.
Christians continued to dictate the pace and possession stakes on the turnover, Geary, O’Riordan and Niall Griffin playing the percentages perfectly, keeping PBC’s back-three on their toes. On 50 minutes, off turnover ball, they switched play to midfield where Joyce’s deft inside pass found O’Halloran who took a
superb hard line for a try. O’Riordan added the extras, and as the clock ticked down towards full time, Pres found themselves still in the wrong end of the field, defending a barrage of CBC attacks.
They finally broke out in injury time, manufacturing go-forward ball with replacement scrum half Tom Duggan making a huge impression. Pres found themselves with numbers outside and with Duggan, Gavin O’Callaghan and Seamus Glynn linking brilliantly, Dinan took the final pass and beat two CBC defenders to touch down.
His conversion 15m in from the touchline on the right side wasn’t the worst position for a left-footer, and, though he missed his first attempt, he nailed his second effort after the referee had disciplined a Christians player for shouting at the kicker on his run-up.
Scorers for CBC: Tries — R Burke, C O’Halloran; Con – D O’Riordan.
Scorers for PBC: Tries – D O’Keeffe, S Dinan; Con – S Dinan
CBC: N Griffin; J McCarthy, A Joyce, C O’Halloran, A McCarthy; D O’Riordan, E Geary; R Burke, C Slowey (capt), J Corbett; E Ahern, A Cashman; S Burke, C Martin, R O’Dowling.
PBC: S Glynn; B Crowley, S Dinan, G O’Callaghan, D O’Keeffe; R Scannell, P O’Leary; H O’Halloran, D Keohane, R Callanan; R McCarthy, I Silke; M Curtain, W Foley, J Fitzgerald.
Replacements: A Cremin for Crowley (43), T Duggan for O’Leary (59).
Referee: D McCormack (MAR).