Rockwell College 16
A YOUNG Pres side, many of whom are under-age again next season, just came up short in a rip-roaring Clayton Hotels sponsored Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final at Musgrave Park.
And they almost forced a replay in a dramatic climax, when Billy Kiernan’s penalty from the left just dropped short with five minutes remaining.
The Cork school believe they should have been awarded another penalty after a Rockwell player played the ball from an offside position after it had come off a colleague’s foot.
The Tipperary school survived to take their place in the semi-final after some outstanding displays from the likes of Brian Gleeson, Cian Meaney and Tom Downey up front and Rory Collins and captain Henry Buttimer in the backs.
Rockwell dominated the first-half both in terms of possession and territory but found the Pres defence in defiant mood, competing brilliantly in the tackle and frustrating their opponents time and again.
Early Rock pressure yielded a Collins after six minutes only for Pres to level with their only attack of note in the period.
Ben O’Connor duly slotted over from in front of the posts inside the 22 for 3-3 by the 14th minute.
A second Collins penalty, 10 minutes later, enabled Rock regain the lead, which they held until the interval.
The second half was completely different, however, because Pres became more of attacking force, their prospects boosted by a try after just two minutes.
Number eight Mark Howell was heavily involved in the build-up which led to tight-head prop Hughie O’Callaghan, nephew of former Munster and Ireland great, Donncha, crashing over for an unconverted score.
Pres only enjoyed the lead briefly because Buttimer bagged a superb individual try with a terrific run from the opposition 10m line, shrugging off a number of tackles before touching down at the posts for Collins to add the extras and a 16-8 advantage.
The Mardyke school, though, kept battling and were rewarded with a try in the 46th minute, credited to wing Adam Twomey, in the right corner to cut the deficit to three points.
The usual raft of substitutions didn’t alter the trend as Pres kept Rock on the back foot only to run out of time, four minutes added on for stoppages.
Scorers for PBC: Tries: H O’Callaghan, A Twomey; Pen: B O’Connor.
Rockwell College: Tries: H Buttimer; Con: R Collins; Pens: R Collins (3).
PBC: S McLoughlin; D Holohan-Healy, A Cooke, P Hyland, A Twomey; B Kiernan, B O’Connor; F Cowhig, I Dennehy, H O’Callaghan; C Ford, J Sheahan; B Hyland, D McCarthy, M Howell.
Subs: D Sheahan, D Nagle, F Roussel, R O’Shaughnessy, D Philpott-Vendrells, Z Dinan, R O’Donoghue, S Sexton, J Kiernan, S Condon.
ROCKWELL COLLEGE: C Hogan; D Achimugu, R Wall, H Buttimer, P McGarry; R Collins, T Ross; L Cummins, C Meaney, J Browne; O Ediale, E Dunphy; T Downey, S Neville, B Gleeson.
Subs: J Lawrence, D Moroney, T Chanda, N Maher, C Coleman, B Farrelly, T Collier, D Clarke, Z Lynch, J Cronin.
Referee: D O’Riordan (MAR).