BANTRY’S first experience of the top tier of the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup left a somewhat sour taste after a heavy defeat by Rockwell College at Musgrave Park on Thursday.
Still, they exited the competition with their heads held high after battling to the end against a Rock side, who now meet PBC in the quarter-final.
Rockwell’s power was evident all through with Tom O’Dea excelling out of touch and number 8 and captain Jack Ryan, along with Ben Everard, strong ball carriers.
They imposed themselves from the start and early pressure yielded a try after five minutes. O’Dea took a neat two-handed line-out catch and from the resulting attack Ryan forced his way over, 5-0.
Bantry showed up well in defence and Dylan Hicks’s touch finders helped restrict the Cashel side, whose forward strength eventually carved out a second try after 19 minutes.
The west Cork outfit manfully protected their try line though in the process Hicks was shown a yellow card for an offence in a ruck.
A quick tap and go produced a try for bustling prop Everard at the posts with out-half Kian O’Reilly converting for 12-0.
Bantry coped well with 14 players though Rockwell almost added a third try following a superb counter-attack from their own 22, centre Clement McAuliffe just losing control of the ball close to scoring.
It was Rockwell’s turn to lose a player to the sin-bin in stoppage time, hooker Ronan O’Connor looking somewhere perplexed by the touch-judge’s call.
Hicks tried his luck from the resulting penalty from 35m range, but his effort veered just wide of the left upright.
Rockwell added four more tries in the second-half through O’Reilly, Zac O’Loughlin, Ryan’s second and Conor Bowen with O’Reilly converting three times. A clear stiffer test awaits next time out, but for now it’s job done.
Tries: J Ryan (2), B Everard, K O’Reilly, Z O’Loughlin, C Bowen. Cons: K O’Reilly (4).
M Carey; M Lambe, Z O’Loughlin, C McAuliffe, S Leahy; K O’Reilly, W Bermingham; B Everard, R O’Connor, C Carroll; C Bowen, R Kenny; T O’Dea, J Ryan, A Harold-Barry.
R Kelly, C Neville, A Wall, R McKevitt, D Crotty-Casey, M Hayes, R Powell, M McCarthy, T Charles.
D Kingston; O Wiseman, J O’Sullivan, M O’Donovan, C O’Brien; D Hicks, S O’Donovan; P O’Sullivan, D McSweeney, JJ Nicholas; S O’Shea, C O’Sullivan; A Kelleher, F Barry, S O’Donoghue.
B Clancy, D Coughlan, K Wiggan, C Cronin, A Nel, C Bignell, P Cronin, C Kelleher, D Sheedy, E Reynolds.
J Moynihan (MAR).