No joy for Ardscoil in Junior Cup showdown with PBC

Leo Connolly scores the Ardscoil Rís try in the Munster School's Junior Cup final.

ARDSCOIL Rís were unable to reproduce their impressive form earlier from earlier in the competition in this 20-8 defeat to Presentation Brothers Cork (PBC) in the Munster Schools Junior Final at a noisy Thomond Park yesterday. 

By their own admission, Ardscoil didn’t bring their ‘A’ game to headquarters and were beaten by the better side, for whom it was the completion of a double having secured the Senior title just a few days earlier. 

Torrential rain before kick-off and in the opening 20 minutes led to plenty of handling errors from both sides but PBC took an early lead when fullback Daniel Murphy kicked a penalty.

Ardscoil responded with three points from the boot of James Butler to leave the sides level at 3-3 after ten minutes.

PBC dominated possession and territory for much of the first-half thereafter and it was rewarded on the scoreboard when Murphy kicked another three points for his side after Ardscoil were pinged for holding on.

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PBC got a crucial score just before the interval after some good close range carrying saw scrum-half and captain Frankie Óg Sheahan, namesake and son of the former Munster hooker, snipe from the base of a ruck to get the first try of the game. Murphy’s conversion went over as PBC’s lead extended to 13-3.

Ardscoil needed to get the first try of the second half and they did so through Leo Connolly in a move which started with a break upfield from scrum-half Ollie Desmond.

The touchline conversion from Butler was wide as the lead was now reduced to 13-8.

The Limerick school went through long periods of possession but couldn’t break down a stern PBC defence.

Nearing full-time, Ardscoil won a turnover and opted to kick for touch, however, the ball failed to go out of play and PBC replacement Sé Clarke gathered and kicked downfield. He then managed to collect the bouncing ball to run clear and score under the posts.

The kick was converted by Murphy and they held on to their 20-8 lead in the final moments to secure the coveted prize.

PBC: Daniel Murphy, Bobby O’Callaghan, Daniel Mellerick, Eddie Dooley, Luke Neenan, Olan Healy, Frankie Óg Sheahan (captain); Diarmuid Sheehy, Joseph Healy, Fionn O’Sullivan, Olan Dillon, Cathal Bruhn, Conor McLoughlin, Cormac Bohan, Tom Murray.

Replacements: Ronan Twomey, Rory Cahill, Sam O’Leary, Daniel Ryan, Mikey Fitzgerald, Odhrán Healy, Dan O’Leary, Charles Hill, Michael Browne, Sé Clarke.

Ardscoil Rís: Frank Sheehan Williams, Daniel O’Connell, Leo Connolly, Aaron Kelly, Dylan Quirke, James Butler, Ollie Desmond; Jamie Kelly, David Salmon, Lochlann Brown, Lloyd Costelloe (captain), Daniel O’Flaherty, Jack Rafferty, Brendan Morrissey, Darragh Leyden.

Replacements: Jack Hartigan, Jake Das, Matthew Collins, Christian Cantillon, Brian O’Loughlin, Cathal O’Doherty, Conor Ryan, Louis O’Flanagan, Alexander Fennell, Jack Thorne.

Referee: John Lillis.