Rockwell College 19 Bandon Grammar School 17
DESPITE a brave finish, Bandon Grammar School’s run in the Schools U16 Munster Junior Cup has come to an abrupt end as they were narrowly beaten 19-17 by Rockwell College in the first quarter-final eliminator at Musgrave Park on Wednesday afternoon.
A sensational hat-trick from Muiri Lambe looked to have Rockwell on course for a comfortable victory as they led by 14 points with four minutes remaining.
But late tries from Paddy Coughlan and substitute Nick Sweetman gave Rory Golden, who convert the former’s score, the chance to send the tie to a replay but from an incredibly tough angle, his kick dropped just short as Rockwell hung on to reach the last eight.
The first half was a titanic tussle between these two schools with neither team wanting to give the other an inch but Rockwell finally ended the stalemate after 17 minutes.
And it was the captain Muiri Lambe who led by example as he raced clear of his opponents before breaking one more last-ditch tackle from the recovering Grammar defence before touching down behind the end line.
The visiting fans from Tipperary rejoiced prematurely when it looked like Cian Ralph’s conversion from a tough position was certain to split the uprights but it just drifted wide at the last moment.
The game didn’t open up following that try although Bandon did almost get on the board shortly before the half-time break but Michael Kennedy just couldn’t collect Golden’s kick to the corner.
The men from Cork would level terms moments after the restart when Cash Healy charged through the defense before applying the finish with Golden just failing to add the extras.
College soon upped the tempo and two more tries from Lambe - one from close range and the other after a sensational run, both converted by Ralph - had them in firm control going into the closing stages.
Bandon battled until the end but Golden could only convert Paddy Coughlan’s try and not Nick Sweetman’s excellent score in injury time as Grammar crash out.