Christians ready for tough Crescent test

The knockout stages of the Avonmore Munster Schools Senior Cup arrive with four attractive quarter-final matches over the next two days.

Pick of the games looks the clash of CBC and Crescent Comprehensive at Musgrave Park this afternoon.

Christians enjoy home advantage courtesy of a 22-0 victory over Ardscoil Rís but are sure to face a tougher examination this time.

They are captained from out-half by the talented Dave O’Riordan and he and Charlie O’Regan make for a very useful half-back combination, while the pack has developed into a solid unit. They make one enforced change, Gerry Ryan coming in for Adam Finn, who broke his collarbone, on the right wing.

Crescent went down 17-8 to PBC in their first outing but were only two points in arrears until conceding a late converted try. They’ll be even stronger on this occasion, with the return after injury of Diarmuid Dee, Jay Kavanagh and Sean McGee, with Jack Dinneen likely to be sprung from the bench.

The second game in Cork today sees PBC face Glenstal at Cork IT. Pres will benefit from their outing against Crescent and clearly have a balanced side, with Seamus Glynn a genuine threat in the centre and Paul Derham, Ian Silke and Ross McCarthy key men in a well-drilled pack.

They will be hot favourites to dispose of the Limerick side who proved they are not to be taken lightly after the manner in which they ran Rockwell close, losing 5-3 at Clanwilliam Park. Only a matter of inches separated them from a sensational victory as a late penalty by out-half Luke Bradley dipped inches under the crossbar.

Holders, Rockwell will be anxious to improve on that performance when they return to the Tipperary town venue and a clash with Castletroy. They are strengthened by the return in the back-row of Aaron Sweeney and are likely to hold a decisive edge up front where skipper Sean McCarthy leads a unit that includes other seasoned cup campaigners in props Jack McCormack and James Maxwell.

Castletroy play an expansive game and looked dangerous at times against St Munchin’s, a match they lost 22-3 because of the supremacy of the bigger opposition pack.

The fourth quarter-final between St Munchin’s and Ardscoil Ris is scheduled for Clifford Park tomorrow.

CBC: T Quinlan; G Ryan, T Moorehead, J McCarthy, C McAuliffe; D O’Riordan capt, C O’Regan; C Slowey, R Daly, R Burke, T Harrigan, D Moloney, A Mintern, M Ryan, D Stokes.

CRESCENT: G O’Shea; J Frawley, G Barry, JJ O’Neill, J Hogan; G Lyons, R O’Doherty; S McGee, J Greene, N Horan capt, S Gleeson, E Casserley, D Dee, J Kavanagh, C Blake.

PBC: S Dinan; J Barrett, S Glynn, C Murphy, B Crowley; R Scannell, P O’Leary; A Slattery, M. Abbott, D O’Halloran, R McCarthy, I Silke, P Derham, W Foley, J Fitzgerald.

GLENSTAL: S Gleeson capt; E Hurley, A Boland, I Kenny, R Shanahan; L Bradley, A Devereux; D Higgins, C McCarthy, K Grennan, K Lynch, M O’Riordan, I McCarthy, R Dooley, T Ryan.

CASTLETROY: J J McDonnell; D Grant, E Clancy, W Shanahan, K Enright; S Moran, L Clohessy; J Tiernan, L Cronin, S Shinners, P Butler, P Bermingham, J O’Neill, B Burns, C Bonfil capt.

ROCKWELL: D Johnston; A Lynch, R Jermyn, C Kiely, S McMahon; A Moynihan, D McGagh; J McCormack, D Mulcahy, J Maxwell, S McCarthy capt, D Foley, A Sweeney, S O’Dwyer, A Butler.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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