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St Munchin’s brave effort not enough to record back to back victory

Clayton Hotel Munster Schools Junior Cup final:
St Muchin’s College 12, Rockwell College 23
By Aidan Corr
in Cork
Rockwell College 23, St Munchin’s College 12
THEY fought right to the end of this thrilling Clayton Hotel Munster Junior Cup final in Irish Independent Park today, but St Munchin’s College failed to record back to back victories in this competition. Rockwell deserved their victory, scoring at crucial times in the game and they dominated for most of the 60 minutres.
St Munchin’s needed to get deep into Rockwell territory and seek an early score as the re-started the second half after trailing 7-17 at half time. That did not materialise and they spent the next ten minutes defending their own line as if their very lives depended on it. Rock pinned them back continuously and they increased their lead to 20-7 on 45 minutes, Rory Collins slotting over a close-in penalty.
It was going to take a miracle for St Munchin’s to come back from that set-back but to their credit, they fought hard to the finish. They reduced the lead to 20-12 with a try from tight head prop Gus Harrington but missed the conversion that would have offered them a converted a try to get back into the lead.
Rockwell played cleverly in the remaining minutes, kicking deep and accurately to run down the clock and keep the ball in the St Munchin’s half and another penalty from the boot of Rory Collins put paid to any hopes of a dramatic Munchin’s recovery.
It was a thrilling first half with Rockwell leading 12-7 after 15
minutes. The Tipperary side were first on the scoreboard, taking the
lead with just eight minutes played, Brian Gleeson using his strength
to barge over from eight metres out. Rory Collins was off-target with the conversion attempt.
St Munchin’s fought back from the re-start, using patient build-up to make their way into the Rockwell 22 and second-row Stephen Hayes levelled the score with Cillian O’Connor’s conversion putting the Corbally side 5-7 in front.
Whenever Rockwell got into the St Munchin’s half they threatened to score and they were also competitive at the lineout, nicking two Saints’ lineouts. With 13 minutes played Rockwell went back into the lead, their pack again providing the platform and hooker Cian Meaney got in for his side’s second try, converted by Rory Collins that put
five points between the sides at 12-7.
Turning point of this game came three minutes before the break, Rockwell’s left wing Darius Achimugu blazing past the Munchin’sdefence for an outstanding individual score to push Rockwell into a 17-7 advantage at the break.
St Munchin’s College: James O’Brien; Jonathan Fitzgerald, Joshua Costello, Liam Angermann, Ryan Naughton; Cillian O’Connor, Kieran Tracey (C); Mikolaj Imbierowski, Harry Bennis, Gus Harrington, Shane Hannan, Stephen Hayes, Shane Griffin, Kevin Rea, Konrad Jazierski.
Replacements: Conor O’Brien, Rhys Costello, Benjamin Dillan, Michael Kelly, Dean McNamara, Evan Moore, Gordon Wood, James Madden, Niall McCarthy.
Rockwell College: Conor Hogan; Darius Achimugu, Robert Wall, Henry Buttimer (C), Peter McGarry; Rory Collins, Tom Ross; Liam Shine, Cian Meaney, Jamie Browne, Osereimen Ediale, Edmond Dunphy, Tom Downey, Shane Neville, Brian Gleeson.
Replacements: Joseph Lawrence, Dean Moroney, Tarcisio Chanda, Lorcan Cummins, Niall Maher, Casy Jay Coleman, Ben Farrelly, Toby Collier, David Clarke, Zac Lynch. Reserves: Hugh Fitzgerald, James Cronin, Tadhg Carey.
Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup Final | St Munchin’s College v Rockwell College, Wednesday 27 March, Irish Independent Park, 2pm

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