It is not often that Presentation Brothers College, Cork go five years without a title in the SEAT Munster Schools’ Senior Cup.
But that’s the fate which will befall them should they not defeat Ardscoil Rís in today’s semi-final at Musgrave Park. Presentation have won the title 28 times, the same as Cork rivals CBC, but their last success came in 2010.
Pres lost to Rockwell in their preliminary cup outing in January. After that, though, they came through a serious quarter-final test against Castletroy at Thomond Park. Shane Daly, Billy Pope, Conor Duggan and full-back Daragh Dennehy combined to destroy the Castletroy defence with their pace and angles of running, all the time prompted by scrum-half and captain Johnny Poland.
PBC coach Peter Scott wasn’t unduly bothered by the subsequent concession of some late tries which cut their lead to seven points (22-15) stating “we saw flashes of what we are capable of, when we got the ball to the backs, we looked good.”
They will be anxious for more of the same today to afford the Anthony Horgan-coached back division the opportunity to show their class.
But Ardscoil Rís pose a huge challenge. Head coach is another former Munster star, Mossie Lawler.
In the quarter-final Christians held a one point advantage until the third minute of stoppage time when Ardscoil out-half Conor Fitzgerald converted his sixth penalty to secure a shock 18-16 win.
“You have to give credit to lads who come back from 13-3 down against a side as good as Christians”, said Lawler.
Much will depend on whether Fitzgerald can repeat those heroics and the ability of the Pres forwards to earn the kind of possession that will allow the backs to display their class.
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