A last-ditch, twice-taken conversion from Steven Dinan salvaged a draw for Pres the first time these local rivals met, but this time Christians saved face when number eight Rob O’Dowling burrowed over in second-half injury time. However, scrum-half Eoin Geary’s well-struck conversion flew just the wide of the upright, giving Pres a win by the skin of their teeth.
The Christians defence stood firm until the 27th minute, when the game’s opening try arrived in bizarre circumstances.
A long kick from Pres scrum-half Philip O’Leary bobbled over the dead-ball line, but Christians attempted to play from behind their own try-line nonetheless. Referee Dave O’Flynn waved play on, and full-back Niall Griffin was shepherded into touch five metres out.
Pres hooker Denis Keohane went long from the resultant lineout, and Glynn was on hand to offload perfectly for Dinan, picking a great line from full-back, to surge over the line.
Dinan converted superbly from wide on the right, giving his side a seven-point lead.
Things got better for Pres when O’Dowling was sin-binned for hands in the ruck, but Christians held out in his absence.
Having watched skipper Charlie Slowey and blindside flanker Shane Burke get through mountains of work up front, the Christians backs now began to stretch their legs, unleashing centre Cian O’Halloran.
Christians got wing Adam McCarthy, a try-scorer in the quarter-final win over Árd Scoil Rís, into space three times but the Pres cover defence was equal to the task.
Christians’ cause was aided by the sin-binning with nine minutes left of Pres flanker William Foley — for the same offence as O’Dowling — and Christians smelled blood.
Geary was held up over the line before wing John McCarthy made major inroads to allow O’Dowling to get over off the second drive.
But fortune was not on their side with the conversion, and Pres face the winner of Crescent College Comprehensive’s clash with St Munchin’s today in the final.
PBC: S Dinan; A Cremin, S Glynn, G O’Callaghan, D O’Connor; R Scannell, P O’Leary; M Curtin, D Keohane, R Callanan; H O’Halloran, R McCarthy; I Silke, W Foley, J Fitzgerald (capt).
Replacements: D Evans for O’Leary (ht), B Crowley for O’Halloran (57).
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.
Replacements: D O’Brien for Cashman (43), P Leahy for Corbett (45), S Galvin for Ahern (56).
Referee: D O’Flynn (MAR).