CP Bheanntraí 23
Glenstal Abbey 19
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
FORTUNE favours the brave, as Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s history-making senior rugby side proved in their Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup round one tie against Glenstal Abbey.
Trailing 19-16 in the dying embers of a gripping contest in UL, the Bantry school refused to accept defeat.
The boys in blue launched one last, heroic attack.
‘They did brilliantly to stay in the fight and we got three penalties one after another,’ coach Peter Cawley explained. ‘We were shouting to kick because Dylan Hicks was on fire; he had kicked three penalties from 40 metres and was so accurate. But we left the decision to the lads – they ran the first two penalties, and took a quick-tap penalty at the end to go under the posts for the winning score.’
Michael O’Donovan was the try-scoring match winner with his late, late score, and Hicks added the conversion for a famous 23-19 victory, the Bantry school’s first-ever in the senior cup.
It’s a flag-in-the-ground moment for rugby in Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí. This was just the second time they had qualified for the Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup, and now they have a win under their belts.
‘It’s another huge step for rugby in the school,’ Cawley explained.
‘Away from the sporting side and the game itself which was really exciting, a result like this helps develop a culture in the school. The boys want to play in big games against big teams, and they have shown that they are able for that. It’s changing the landscape.’
Next up for Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí is a quarter-final against Rockwell in Musgrave Park on Thursday, January 26th. The West Cork school will take huge confidence from this result.
‘The lads were excellent from start to finish,’ Cawley said, and he felt they coped with the tricky wind – against them in the first half – better than their Limerick opponents. Glenstal Abbey did lead 12-10 at the break, but Bantry were happy with their position. Ciaran O’Sullivan scored a try in the opening half and Hicks added the conversion and a penalty. Hicks kicked two long-range penalties in the second half to deservedly push Bantry 16-12 ahead, before Glenstal struck for a late try to hit the front, 19-16. Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí kept the composure, and went again, and were rewarded with O'Donovan’s last-gasp winner. A huge win for the school, Bantry rugby and the local community.
Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí: Oran Wiseman; Cillian O’Brien, Joey O’Sullivan, Michael O’Donovan, Eli Reynolds; Dylan Hicks, Stephen O’Donovan; Padraig O’Sullivan, Dara McSweeney, JJ Nicholas, Sean O’Shea, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Alan Kelleher, Stephen O’Donoghue, Fionn Barry. Replacements: Ben Clancy, Kaleb Wiggan, Daniel Coughlan, Ruairi O’Shea, Alex Nel, Conor Bignell, Daire Kingston, Dara Sheedy, Owen O’Neill, Paddy Cronin.
Glenstal Abbey: K Brennan; S Hanly, C Woodcock, S O’Farrell, R Concannon; D Lehane, F Connolly; H Gleeson, P Frawley, J Cunningham-Ash; E Keena, B Gabor; P O’Neill, M Kennedy, G Woodcock. Replacements: W Muhtaseb, B Collins, L Himmelreich, S McCormack, E Tucker, M Bennett.