Although Castletroy put up spirited resistance against a far greater physical force and led early in the first half, the outcome was never in doubt.
The St Munchin’s supremacy up front meant they dominated the exchanges territorially and the only disappointment in their otherwise excellent performance was an apparent persistence of sticking to a limited tactical approach even when in complete control.
Castletroy, the champions four years ago, started brightly and went in front after six minutes with a well struck penalty by out-half Sean Moran. However, it was quickly evident that they would be unable to withstand the intense pressure immediately imposed on them by the massive St Munchin’s pack.
A series of powerful mauls led to a try for flanker Matthew McSweeney in the 10th minute and after that it was largely one-way traffic.
The powerfully built tight head prop Evan Ryan was a potent force throughout, while the other members of the clan, Gavin in the second row and Darren at number seven, all made telling contributions as their side extended their lead by the 24th minute when a series of mauls and quick recycling led to a try in the right corner for full-back James Clancy. St Munchin’s duly turned over 10-3 in front.
Castletroy captain Conor Bonfil inspired a greater effort from his side as the second half progressed and with the wholehearted support of flanker Ben Burns and hooker Liam Cronin, well supported by a fluent delivery from scrum-half Luke Clohessy and a courageous display by full-back Jonathan McDonnell, they made St Munchin’s work hard for their victory.
However, when they did opt to spread the ball wide, Munchins had their reward with a fine try by right winger Edward O’Keeffe on 50 minutes and then centre Dan Goggin produced the best line break of the game to sprint home for a fourth with Ben Nugent adding the conversion.
St Munchin’s have a nicely balanced side that will not be easily beaten, especially when they trust a little more in a speedy back division in which Gannon, out-half Shane Airey and James Clancy displayed promise.
They now face the losers of today’s clash of CBC and Ard Scoil Ris.
ST MUNCHIN’S: J Clancy; E O’Keeffe, D Goggin, T O’Neill, D Morrissey; S Airey, B Nugent; E Kelly, L O’Halloran, Evan Ryan, Gavin Ryan, E Nugent, M McSweeney, Darren Ryan, L Nicholas (c).
Replacements: D Montgomery for O’Halloran (66), D Begley for Kelly (58), G Powell for McSweeney (66), S O’Mullan for Nugent (66), R Tsang for O’Neill (66), C O’Donnell for Morrissey (48).
CASTLETROY: J McDonnell; D Grant, E Clancy, W Shanahan, K Carroll; S Moran, L Clohessy; J Tiernan, L Cronin, S Shinners, D Butler, P Bermingham, J O’Neill, B Burns, C Bonfil (c).
Replacements: D Kennedy for Burns (60), M McCarthy for Carroll (60); M Kennedy for Shinners (66).
Referee: O Hodges (IRFU).