CHRISTIANS pounced for a sensational last-gasp win over old rivals Pres in a belter of a Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup tie at Musgrave Park on Wednesday.
Right wing Chris Barrett was the hero, a fly-kick and burst of speed leading to the winning try after 69 minutes to book a semi-final spot. For Pres, it’s either Rockwell College or Colaiste Phobail Beantrai in the quarters.
Pres struck for three tries in a devastating seven-minute burst before half-time after Christians had taken a 20th-minute lead through flanker Daniel Rock, who scored in the right corner following a close-range line-out maul, 5-0.
The Mardyke school levelled on the half-hour, openside Alex Alderson breaking down the narrow side before feeding Ben O’Connor, who offloaded magnificently to right wing James Wixted to touch down in the corner.
Pres jumped in front within three minutes, capitalising on a dropped Christians pass outside the Pres 22 with captain Rory O’Shaughnessy leading the break-out, which eventually led to James O’Leary sending left wing Tom Coughlan in under the crossbar. O’Connor converted for 12-5.
Then, in the first minute of injury time, Pres again profited from a handling error. Christians seemed to have control when defending on their own try line only for out-half Harry Murphy to spot his chance and dive over a pile of bodies to touch down. O’Connor converted brilliantly from the touchline, 19-5.
The second half was a thriller, dominated by Christians for whom substitute hooker Adam Wrona scored a couple of tries and Benjamin Lynch kicked a penalty and a conversion.
A Liam Tuohy try, converted by O’Connor, put Pres 26-15 ahead after 58 minutes only for Christians to snatch a dramatic victory.
Tries: A Wrona (2), D Rock, C Barrett. Cons: B Lynch (2) Pen: B Lynch.
Tries: J Wixted, T Coughlan, H Murphy, L Tuohy. Cons: B O’Connor (3).
B Lynch; E Cahill-Murphy, A O’Connell, G O’Riordan, C Barrett; CP O’Shea, J Casey; S Loftus, S O’Shaughnessy, C Walsh; M Doyle, M Foy; M Skelly, E McCarthy, captain, D Rock.
A Wrona for O’Shaughnessy and H Foster for Walsh 43, C Kenneally for Skelly injured 51, G Good for Doyle 58, C Foley for Casey 64, O Prenter for Rock 67.
B O’Connor; J Wixted, G Kareem-O’Leary, J O’Leary, T Coughlan; H Murphy, L Tuohy; M O’Sullivan, M Dillon, T McCarthy; A Davenport, D Noonan; F Rouisseal, R O’Shaughnessy, A Aldserson.
J Wigginton-Barrett for O’Connor 46, O’Connor for Wigginton-Barrett 48, C Murphy for Noonan 49, P Doyle for Dillon 65.
P Sheehan (MAR).