Thriller in store as old rivals square off in Munster Schools Senior Cup final

Pres and Christians do battle at Musgrave Park this afternoon in a game which promises much
Thriller in store as old rivals square off in Munster Schools Senior Cup final

CBC’s Christopher Barrett scores a try in the Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final replay win over Crescent College Comprehensive at Thomnd Park. ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

AS ever the formbook goes out the window for this afternoon’s Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup final between age old rivals CBC and PBC at Musgrave Park, kick-off, 2pm.

The fact that they met in round 1 less than two months ago in a thriller which went to the wire simply adds further weight to another edge-of-the-seat thriller is in store.

Back, then Christians, who lead the roll-of-honour with 32 titles, fought back from a 14-point deficit at half-time and still trailed by 11 near the end before snatching a sensational 27-26 victory.

Wing Christopher Barrett emerged as the hero with a dramatic winning try in the corner after hooker Adam Wrona came off the bench to launch the comeback with his second try to add to the opener from flanker Daniel Rock.

It was role reversal, however, in the semi-final against the holders Crescent College Comprehensive, who fell 15-3 behind late on only to force a replay after Wrona and Barrett again crossed for the Cork school.

The pair continued in that try-scoring vein in the 34-29 success in Limerick, a couple of early Wrona tries helping the team settle with Rock also touching down as did Barrett and prop Sam Loftus in the second half.

Christians, though, have been affected by injuries to number 8 and captain Eanna McCarthy and Wrona who miss out with Loftus taking over as skipper alongside Stephen O’Shaughnessy in the front row.

On the plus side, however, full-back Benjamin Lynch, who has kicked four conversions and three penalties, is fit to start.

Pres also scored four tries in the opening game, all from backs, wings James Wixted and Tom Coughlan and half-backs Liam Tuohy and Harry Murphy.

They added eight more in the 52-8 demolition of Rockwell College with a pair each for number 8 and captain Rory O’Shaughnessy and centre James O’Leary with flanker Alex Alderson, Ben O’Connor, John Wiggington-Barrett and Luke Sisk-O’Mahony also touching down.

Their semi-final with St Munchin’s was a classic game of two halves, impacted by a strong wind, Pres scoring all 35 points in the first-half with five converted tries from Coughlan, centre Gene O’Leary-Kareem, O’Leary, flanker Fionn Roussel and kicker O’Connor.

But they were hanging on in a frantic as their opponents rallied to come within six before the final whistle brought welcome relief. Pres are looking for their 31st title.

Christians last recorded victory over their great rivals in a final in 2019, winning 5-3, while Pres will look to repeat their 13-3 success in 2007.

TEAMS: CBC: B Lynch; C Barrett, A O’Connell, G O’Riordan, C Foley; CP O’Shea, J Casey; S Loftus, captain, S O’Shaughnessy, D O' Callaghan; C Kennelly, M Foy; M Skelly, D Rock, O Prenter.

Subs: G Good, C Walsh, H Foster, M Doyle, J O'Shea, J Barrett, J O'Callaghan, E Cahill-Murphy, R O'Keeffe, L O'Leary.

PBC: B O’Connor; J Wixted, G O’Leary-Kareem, J O’Leary, T Coughlan; H Murphy, L Tuohy; M Minogue, M O’Sullivan, T McCarthy; D Noonan, C Murphy; F Roussel, R O’Shaughnessy, captain, A Alderson.

Subs: M Dillon, G O'Keeffe, P Wall, O Squires, R Skuse, D Foley, O Nangle, S Kelleher, J Wigginton-Barrett, L Sisk-O'Mahony.

Referee: E Cross (MAR).

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