WATCH: St Munchin's win Munster Schools Junior Cup thriller to reach semi-final

St Munchin's win Munster Schools Junior Cup thriller to reach semi-final

Action from today's meeting between St Munchin's and CBC

HOLDERS St Munchin's College powered their way into the semi-finals of the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup after scoring a thrilling 31-24 quarter-final victory over a fancied CBC side at a wet Thomond Park this Friday.

Gritty St Munchin's College recovered from falling 14-0 in arrears inside the opening quarter, to outscore their opponents by five tries to four and deservedly earn a semi-final showdown with local rivals Castletroy College.

The all-Limerick Junior Cup semi-final showdown will take place at Thomond Park on Wednesday, March 13 at 1pm, the first game on a double header of Junior Cup semi-finals which will also see Crescent College take on Rockwell College at the same venue at 3pm

Centre Joshua Costello bagged a hat-trick of tries for the winners, while prop Gus Harrington and impressive second-row Stephen Hayes also dotted down for the Corbally side who won the Junior Cup for the first time in 20 years last March.

This was a splendid display from a well-drilled St Munchin's side who played the wet and greasy conditions extremely well. Their forwards worked tirelessly all through, making countless carries and tackles.

The winners were disciplined, controlled and patient in attack with the likes of number eight Konrad Jezierski, second-row tryscorer Hayes leading the way, while Costello's centre partner Liam Angermann turned in a powerful second half display, especially in defence.  

CBC made the better start in the difficult wet and greasy conditions, with number eight Kevin Roche rampaging over for a ninth minute try. Christians' scrum-half Andrew O'Mahony also added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

St Munchin's task grew even bigger two minutes later when CBCs Conor McNamara intercepted a pass on the Corbally side's '22 and raced clear to score.

O'Mahony also added the conversion to help the visitors into a 14-0 advantage.

To their credit, St Munchin's fought back strongly and were rewarded for their endeavour when, following a neat chip in behind the Christians' defence from out-half Cillian O'Connor, centre Joshua Costelloe won the race to the touchdown to score.

While the conversion was missed, the Corbally nursery were right back in the contest on the stroke of half-time. From a five metre scrum awarded after a CBC player had carried the ball back over his own tryline, St Munchin's edged their way closer to the Christians' tryline before prop Gus Harrington dotted down. Out-hallf O'Connor duly converted.

At 12-14 at half-time, it was certainly a case of game on for the large and enthusiastic attendance.

St Munchin's made the ideal start to the second half when edging in front for the first time. Using the 'pick and go' to telling effect deep inside the CBC '22, their powerful and hugely influential second-row Stephen Hayes touched down.

Collins also added the conversion for a 19-14 lead for the Limerick side. Back came CBC, however, and the Leesiders grabbed their third try of the game to draw level when flanker Conor McNamara touched down.

The conversion was missed, but the scores were tied at 19-19.

There was no time to draw breath however, as see-saw nature of the scoring continued when St Munchin's centre Costello intercepted the ball close to half-way before blitzing his way over the tryline for the Corbally side's fourth try.

O'Connor's conversion made it 26-19. 

The drama was far from done however. CBC flanker McNamara was the first player to bag a hat-trick of tries in the game when he touched down in the left corner on 50 minutes to reduce the St Munchin's lead to two points, 26-24.

The match-clinching score arrived in the final minute of normal time. From a penalty awarded inside the Christians' 22, Munchin's opted for a scrum. St Munchin's opted to keep it tight initially in the wet conditions, before moving the ball right for Costello to touchown and complete his hat-trick.

The second Junior Cup semi-final will see Crescent College Comprehensive host Rockwell College.

ST MUNCHIN'S COLLEGE: James O'Brien; Jonathan Fitzgerald, Joshua Costello, Liam Angermann, Ryan Naughton; Cillian O'Connor, Kieran Tracey; Mikolaj Imbierowski, Harry Bennis, Gus Harrington; Shane Hannan, Stephen Hayes; Shane Griffin, Kevin Rea, Konrad Jezierski. Replacements: Conor O'Brien, Rhys Costello, Bejnjamin Dillan, Oisin Pepper, Dean McNamara, Gordon Wood, Evan Moore, James Madden.

CBC: Ben McGarry; Victor Ugwah, Evan Clarke, Tom Maher, David McPolin; William Kingston, Andrew O'Mahony; Evan O'Riordan, George Rasmussen, Phillip Elwood; Owen Chandler, Eoghan Sheehan; Mathieu Stapelton, Conor McNamara, Kevin Roche. Replacements: Sean O'Donoghue, Robert Wiseman, Daniel Murray, Daniel Kelleher, John Cussen, Morgan Cain, Finn Whooley, Daire Burke.

REFEREE: Thomas O'Sullivan (MAR)

Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Final Double-Header

Wednesday, March 13: Castletroy College v St Munchin’s, Thomond Park, 1pm

Wednesday, March 13: Crescent College v Rockwell College, Thomond Park, 3pm

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