Murray magic seals dramatic victory for Castletroy

A SUPERB drop goal by centre Peter Murray three and a half minutes into added time earned Castletroy College victory over champions CBC at Greenfields yesterday and an opportunity to reclaim the Avonmore Munster Schools Senior Cup they last won in 2008.

Murray is one of the surviving members of that team as penalties from Pádraig O’Connor after 17 minutes and Christians’ Sean Glynn, after 27 minutes, had sent the sides into the break on level terms.

CBC, however, lost their grip of this quarter-final after half time due largely to some sloppy rucking by the champions but they were dealt what looked a hammer blow when Michael Dooley was yellow carded after 47 minutes.

They battled on, however, maintained their grip and were rewarded with a penalty for an offside offence after 52 minutes. Pádraig O’Connor’s kick went in off the upright and they were back in front.

The tempo upped a gear and when CBC finally fought their way out of their own half they were awarded a penalty for offside which full-back, Darragh McNamara landed from long range after 55 minutes.

Back to full strength, Castletroy pushed forward again and a brilliant movement initiated by Peter Murray, who brought in Pádraig Quinn, sent Andrew Fullen racing for the line. He was stopped short and bundled into touch with a try at his mercy.

McNamara, a steadying influence at the back, kicked Christians out of the danger zone but, each time, Castletroy came storming forward and they were rewarded for their effort when scrum-half Neil Cronin started a sweeping movement from the base of a ruck. Michael Dooley and hooker James Rael took the ball out to Andrew Fullen whose pass left Stephen O’Carroll with a clear run to the line for the game’s first try.

The second came in equally dramatic circumstances at the other end of the pitch where, in a rare foray, Cathal Quinn’s pass brought out-half, Brendan Monohan into the line and his pass caught Cathal Quinn on the run for a brilliant try in the corner with just half a minute of ordinary time remaining.

Again Castletroy came running out of defence and this time it was Stephen O’Carroll who peeled off from the back of a ruck and his perfectly timed pass set Peter Murray up for the decisive drop goal.

Scorers for Castletroy College: Try, S O’Carroll; Pens, P O’Connor (2); Drop Goal, P Murray.

Scorers for CBC: Try, D McNamara; Pens, D McNamara, S Glynn.

CASTLETROY COLLEGE: P O’Connor; W Shanahan, P Murray, S O’Carroll, A Fullen; P Quinn, N Cronin; K Kennedy, J Rael, A De Souza; D O’Brien, M O’Dwyer, K Doyle, M Dooley, E Carroll.

CBC: D McNamara; C O’Halloran, K Slater, C Barry, C Quinn; B Monohan, R McCarthy; M O’Mahoney, K Stokes, R Martin; D Mullins, Y Browne; S Hanbidge, C Gallagher, S Glynn

Replacements: C Keogh for D Mullins (45); G O’Gorman for Richard Martin (66).

Referee: D O’Flynn (IRFU).

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