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Bantry boys mark historic rugby game in school with win

March 6th, 2023 2:45 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Bantry boys mark historic rugby game in school with win Image
At the official opening of rugby facilities at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí (CPB) were, from left, Peter Cawley (Director of Rugby CPB), Ivan Kingston (CPB coach), James Neville (Munster Rugby Competitions Co-ordinator), Niamh O'Leary (CPB), Phillip Neville (Munster Association of Referees), Richie Reynolds (President, Bantry Bay RFC), Alan Reynolds (Hon Sec, Bantry Bay RFC), Marian Carey (CPB Principal), Ray Hennessey (Chairperson, Bantry Bay RFC), Kathy O’Sullivan (CPB coach), Gerard Barry (Bantry Bay RFC), Damien Hicks (CPB coach, senior team) and the school’s senior rugby team.

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THE senior boys’ rugby team of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí marked an important moment in the school’s sporting history in style. 

On Tuesday, February 22nd, the Bantry school hosted its first senior schools’ rugby game, and its talented Boys in Blue delivered a performance to match the occasion.

Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí were too strong for Limerick outfit Castletroy College as the West Cork school won this Munster Schools Senior Plate quarter-final 31-15 to advance to the last four.

‘There was a real sense of occasion around the whole school in the build up to the game,’ said Peter Cawley, Director of Rugby in the school.

‘Some of these boys would have played rugby in the school for six years and this was the first time they got to play on their school grounds so there was a sense of achievement and excitement.’

This game also marked the official opening of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s rugby facilities, so there was a lot of noise and colour and ceremony, but the team kept its eyes on the prize.

‘We didn’t do anything different in training. To be fair to the boys they are very level. There were nerves early on in the game but once they settled and got a few touches they played their own game,’ Cawley said.

Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí were full value for this win. They led 16-0 at the break with a try from Eli Reynolds, converted by Dylan Hicks, who also nailed three penalties in the first half. Stephen O’Donovan scored a superb solo try early in the second half before Dylan Hicks (who finished with 16 points) added another try, as the Bantry school ran riot. Even though Castletroy did come more into the game, Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí finished strong with a Michael O’Donovan try. 

‘To get the win was important, and it marked this occasion, but this was a celebration of rugby in the school,’ Cawley added. ‘Aside from the game itself and winning, this was a positive experience for everyone. This was a reward for all the work that has gone into the school’s rugby over the years; it was a celebration of where we have got to.’

Next up for the Bantry team in the senior plate competition is a semi-final against Limerick’s Ardscoil Ris, while Bandon Grammar School were to play Rockwell in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

There was no rest for this Bantry rugby team as they were back in action on Tuesday when they defeated Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig 38-12 in the Mungret Cup semi-final. They now play Clonmel High School in the final on March 16th. 

There is a chance for silverware on two fronts, as the Bantry team looks to make this a season to remember; they have already won the school’s first game in the Munster Schools Senior Cup and now played a first home game.

Meanwhile, Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s junior girls’ team is through to the semi-finals of the Munster Schools Girls Junior Cup after they beat Bandon Grammar School 32-10 in Dunmanway. Muireann McCarthy (2), Grace Kingston (2) and Mary Fox scored tries for the Bantry school, while Maria Fouhey scored two tries for Bandon Grammar. Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí will play St Anne’s Community College of Killaloe in the semi-final on March 8th in UL. In the senior cup Sacred Heart Secondary School Clonakilty lost 32-17 to St Anne’s Community College; Kate Nolan scored two tries for the Clon school.

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