Monday 22 October 2018

CBC target 30th crown in Glenstal clash to move above rivals PBC on roll of honour

Christians will start as favourites and justifiably so having got the better of pre-tournament favourites Pres in a semi-final. (stock picture)
Christians will start as favourites and justifiably so having got the better of pre-tournament favourites Pres in a semi-final. (stock picture)
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

For CBC, a win tomorrow in the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final at Irish Independent Park (kick-off 4.0) and it's title number 30, one ahead of great cross-city rivals PBC.

Both Cork schools lead the way in the Munster roll of honour and while for Glenstal it will be a third final tilt at a first senior trophy this is anything but David versus Goliath.

Christians will start as favourites and justifiably so having got the better of pre-tournament favourites Pres in a semi-final on a par with that in Dublin in terms of drama and coming through when all seemed lost.

On the way to the final the Ben Roche-led side had accounted for Limerick opposition by way of Ard Scoil and St Clement's before producing a comeback of epic proportions against PBC in that dramatic semi.

Trailing by 15 with just 16 minutes remaining, centre Eoghan Barrett began a comeback of sorts culminating in the most amazing final play when wing Adam O'Connor weaved his way through for the match-winning try (17-15).

As with Mateusz Galinski and Belvo against St Michael's, that O'Connor touchdown is already the stuff of legend and has lifted CBC into seventh heaven by way of yet another senior final.

They will now face last year's beaten finalists Glenstal (to PBC) in the 2018 final.

This is no flash-in-the-pan Glenstal side given that no fewer than nine of last year's match-day 23 are back on board.

The cup run thus far has been virtually error-free; accounting for Rockwell, Bandon Grammar and Crescent Comp.

Through each successive match confidence has grown with the most impressive performance reserved for the all-Limerick clash against Crescent at the Markets Field in the penultimate tie.

There was none of the drama of Christians/Pres, just a complete team performance in a comprehensive victory in which key players like George Downing, James Fitzgerald, Mark Fleming, Ben Healy and Aran Egan stood tall. Watch too for the multi-talented Ronan Quinn.

But this is another quality Sidney Hill group. Powerful in the pack from Mark Donnelly through Anthony Ryan and Cian Hurley to skipper Roche and with a balanced backline oozing with scoring potential.

The smart money is on CBC but a really smart man might just hedge his bets.

CBC - R Hedderman; M Bowen, E Barrett, T Downs, A O'Connor; E Monahan, J O'Riordan; M Donnelly, D O'Connor, L Masters; A Ryan, C Hurley; J Willis, R Barry, B Roche (capt).

Glenstal - A Egan; A Hogan, H Benner, C Dooley, R Quinn; B Healy (capt), A Walsh; H Boland, G Downing, P Prendergast; D Kelly, J Fitzgerald; R Leahy, C Booth, M Fleming.

REF - Shane Kierans (MAR).

Irish Independent

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