Ronan Calvert reports from Clanwilliam RFC
It is Rockwell who have booked their place in the Junior Cup quarter finals after an impressive display over St Munchin’s College earlier today.
Munchins made an immediate impact when kicker Keith McInerney struck a penalty from close range within the first minute of proceedings. The visitors had made a statement of intent and Rockwell were in fact, slow to react.
For the forthcoming minutes, Munchins piled on the pressure and could have been in again only for some simple handling errors. However, on the 15 minute mark, momentum was about to swing. Rockwell found good field position from a kick to touch and earned a penalty from the resulting play just inside the opposition 22. As outhalf Jake Flannery picked up the ball, the Munchin’s players backed off in anticipation of a kick at goal, only for the home team to tap and go, spread the ball through the hands and find fullback Nickolas Kennedy free on the left wing. The conversion was missed but they would lead 5-3.
Munchins barely had time to gather their thoughts after conceding, when Nickolas Kennedy went in again on 20 minutes. The fullback’s teammates moved the ball with pace following a yellow card and penalty against Munchins’ outhalf Jamie Ryan and Kennedy made no mistake in dotting down in the corner – in an almost identical effort to the previous score.
From the restart, Rockwell received and passed to Kennedy once more. The star of the day drifted past one or two defenders, burst out of his 22 metre area, chipped ahead, gathered and waltzed freely under the sticks. Ten minutes of magic for Nickolas Kennedy and Rockwell, ten minutes of horror for St Munchins.
Stuck to a 17-3 scoreline for the rest of the first half, the Shannon-siders were delighted to have something to cheer about with just after the break. Sean Airey‘s lineout throw was knocked down into the grasp of flanker Dylan Higgins who broke straight through the middle of the lineout and made a dash for the corner flag before diving home. It was classic set-piece magic from Munchins but Keith McInerney‘s sweetly struck conversion from the corner was equally as majestic and made it a one score game. 17-10.
However, the better team on the day would bounce back and put the game the bed before long. The visitor’s vulnerable defence was exposed out wide on the right by electric Rockwell scrumhalf John O’Sullivan. Outhalf Eddie Daly failed to convert but little did it matter.
Rockwell had the composure and quality to see the game out from there. The encounter would finish 22-10 on a day to remember for the Cashel school
FT: Munchins 22-10 Rockwell
Munster Haka MOTM: Nickolas Kennedy (Rockwell #15)