St Munchin’s 38 Ardscoil Ris 15
St Munchin’s qualified for their third successive Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup final at Thomond Park with an impressive if somewhat flattering 38-15 victory over Limerick neighbors Ardscoil Ris.
Champions two years ago, Munchin’s scored six of the game’s eight tries with a superb hat-trick for full-back Oisin Pepper, but Ardscoil hung in until well into the second half when play opened up and the winners had the skill to finish off some fine attacks.
The first nine minutes featured tries for the winners by flanker Harry Bennis, a member of a fine back-row completed by number eight Oisin Minogue and Danny Williamson, and Ardscoil flanker Scott Gleeson, both respectively converted by Cillian O’Connor and Harry Long and the tempo never relented after that.
Ardscoil took the lead with a Long penalty before Pepper’s big day began on 20 minutes when he benefited from a fortunate bounce to restore Munchin’s lead. His second came on the stroke of half time, each converted by O’Connor, to make it 21-10 at the interval.
A brilliant 40-metre dash by centre Adam Cusack during which he beat a number of tackles led to a second Bennis try for Munchin’s before Pepper displayed a delightful combination of speed and footwork to complete his hat-trick from long range. To their credit, Ardscoil never gave up and on 43 minutes it was their turn to get in on the try-scoring act through full-back Andrew Lyons.
However, Munchin’s had the last say when Minogue dived over at the death and O’Connor landed his fourth conversion of the day with a fine kick from the left touchline.
ST MUNCHIN’S: O Pepper; J McCarthy Burbage, A Cusack, C McCarthy, E Walsh; C O’Connor, G Wood; E Sarsfield, S Rice, C Ward, M Walsh, A Finn, D Williamson, H Bennis, O Minogue.
Replacements used: P Dougan, R Burke, R McDermott, E McGurian, B McCarthy.
ARDSCOIL RIS: A Lyons; H Cowton, S Brown, H Long, A Fitzgerald; B O Keeffe, E Crowe; E Calvey, K McNamara, J O’Mara, D Custy, A Shawyer, S Gleeson, J O’Mahony, T Collins.
Replacements used: J Costelloe, AMcMahon S Higgins, M Danaher, J Higgins, A Kennedy, A Jordan, A Byrnes, A Rush, A McNamara.
Referee: Joy Neville (MAR).