Bantry side ready to make rugby history in first Munster Schools Cup clash

Bantry side ready to make rugby history in first Munster Schools Cup clash
West Cork rugby graduate in action for Munster, Fineen Wycherley, competes with Ross Molony in a line out. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

HISTORY will be made on Wednesday when a school from Bantry plays its first game in the Clayton Hotels sponsored Munster Schools Junior Cup.

And to add further interest Coláiste Pobail Beantraí’s first opponents are another west Cork side, Bandon Grammar School, with the pair locking horns at Musgrave Park at 2.30pm.

The Bantry school qualified by defeating High School, Clonmel, 30-0 and Villiers School, Limerick, 39-5.

The school only opened its doors in 2011 and the senior team were agonisingly close on two occasions to reaching the cup knock-out phase.

Most of the players are members of the local Bantry Bay club with students travelling from Durrus, Ballingeary, Glengarriffe and Kealkil. West Cork rugby is beginning to leave its mark on rugby in the province as reflected in the Wycherley brothers, Fineen and Josh, and the Coombes cousins, Liam and Gavin.

Another set of Bantry brothers, Tadhg and Paudie McCarthy, played for Ireland at under-age level.

Coláiste Pobail are captained by number 8 Fionn Barry while Daire Kingston, who plays with Skibbereen, is another one to look out for.

Bandon played four games in the preparatory tournament, registering a 36-0 win over Glenstal Abbey and a 14-13 victory over PBC.

They lost to CBC 24-10 and 9-3 to Rockwell College, all suggesting the newcomers face a major test of their credentials.

Rockwell are the defending champions following their 23-12 win over St Munchin’s, when the Cashel school bridged a 22-year gap in claiming a 20th title.

Pres meet either Castletroy or Glenstal Abbey in round 2 and it’s CBC against St Munchin’s at the same stage.

Teams in both competitions were involved in a new preparatory tournament in the early part of the season with schools divided into two sections. Cork’s big two topped the groups, Christians winning all four games and Pres winning three and drawing the other. Árdscoil Rís and Glenstal finished last.

Junior Cup Draw

R1: WEDNESDAY: Bandon Grammar School v Coláiste Pobail Beantrai, Musgrave Park, 2.30pm.

THURSDAY: Castletroy College v Glenstal Abbey, Market’s Field.

R2: Árdscoil Rís v Rockwell College; Crescent College Comprehensive v Bandon Grammar School or Coláiste Pobail Beantrai; PBC v Castletroy or Glenstal Abbey; CBC v St Munchin’s. Week starting February 3.

R3: Loser Árdscoil Rís v Rockwell College v winner Crescent College Comprehensive/Bandon Grammar School/ Coláiste Pobail Beantrai; loser CBC v St Munchin’s v winner PBC/Castletroy College/Glenstal Abbey. Week starting February 24.

R4: Round 2 winners v round 3 winners. Week starting March 2.

Final: Week starting March 23.

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