Glenstal power sees off Bandon

Bandon Grammar School 7 Glenstal Abbey 26: Last year’s beaten finalists Glenstal Abbey remain on course for another appearance in the decider after a deserved Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final victory over gutsy Bandon Grammar School at the Mardyke yesterday.
Glenstal power sees off Bandon

The prize for victory is a semi-final confrontation with Limerick rivals Crescent Comprehensive, who earlier in the week saw off the challenge from Rockwell.

With many of their number in the first year of a senior cycle, it was understandable that Bandon, who did very well to beat St Munchin’s in round one, would find this type of challenge a bigger struggle and so it was, despite a decent display against the odds.

“They didn’t make it easy for us. We expected them to give it everything and they did,” said Glenstal coach Sean Skehan.

“It was tough at times, particularly in the first 15 minutes, but I felt as the game went on we started to get more control.

"We made some errors and possibly left some points behind us but I would have to say I’m happy overall; the lads did well, got scores at very important times of the game, and we didn’t pick up any injuries which is very important now that we’re going forward.”

After a fruitless search for scores for much of the first half, Glenstal finally grabbed the initiative with two quick-fire tries.

Bandon had managed to do much of the early pressing without any reward and Glenstal looked that much sharper when they got opportunities.

The first score came eight minutes from the break from winger Ronan Quinn, a survivor from last year’s team, and skipper Ben Healy brilliantly kicked the conversion from the left-hand touchline.

Much credit will be given to No8 Mark Fleming, whose superb 40m run helped set up the territory from which that last attack was launched.

Bandon refused to give up and out-half Rowan Palmer’s delicate chip in behind the Glenstal defence could well have set them up for a score at the end of the half.

But the ball didn’t bounce for them and James Fitzgerald charged down before Harry Benner set off on a long run.

From there, Healy’s cross-kick was fielded expertly by Andrew Hogan and the right-winger changed direction to get past three defenders and score on the right. Healy added the extra points again to open up a 14-0 lead.

The game had only restarted when it was effectively all over for Bandon. Centre Harry Benner broke through one tackle and had the pace to get past another in his run to the line to allow Healy a relatively easy conversion.

At 21-0 down, there was to be no way back for this youthful Bandon outfit but they never looked like being brushed aside easily.

Midway through the half, Glenstal failed to deal with a high speculative kick and the ball bounced back perfectly for substitute winger Tom Beare who raced in for the try that Jack Crowley converted.

There was to be no surprise comeback though and Quinn had the last say with a fourth Glenstal try five minutes from the end.

BANDON GS:

S Minihane; B Ahern, V Lovell, B Matthews, H Hall; R Palmer, J Crowley; C Heaney, A O’Connor, A Deane (captain); N Bakker, J Brady; M Archer, J Beamish, N Beamish.

Replacements used:

D Ogden, T Bryant, P Jackson, E Guinevan, T Beare, C Roberts, S Madden, J Moore

GLENSTAL ABBEY:

A Egan; A Hogan, H Benner, C Dooley, R Quinn; B Healy (captain), A Walsh; H Boland, G Downing, P Prendergast; D Kelly, J Fitzgerald; M Walsh, R Leahy, M Fleming.

Replacements used:

E Fitzgerald, D Hyland, J Ashe, N Quelly, P Mulligan, B Leonard, S MacKeown, M O’Farrell.

Referee. S Kierans (M.A.R).

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