Tall order for youthful Munchin’s as Rock chase two-in-a-row

The big breakthrough of 1968 is still spoken about with affection by students and staff of St Munchin’s College, who had to watch for years as schools around them racked up Munster Schools Senior Cup titles at their expense.

Today at Thomond Park, the Corbally-based college can repeat that famous success over Rockwell College. But on this occasion, they should not be as overawed by the opposition even if Rockwell, the holders, are favourites as they seek a ground-breaking 25th title.

Recent history has been kinder to St Munchin’s than when the competition started in 1909 to 1968. They added a second title in 1982 and three more in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Those latter four victories came at the expense of PBC, Cork and the St Munchin’s bogey continued for the Cork school who were dumped out at the penultimate stage by the Limerick outfit.

St Munchin’s have, by their own admission, surprised many with a side mostly coming from fifth year, therefore a year shy in terms of experience.

But they are worthy participants in what promises to be a hotly contested match having also beaten Castletroy College and Ardscoil Rís before taking that big scalp in Cork last week.

This will be the fourth Munster Senior Cup final in-a-row for Rockwell who beat Presentation Brothers College (9-3) last year having lost to them in 2010 and Christian Brothers College in 2009.

Rockwell, who had a first round scare against Glenstal, went on to beat Castletroy and CBC. They will be captained by Sean McCarthy, a nephew of Munster and Ireland legend Mick Galwey and hope to be at full strength.

St Munchin’s are not quite as lucky on the injury front and could well have to start without Evan Ryan, one of the triplets playing in the pack. Prop forward Ryan limped off in the second-half of the Pres game to be replaced by Daithí O’Byrne who will step up again if required.

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, A Butler, S O’Dwyer.

Replacements: S McNulty, R Lyons, W O’Dwyer, N Flynn, J Feehan, A Barron, S O’Donoghue, R Maher.

ST MUNCHIN’S: C O’Donnell, E O’Keeffe, D Goggin, T O’Neill, D Morrissey, S Airey, B Nugent, E Kelly, L O’Halloran, E Ryan/D O’Byrne, G Ryan, E Nugent, M McSweeney, L Nicholas (capt), D Ryan.

Replacements: S Houlihan, A N Other, D Montgomery, G Powell/B Kilkenny, S O’Mullan, R Tsang, G Bateman, J Clancy.

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