Wednesday 21 March 2018

Senior Cup hits fever pitch with semi-final derbies

CBC centre Alex McHenry celebrates after scoring a try against Crescent CC (INPHO/Donall Farmer)
CBC centre Alex McHenry celebrates after scoring a try against Crescent CC (INPHO/Donall Farmer)
PBC scrum-half Harry Shanahan gets ready to put into the scrum in the quarter-final against Bandon GS at Irish Independent Park

The 107th Munster Schools Senior Cup has reached the semi-final stage, setting up two mouthwatering local derby fixtures at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park.

PBC and CBC will go head to head on Wednesday, February 24 - the Cork rivals share the honours of most Cup wins with 28 titles each.

Their last Senior Cup meeting was in 2009 in the semi-final at Temple Hill where CBC, captained by Brian Hayes, were victorious, recording a 15-10 victory.

That year, the Sidney Hill side went on to claim the title, beating Rockwell College in the final.

CBC are the only school to have won four titles in a row, a feat they have achieved on two occasions from 1971 to 1974 and 1997 to 2000.

PBC last claimed the title in 2010, beating Rockwell 22-10 at Thomond Park under dual captains, Dave O'Mahony and current Munster hooker Niall Scannell.

Setting out to defend their title in 2011, in a repeat of the previous year's final, the Leesiders once again met Rockwell, who gained their revenge, winning 9-3 at Thomond.

PBC achieved one three-in-row from 1991 to 1993 and again won the Cup in 1995 when they were captained by former Munster and Ireland out-half Ronan O'Gara.

Thursday, February 25 promises to be an equally tantalising affair at Thomond when Limerick schools Crescent College Comprehensive and Castletroy go head to head in the second semi-final.

The schools last met in the 2014 semi-final at Rosbrien, when Crescent claimed a 23-8 victory under the captaincy of Cormac Blake.

The Dooradoyle school went on to win the title for their second year in a row against Ardscoil Rís, in the first ever all Limerick final since the competition's inception in 1909.

Crescent have 11 titles to their credit with two doubles claimed, in 1989 and 1990, and 2013 and 2014.


With one title to their credit, 2008 was the last occasion that a new name was inscribed on the trophy when Castletroy College, captained by Paul Dooley, overcame CBC 21-15 in a thrilling decider at Dooradoyle.

Many of the Castletroy and Crescent senior representatives will know each other from the 2013 Junior Cup semi-final when Castletroy emerged victorious, winning the Junior title for the second time in the school's history.

Captained by Niall O'Shea, Castletroy will this year hope to win their second Senior Cup title.

The decider will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at Irish Independent Park.


CBC - Liam Coombes; Barry Galvin, Joe Harrington, Alex McHenry, Ian Casey; James Taylor, Richard Cassidy; James Humphries, Gordon Good, Conor Leahy; Richard Thompson, Sean Duffy; Ross O'Neill, Robert Hyde, Daire Feeney (Capt). Reps: Shane Bushe, Peter Kelleher, Ciaran McHugh, Declan Barry, Fergus Hennessey, Colin Sisk, JD O'Hea, Robert Heddreman.

PBC - Jonathan Wren; Paul Buckley, James Broderick, Jack O'Shea, Tom Fitzgerald; Peter Sylvester, Harry Shanahan; Brian O'Connor, Michael Shinkwin, Sam Deane; Conor O'Flynn, Brian O'Mahony (Capt.); David Hyland, Eoin O'Shea, Jack O'Sullivan.

Reps: Billy Scannell, Daire McDonagh, Mike Varnam, Jack O'Sullivan, Paul Crowley, Luke O'Connor, Seán French, Ross Murphy

Castletroy - Shane Hogan; Shane Mullins, Ronan McDonnell, Paul Clancy, Eoghan Carew; Stephen Atkinson, Conor Lyons; Joseph Conway, Darragh O'Neill, Conor Myers; Evan Slattery, Sean English; Eoin Hourigan, Niall O'Shea (Capt), Dylan Reeves-Wasik. Reps: Adam Myers, Mike Ryan, Sean Fitzpatrick, Conor Bermingham, Gerard Clancy, Conor Cosgrave, Rory Hannon, Muiris Rowsome.

Crescent - Daniel Hurley; Jake Fehilly, Calvin Nash, Billy O'Hora, Conor Phillips; Mathew Hanly, Jack Lyons; Jack Henchy, Jason Barry, Thomas Connolly; Fintan Coleman, John Blake; Niall Mulcahy, Daniel Feasey, Bailey Faloon (Capt.). Reps: Eoghan O'Halloran, Michael Sheahen, Anson Thai, Scott Leahy, Mark Edwards, Mark Shanahan, Aaron Cosgrove.

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