Monday 22 April 2019

Cork rivals battle for Munster bragging rights

Alex Kendellen's try in the last minute followed by Louis Bruce's conversion was enough to see Pres emerge victorious in the semi-final clash with Bandon Grammar. Stock photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Alex Kendellen's try in the last minute followed by Louis Bruce's conversion was enough to see Pres emerge victorious in the semi-final clash with Bandon Grammar. Stock photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

In Munster schools rugby terms, it's an eternity but despite dominating the underage game in the southern province along with Rockwell, tomorrow's eagerly-awaited clash between PBC and CBC will be the first Senior Cup final meeting of Cork's big two since 2007.

Pres took that game 13-3 and since then one or the other has been in the St Patrick's Day showdown save for a lean spell dominated by Rockwell and the Limerick schools between 2012 and 2015.

Indeed, it's fair to describe this decade as something of an lean period on Leeside given that just one cup has made its way to Christians (2016) and two to Pres (2010 and 2017). That last outright success over Glenstal two years ago moved Pres back up alongside their great city rivals with 29 titles apiece. So it's not just local bragging rights on the line at Irish Independent Park tomorrow.

CBC along with Crescent Comprehensive have dominated the Junior (U-16) game over the last four years so it comes as little surprise that Christians should be on the cusp of another senior title at U-19 level now.

They declared their intent early by way of a confidence-boosting win over Crescent (21-19) in the opening round. That was followed by victory over Ardscoil Rís (48-12) in the semi-final.

For Pres, a convincing victory over great rivals Rockwell (31-9) saw the Mardyke school hit the competition running. That win paved the way for a semi-final clash with Bandon Grammar School which they won after a replay. In the end it took a late Alex Kendellen try converted by skipper Louis Bruce for a one-point victory. Unfortunately for Daniel Squires, he shipped an injury and will miss out on the final with try-scoring replacement against Bandon Michael Hand wearing the No 14 shirt tomorrow.

It has all the makings of another dramatic Munster final. CBC are probably marginal favourites but it should be very close.

Verdict: CBC

CBC - B Cain; P O'Hara, K Coughlan, H O'Riordan, A Leahy; C Whooley, M O'Connor; C Rasmussen, S Buckley (capt), M Donnelly; A Brien, J Willis; R O'Sullivan, C Walsh, C Hurley.

PBC - M McLoughlin; M Hand, S H Squires, P Cunningham, D French; L Bruce (capt), J O'Leary; R Duggan, D Murphy, D McSweeney; D McCarthy, E Quilter; J Kelleher, J Forde and A Kendellen.

Ref - R Horgan (MAR)

CBC v PBC, Live, eir Sport 1, 4.0 tomorrow

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