CBC and PBC collide in Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final today at Musgrave Park

But, Bandon Grammar School must wait to play their semi-final against Crescent College Comprehensive after Clifford Park was unplayable
CBC and PBC collide in Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final today at Musgrave Park

Daire Burke, CBC passing out the ball under pressure from Mitchell Connolly, Bandon Grammar School during their Munster schools senior cup match at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

ONE of the finalists in the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup should be known today, when arch rivals CBC and PBC collide at Musgrave Park at 3pm.

But, the other semi-final between Bandon Grammar School and Crescent College Comprehensive at Clifford Park Limerick fell victim to an unplayable pitch.

And it was the same situation for the two junior cup quarter-finals yesterday involving Crescent and Rockwell College and St Munchin's and Castletroy College.

Both games were also postponed to a waterlogged pitch at Takumi Park, home of Old Crescent. The three games will be played after mid-term.

As ever there’s expected to be precious little between the city heavyweights with form, perceived strengths and weaknesses and individual talent often of not much help in trying to evaluate the teams.

History has shown time and time that favouritism is also immaterial in determining the outcome and this latest installment is set to be no different.

Unfortunately, it seems the weather Gods are poised to interfere with strong winds and rain forecasted and that will impact even on the Astro pitch which has helped players express themselves in a good light.

Pres carry a slight advantage in having played a game more following their 17-13 opening round loss to Crescent in Limerick, when they led three times, but were hauled in almost immediately by highly-fancied opponents.

Hooker Danny Sheahan scored a try, converted by full-back Ben O’Connor, who also converted and kicked a couple of penalties, as well.

Pres made three changes for the St Munchin’s game and two of them, wing Adam Twomey and second-row Fionn Rousell, got on the scoresheet with a try apiece while the other wing Sean Condon touched down twice.

O’Connor, whose hurling exploits with All-Ireland minor winners Cork last year made him a stand-out player, is equally at home with the oval ball in his grasp.

The Mardyke school are captained by number eight Jacob Sheahan, a typical robust individual, while the other change came at scrum-half, where Matthew Murphy started.

Christians registered a 37-25 win over Bandon in their lone outing, crossing for four tries, as did their opponents in a game of fluctuating fortunes.

Despite tries from wing Shane Maloney and flanker Thomas Land, both converted by out-half Daire Burke, who kicked 17 points in all, Christians still trailed 20-14 at half-time.

But, they got on top during the third quarter, when centre Matthew O’Callaghan and lock Kamil Novak touched down to transform the tie, the city school surging 31-20 clear.

And while the west Cork side hit back with a fourth try, two late Burke penalties helped Christians close out the game.

Like Pres, Christians can parade a powerful, mobile pack and are marshalled by Jack Casey and Burke at half-back with plenty of pace and finishing ability elsewhere, too.

It has all the hallmarks of being a very close encounter and is sure to be still in the balance right to the final whistle.

Bandon are still searching for an historic first appearance in a final, having gone close on a couple of occasions in recent years.

They showed against Christians and then in the 17-0 win over Rockwell College that they have the material behind the scrum to trouble Crescent.

Half-backs Dylan O’Driscoll and Jeff Williams direct a back line that contains impressive physique and a skill-set that has contributed six of their seven tries to-date.

Wing Barry Spearman-Walsh has three to his name, centre Peter O’Sullivan, two, with O’Driscoll also getting in on the act, as did prop Fionn O’Neill.

Bandon also showed no signs of scars following the Christians’ defeat because they began the Rockwell game in similar fashion, Spearman-Walsh crossing twice for a 10-lead at the interval.

And while Rockwell applied pressure late on, the west Cork defence stood up defiantly before conjuring a magnificent third try from O’Sullivan to seal victory.

The back-row of Conor Miskella, Adam Murphy and Jay van der Westhuizen is a finely balanced unit, but, like all overall performances, there’s room for improvement, notably at line-out time.

And Bandon will need to bring their A game because as Crescent showed against Pres, they carry an all-round game to cater for whatever the challenge.

Number eight Ruadhan Quinn is a colossal threat to Bandon’s prospects, so too hooker Conall Henchy while half-backs Jamie Duggan and Oscar Davey know all the tricks.

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