Christians can top honours list

Christian Brothers College could be top of the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup order of merit with 29 titles by mid-afternoon tomorrow.
Christians can top honours list

However, record-breaking feats will not be part of pre-match discussions, according to head coach Neil Lucey as he puts the final touches to preparations for the final clash with Crescent Comprehensive at Musgrave Park (2pm).

“It would be nice to go to the top of the honours list and it would really mean something to the school of course, but in terms of what it means to the group of players then I don’t think it will have any influence on our approach to the game.”

Christians go into the tie knowing they have already put one over their Limerick rivals, beating them 17-5 in the first round in Limerick. But, while Lucey admits they will have gained confidence from that, the coach insists his side cannot bank on that pattern repeating tomorrow.

“Ultimately you would have to be pleased at what happened on that given day, but I would say it was a round one game and it will have no influence on what happens in a final to be perfectly honest. I’ve seen Crescent since and they have improved, but we have improved too so I think it will be a very different type of game.”

Having come through a quarter-final with an impressive win over Ardscoil Rís and a typically narrow victory over arch-rivals PBC in the semi, Christians are pleased to be in this position but Lucey believes it will be a close call.

“Look, there are two very strong backlines out in this final, I suppose we got the bounce of the ball the last day in relation to a score here or there; it went our way early on and we built on that but nobody in the camp is saying we will get things our own way.

“Complacency is something we haven’t touched upon, it’s a subject that hasn’t been brought up because I’m happy with this group of players in terms of the way they are grounded.

“We have taken every game individually and the players themselves are the driving force behind that. I don’t think there’s going to be an issue because they are so well grounded, the approach has been of looking at each game differently and it will be the same for this final as it has to be.”

Crescent have been in fine form since that first round. The recovery started next time out when they beat Glenstal before surprising the holders Rockwell with a good 17-5 win. Then, after being tested severely in the first-half of the semi-final and trailing by 12, they romped to a big win over Castletroy by scoring five tries and 33 unanswered second-half points.

Seeking a 12th title, and third in four years, head coach Eugene McGovern is excited about having a second crack at Christians.

“Everyone is looking forward to it, this is the pinnacle of the lads’ rugby career to date, this is their life right now and they realise it is a huge occasion.

“I think after losing to CBC we did have a look at things, we looked at what we were doing right and wrong, there was a lot of analysis went into the performance but we got on with it from there and I feel we got stronger as the campaign went on.

“Yeah, the hangover from round one is well and truly gone.”

CBC:

L Coombes, B Galvin, J Harrington, A McHenry, I Casey, J Taylor, R Cassidy, L Masters, G Good, C Leahy, R Thompson, S Duffy, R O’Neill, R Hyde, D Feeney (captain).

Replacements:

S Bushe, P Kelleher, C McHugh, D Barry, F Hennessy, C Sisk, JD O’Hea, R Hedderman.

CRESCENT COMPREHENSIVE:

D Hurley; J Fehilly, C Nash (captain), B O’Hora, C Phillips; M Hanly, J Lyons; J Henchy, J Barry, T Connolly J Blake, F Coleman, N Mulcahy, D Feasey, B Faloon.

Replacements:

M Sheahen, A Thai, S Leahy, P I. Hickey, M Edwards, M Shanahan, A Cosgrove, E O’Halloran.

Referee:

K Barry (M.A.R).

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