Champions PBC march on with three-try triumph

PBC CORK served notice that they have no intention of relinquishing their Avonmore Milk Munster Senior Schools Cup title without a fight after disposing of St Munchin’s at Woodleigh Park yesterday.

The Mardyke school joined CBC Cork at the top of the roll of honour with their 28th win last term, and made a point by securing the most convincing win of the quarter-finals.

They will now face Crescent at a Limerick venue in a semi-final tie provisionally fixed for Sunday, March 6, with CBC taking on Rockwell the day before, Clanwilliam the likely venue for that clash.

But as the saying goes, PBC had to earn the right to go around a combative St Munchin’s side, who this season are fielding all of their Ryan triplets — Evan, Darren and Gavin — in a physically imposing forward unit.

Munchin’s rarely gave PBC a sniff of the ball in the opening exchanges, and when the hosts went offside at a lineout on 20 minutes, Munchin’s out-half Ben Nugent thumped over a superb 45-metre penalty from the left.

The Limerick school gladly soaked up the subsequent PBC attacks and scored again with their next foray into scoring range, as a clever first-phase move between scrum-half Evan Mulcahy, flanker Darren Ryan and full-back Paul Curtis gave Nugent the platform to slot a neat drop goal on 33 minutes.

Rory Scannell missed an immediate chance to hit back with a penalty for PBC, but they claimed the first try of the game on the stroke of half-time.

Powerful prop Killian Kingston started and finished the move with two trademark surges, with skipper Ryan Murphy also making great yardage in between, and Scannell converted for a 7-6 half-time lead.

Munchin’s probably felt hard done by to be behind at the interval, but there was nothing fortunate about PBC’s second try, which arrived on 41 minutes.

PBC out-half Eamonn Mills — who starred alongside half-back partner Chris Bannon and inside centre Ross Caplice — found an amazing 50-metre touch with little angle to play with, a kick any professional would have been proud of, and Pres stole the ensuing lineout.

Caplice and Kingston then punched the initial holes before PBC fed the ball through the hands for composed full-back Seamus Glynn to send left wing James Kiernan — a son of former British and Irish Lion Michael — over for an unconverted try.

Scannell nudged another penalty chance narrowly off target as PBC began to turn the screw. They produced the game-clinching score on 49 minutes, when Kiernan was again the beneficiary of some crisp passing from Mills and Scannell inside him.

PBC never looked like their line would be breached as they saw out the final quarter, and they threatened a fourth score through the evasive running of wing Steve Dinan, but opposite number Dan Goggin twice snuffed out the danger.

Scorers for PBC Cork: J Kiernan 2 tries; K Kingston try; R Scannell con.

Scorers for St Munchin’s: B Nugent pen, drp gl.

PBC CORK: S Glynn; S Dinan, R Scannell, R Caplice, J Kiernan; E Mills, C Bannon; B Scott, W Foley, K Kingston; P Derham, J Fitzgerald; A Hudson, J Duffy, R Murphy (capt).

Replacements: B Fitzgerald for Duffy (55); D Horgan for Kingston (60, inj); J Barrett for Kiernan, D Evans for Bannon (both 68); I Silke for Hudson (70).

ST MUNCHIN’S: P Curtis; C Barry, E Carr (capt), C Murphy, D Goggin; B Nugent, E Mulcahy; D Wallace, D Montgomery, E Ryan; M McSweeney, G Ryan; D Ryan, C Ryan, C McCallum.

Replacements: S Gavin for E Ryan (12, inj); L Nicholas for C Ryan (48); B Danagher for D Ryan, P McNamara for Montgomery (both 50), C O’Donnell for Nugent (68, inj); S Madden for Murphy (70+3).

Referee: D McCormack (MAR).

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