Saturday 29 April 2017

French lesson denies Glenstal

PBC 11 Glenstal Abbey3

PBC captain Jack O'Sullivan and team-mates celebrate with the cup. Photo: Sportsfile
PBC captain Jack O'Sullivan and team-mates celebrate with the cup. Photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Sean French was the hero by doing all his side's scoring as PBC won the Clayton Hotels Munster Senior Cup for the 29th time with a gritty display to deny Glenstal Abbey a first title.

For the losers, it was a heartbreaking defeat in their first final since 1970, their only other appearance at this stage.

Sean French of PBC kicks a penalty. Photo: Sportsfile
Sean French of PBC kicks a penalty. Photo: Sportsfile

But for PBC it was a case of building a lead and protecting it and they did so in style when scoring eight of their points in a ten-minute spell in the first half.

Conditions were far from ideal and certainly did not suit Glenstal as the PBC forwards held the upper hand from early on and their lineout dominance was evident in the last quarter.

The Cork side went on the offensive early but they had to wait until 16 minutes to go in front. Glenstal were punished for not rolling away and French landed the penalty. But it was Ben Healy's turn to make it 3-3 when he kicked his side's only points after PBC had not released in a ruck.

Equality did not last long and in the 21st minute PBC scored what proved to be the only try of a contest that held interest until a few minutes from the end.

Peter Sylvester of PBC scores his side's first try despite the efforts of Rory Clarke of Glenstal Abbey. Photo: Sportsfile
Peter Sylvester of PBC scores his side's first try despite the efforts of Rory Clarke of Glenstal Abbey. Photo: Sportsfile

The try came following a scrum on the Glenstal 22. Pres won their own put-in and back-rower and captain Jack O'Sullivan picked up and ran a few yards before offloading and it was French who sold a dummy to a defender to touch down.

It remained 8-3 to the interval and scoring opportunities were few and far between.

Just at the end man of the match French sealed the win with another penalty after being narrowly wide from 40 yards earlier.

Second-rows Adrian McAuliffe and Mark McCarthy shone for Pres as did skipper O'Sullivan and Billy Scannell, brother of Rory and Niall, while Gary Bradley, son of former international Michael, French and Peter Sylvester were best behind the scrum.

PBC - S Wren; P Buckley, S French, J Broderick, T Fitzgerald; P Sylvester, G Bradley (D Harrington 66); C Burke, B Scannell, B O'Connor; A McAuliffe (E Burns 53), M McCarthy; C Fitzgerald, D Hyland, J O'Sullivan.
Glenstal Abbey - J O'Mahony; T Molony, J Mawhinney (D Floyd 67), L Fitzgerald, R Quinn (A Hogan 55); B Healy, T McCoome; S Scanlan-Garry, G Downing, E Bergin (H Downing 64); C O'Sullivan, S Downes (M Walsh 69); C Booth, M Fleming, R Clarke.
Ref - K Imbusch (MAR)

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