Cobh Pirates 12 Kinsale 10
MUNSTER Club U18 Cup winners Cobh Pirates collected their second piece of silverware as they defeated Kinsale to claim the Noel O’Sullivan South Munster U18 Cup from a tightly-contested decider at Curaheen Road.
The Pirates dominated proceedings territorially from the start, but handling errors in scoring positions prevented them from winning by a bigger margin.
They also had to withstand a late rally as Kinsale sought to rescue the game, but a missed penalty in the closing stages was to prove costly for the South Cork side.
In a scoreless opening quarter, Cobh laid siege to the Kinsale line as they worked the ball up the park from a penalty outside their own 22. Ben Murphy was winning lineout ball for the Pirates, but bad handling short of the line prevented them from taking an early lead.
Kinsale had their moments as Cian Looney and Cathal Barry began to present the Pirates with problems in the loose midway through the opening half, but they continued to give away penalties in this period.
Cobh Pirates opted for the points from a penalty on their opponents’ 10m line, but Adam Lynch’s long-range effort was narrowly off target in the 20th minute.
Three minutes later, the deadlock was broken when Murphy made a break from a scrum inside the Kinsale 22 to set up Sean Edogbo for the game’s opening try. Adam Lynch’s conversion attempt sailed narrowly wide of the posts.
Cobh Pirates continued to have Kinsale on the back foot. They looked to spread the ball out wide as Lynch and Casey Whelan embarked on some darting runs on the wings, but Kinsale’s stubborn defence held firm as Eoghan McGinn and Ben O’Reilly were putting in some massive hits outside their own 22.
Kinsale had the Pirates on the defensive approaching the break, and they were awarded a penalty inside the East Cork side’s 22, but Graham’s shot drifted wide of the posts in the 32nd minute as Cobh Pirates held a 5-0 interval lead.
Set-piece infringements were proving to be costly for the Pirates after the break as Kinsale ran a free-kick from the middle of the park, but O’Reilly was tackled to touch short of the line in the 37th minute.
The South Cork outfit continued to hold the upper hand from set-pieces as Cian Looney was dominating the lineouts. David O’Leary launched a series of drives for the Pirates’ line, but a handling error was to be their undoing.
Cobh Pirates were back on the scoresheet when Mark O’Rourke barged over in the corner following a ruck deep inside the Kinsale 22. Adam Lynch converted from a difficult angle.
Kinsale opened their account in the 40th minute with a try in the corner by Cathal O’Leary after a ruck outside the East Cork side’s 22.
Graham’s conversion attempt from an awkward angle sailed across the face of the posts.
Sloppy passing was proving to be costly for both sides entering the final quarter, but Cobh’s set-piece play posed problems for Kinsale in this phase as Sean Keating and James Burke were winning scrums against the head.
Kinsale had Cobh pinned back for most of the final quarter.
They moved within touching distance of the Pirates when the ball was spread out to David Looney following a scrum on Kinsale’s 22 for their second try. Graham failed to convert.
Kinsale continued to have the Pirates camped deep in their own 22 in the closing stages.
They brought their backline into play as David Looney ran at the Pirates’ defence, but robust tackling by Jack Worrall was to prevent Kinsale from producing a winning score.
Kinsale came close to winning the game in stoppage time when Graham missed a penalty kick from outside the Pirates 10m line.
Kinsale continued to lay siege to the Cobh rearguard, but the Pirates kept their line intact.
Scorers for Cobh Pirates: Sean Edogbo, Mark O’Rourke tries; Adam Lynch con.
Kinsale: Cathal O’Leary try; Paul Graham pen, con.
COBH: Saul Kahn; Casey Whelan, Jack Grant, Jack Worrall, Adam Lynch; Aaron Quirke, Mark O’Rourke; Jake Murray, James Burke, Eoghan Doyle; Alex Hamilton, Luke Aherne; Sean Banim, Ben Murphy, Sean Edogbo.
Replacements: Christopher Ruxton, Rian McGrath, Rian Cahill, Donagh McNamara, Tadhg McKeown, Jack Young, Dylan Corcoran, Sean Keating.
KINSALE: David Looney; Eoghan McGinn, Ben O’Reilly, Cathal O’Leary, Conor O’Callaghan; Paul Graham, Zachary Allen; Fionn Aherne, Eric Lynch, Liam Og O’Riordan; Dylan Mullen, Cian Looney; Fionn O’Connell, David O’Leary, Cathal Barry.
Replacements: Darragh Collins, David McCarthy, Darragh Murray, Daniel Woods, Conor Forde, Luke Scanlon Beecher, Evan Lehane, David Kelly.
Referee: David O’Driscoll (MAR).