St Munchin’s College (Limerick) 10
Presentation Brothers Cork 5
ST MUNCHIN’S came from behind to see off Presentation Brothers Cork and book their ticket to the Munster Junior Schools’ Cup semi-finals at the Market’s Field in Limerick this afternoon.
Presentation ran in a first-half try at the Garryowen Road venue, but Munchin’s hit back with a try, conversion, and a penalty after the interval to advance to the last four.
The Leesiders looked the more solid side for most of the opening 30 minutes, but battling Munchin’s responded well after the break to move to within two wins of lifting the trophy.
Presentation made the early running with Aodhan Cooke’s diagonal run stopped by two tackles with the home side battling to get out of their 22.
The visitors, enjoying a significant wind advantage, kept the Limerick College pinned inside their half for the opening 10 minutes.
At the other end, Munchin’s began driving for the line and only missed out on a try after Conor McCarthy was stopped inches from a touchdown.
Presentation ran the length of the field after that let-off. Rian O’Donoghue kicked a penalty into the corner, but the lineout saw the visitors penalised for an infringement.
Neither side had established any dominance by the 20-minute mark, but Munchin’s played themselves into trouble with a loose ball off a throw and the Leesiders almost went in by the corner.
The first score of the game had an air of inevitably about it. O’Donoghue kicked for the corner with 10 minutes left in the half, and Jacob Sheahan touched down off a maul. O’Donoghue was just inches out with the conversion.
The visitors almost doubled that lead moments later, but Óisín Pepper won the race for possession from an O’Donoghue kick down the right wing.
The Cork outfit threatened again on the stroke of half time, but Munchin’s held firm to keep the deficit at a try.
The Shannonsiders kicked the ball dead from the restart but then won the scrum, with Harry Bennis threatening off an intercept and Munchin’s No. 4 Mark Walsh breaking through the Pres defence on two occasions just inside the opposition half.
A low kick from Pepper was cleared with re-enforcements arriving, and the Presentation defence did well to deal with a chip over the top from Bennis.
Munchin’s levelled 12 minutes in the half when Oisin Minogue crossed the whitewash, and Cillian O’Connor added the extras to edge his side two points ahead.
Presentation responded immediately, but were frustrated by a knock-on just outside the 22, while a forward pass, with a clear overlap on the right, let the home side clean off the hook with 15 minutes remaining.
At the opposite end, with the sleet sweeping across the pitch, Munchin’s almost sealed the win — but the ball went dead before Eoin Walsh could get a hand to it.
The Limerick side stretched their advantage to five points with seven minutes remaining, courtesy of an O’Connor penalty after Presentation were done for going in over the top.
A try and conversion would still have snatched it for the Leesiders at that stage, but Munchin’s dug in and never really looked like conceding on an afternoon when both sides won the first and second half of an engaging encounter on a freezing day on Shannonside.
Scorers for St Munchins: Try: O Minogue. Penalty: C O’Connor; Conversion: C O’Conner
PBC: Try: J Sheahan.
Subs: C Ward, C Deedigan, P Dougan, T Foley, R Burke, B Quane, J Noonan, A Mohamad, E McGurian, R McDermott
Presentation Brothers Cork: F Roussel, D Sheahan, F Cowhig, C Forde, J Sheahan, T McCarthy, C Twomey, R O’Shaughnessey, O Nangle, R O’Donoghue, S Condon, S Sexton, A Cooke, R Dwyer, A Twomey.
Subs: P O’Halloran, P Wall, A Davenport, R Skuse, J McNamara, J Wixted, B O’Connor, T Coughlan, C Neville, M O’Sullivan
Referee: N Kendell (Mar).