BANDON U16s were crowned Pan-Munster champions after a thrilling cup final against Cork rivals Highfield at Musgrave Park recently.
The match was a tight affair from the start with both teams launching a number of attacks and probing the opposition defence looking for gaps.
With each team having visited the opposition’s 22 without success, Bandon finally made an impression on the scoreboard ten minutes in with a try from captain Luke Kearney in the corner of the ground. Paul Kelly landed the conversion to give Bandon a 7-0 lead.
Highfield responded in kind to draw level, however Bandon winger Kevin O’Connell scored in the ‘championship minutes’ immediately before half time by pouncing on a superb cross-field kick from out-half Daniel Coughlan. Bandon led 14-7 at the break; a psychological edge gained at a crucial time.
From this advantage, Bandon didn’t relinquish the lead as both teams played some great running rugby to move the scoreboard to 14-10, then 19-10 with another try from Luke Kearney and up to 19-17 with ten minutes left to play.
With Highfield within a score, the game was finely poised but Bandon finally tightened their grip on the trophy with a try from John O’Leary, expertly converted by Paul Kelly to stretch their lead to nine points heading towards full time.
Daniel Coughlan’s converted try close to full time put a gloss on proceedings and left the score showing a win for Bandon that looked more comfortable than the preceding 55 minutes felt.
Scorers: Luke Kearney, two tries; Kevin O’Connell, John O’Leary, Daniel Coughlan, one try each; Paul Kelly, four conversions.
Bandon: Jyles Brennan, John Buckley, Diarmuid Corcoran, Daniel Coughlan, Gary Cremin, Niall Daly, Nathan Duggan, Jerry Galvin, Brian Galvin, Luke Kearney, Paul Kelly, Jack McNamara, Conor Mueller, Conor Nash, Kevin O'Connell, John O'Leary, Cillian O'Mahony, Noah O'Sullivan, Harry O'Sullivan, John Ryan, Mark Slattery, Anthony Slattery, Dylan Stapleton, Hugo Woods.