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Drama expected in race to win Munster schools senior cup

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28 January: Sean Naughton, Crescent College, is tackled by Alex McHenry,SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC at Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE)

28 January: Sean Naughton, Crescent College, is tackled by Alex McHenry,SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC at Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE)

Evan Mintern, CBC, is tackled by Billy O'Hora, left, Jack Lyons, centre, and Peter Hickey, Crescent College at the SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC. Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene)

Evan Mintern, CBC, is tackled by Billy O'Hora, left, Jack Lyons, centre, and Peter Hickey, Crescent College at the SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC. Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene)

CBC supporters before the game. SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC. Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE)

CBC supporters before the game. SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC. Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE)

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28 January: Sean Naughton, Crescent College, is tackled by Alex McHenry,SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup, Round 1, Crescent College v CBC at Tom Clifford Park, Limerick (Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE)

The SEAT Munster Schools Senior Cup promises to be another campaign full of drama, with several schools in contention.

This year is the 106th staging of the event and the second year SEAT have been the title sponsor.

Last year Crescent College Comprehensive beat Limerick rivals Ardscoil Ris 21-7 in the final at Thomond Park on St Patrick's Day.

It was the first ever all-Limerick final and the 11th win in the competition for Crescent - their first double since they won it in 1989 and 1990.

However, with just six of that squad available to head coach Conan Doyle in 2015, the search for three-in-a-row won't be easy.

With Junior Cup victories in 2010 and 2011 the ingredients are still there but it will be a tough task to make history and become the first Crescent side to win three on the bounce.

The team they beat in last year's final haven't fared much better in terms of turnover.

Ardscoil Ris, who reached their first final since 1996 last year, will have just nine of last year's runners-up playing in 2015.

Ardscoil have never won the coveted trophy, but after finishing second in the 2012 Junior Cup they will be well equipped again this term.

Castletroy have 12 players available from the team that lost out 23-8 to eventual winners Crescent last year and the Limerick nursery will also have a number of the stars that claimed the Junior Cup in 2013.

Cork school Christian Brothers College haven't featured in a final since 2009, when they beat Rockwell 33-19.

But with 28 Senior Cups to their names they, along with Presentation Brothers College are the most decorated schools in the competition.

Pres have 13 of last year's Senior Cup players back in their panel this time around. Having not won since 2010 they may be set to fight it out with bitter rivals Christians once more.

With a massive 19 players back from the 2014 squad, CBC have serious strength in depth and after winning the 2012 Junior Cup their squad should peak this time around.

Losing

With Tom Tierney at the helm, Glenstal Abbey also have 19 members of last year's panel to work with in 2015, but they have ground to make up after losing earlier this week.

Just three of the regular starters last term are not available and they could be set to cause a stir having not featured in a final since 1970 but they will now need to bounce back.

Tipperary's own Rockwell College boast an impressive record in this competition and have featured in five of the last six Munster schools finals.

They have 15 back in 2015 with former Munster star Denis Leamy a big part of the coaching set-up.

St Munchin's welcome back 15 of the team that lost last year's semi-final 11-7 to Ardscoil Ris, and are looking for their sixth title.

Irish Independent