Classy Pres power past Munchin’s

THIS Avonmore Munster Schools Senior Cup semi final replay at the Mardyke yesterday was a contest for a long time, but ultimately Presentation Brothers College Cork powered their way through to a St Patrick’s Day final confrontation against Rockwell College on the back of a classy second half display.

Whatever doubts the Cork supporters had shortly before half time – when they led 5-3 – were dispelled when Presentation scored an injury time try and then went on to pull away for the easiest of victories against a shell-shocked Munchin’s.

The Limerick side had come through the back door system after losing a first round to finalists Rockwell, and on Sunday they gave as good as they got to force Pres to dig deep to secure a 10-10 draw in Limerick.

They looked capable of much the same for long spells in the first half yesterday but the better side came through to win the day and secure that prized place in the decider at Thomond Park.

Pres got the tonic of a near-perfect start when they grabbed a try after five minutes. After seven attacking phases they were awarded a penalty; they decided to ignore the possibility of kicking points and instead went to go for more.

Having been turned over, Pres then had a stroke of luck when St. Munchin’s scrum-half Darren Ryan failed to hit his target, the ball spilled out over the dead ball line and from the subsequent five-yard scrum Pres left wing Eoghan Dennehy ran in at the corner courtesy of the scoring pass from Daniel Horgan, after Cathal O’Flaherty’s initial break off the base of the scrum.

Munchin’s enjoyed much of the territory after that and came close to scoring an equalising try only for hooker Eimhin Hogan to step into touch, but they had a subsequent penalty from full-back Brian Mullins.

Pres struck again just seconds before the break. This time they took a more direct route to the line and forward power paved the way for a crucial try for hooker Brian Vaughan, with Murphy converting brilliantly to secure a 12-3 lead.

Pres cranked up the pressure and forced the concession of penalties from the Limerick side. Murphy added six points to stretch the lead to 15 points.

Pres struck for a third try 15 minutes into the second spell when Horgan was sent clear and it didn’t matter that Murphy failed to convert. At 23-3 the Cork college were already coasting when Munchin’s captain Tommy Goggin was sin-binned in the 55th minute for a technical offence.

With an extra body against an already exhausted opposition, Pres rammed home the advantage with a fourth try from winger Dennehy after he chased an angled kick from Murphy, who kicked the conversion from the touchline.

PBC: S Glynn, R Caplice, J Costigan, D Horgan, E Dennehy, S Og Murphy, R Barry, C Keane, B Vaughan, N Scannell, R O’Herlihy, D O’Mahony (captain), R Murphy, C O’Flaherty, J Duffy.

Replacements: K Kingston for Scannell, B Scott for Keane, B Carroll for R Murphy, A Hudson for Duffy, E Mills for Costigan, E O’Shaughnessy for Barry, R Cullinane for Caplice.

ST MUNCHIN’S: B Mullins, C Cunnane, L Kuntz, E Carr, P Curtis, J Murray, D Ryan, S Gavin, E Hogan, J McGovern, E Ryan, G Ryan, J Sherin, T Goggin (captain), K McManus.

Replacements: B McNamara for Gavin, S Tlili for McGovern, N Hogan for E Ryan, C Tsang for Sherin, R O’Donnell for G Ryan, K McCarthy for Cunnane, S Madden for Curtis.

Referee: D McCormack (MAR)

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