The cold and rain didn’t encourage ambitious play but this didn’t seem to bother CBC as they put the ball into the hands of their full-back James Reynolds.

They looked the sharper in the opening exchange, perhaps the benefit from three rounds of the Vinnie Murray Cup.

The big Roscrea forwards began to churn out the hard yards and their full-back Tadhg Bird was awarded a shot at goal for no arms in a tackle on prop Josh Wycherley, the kick dropping a metre short.

Still, Roscrea were patient in coming around the corner until scrum-half Finbarr Crowley shot through a gap for 20 metres.

Their lock Ryan Lomas also steamed through the cover without making it tell.

CBC Monkstown left wing Luke Sweeney hared up the tramline until cut down by Bird.

It looked like they had the speed to go from distance even though Roscrea were having the best of the territory.

The breakthrough came from a fine step from Philip O’Shea and a beautifully judged pass back inside to his centre partner Adi Donovan for a tremendous try.

Full-back Bird converted from the left for 7-0 in the 27th minute.

It was that man again Donovan tearing up the middle to set up a ruck beneath the posts for Ryan Lomas to drive it up and Finbarr Crowley to snipe around the side for 12-0 on the half-hour.

Tight-head Michael Milne was a dominant presence even in the open field where he manged to corral fly-half Sean Power.

The ball just wasn’t going to hand for CBC and Roscrea’s big men trucked it up to draw a penalty for offside which Bird saw come back off the upright.

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

On resumption, CBC came out of the traps with greater intensity, centre Darragh Forster testing the fabric of the defence. They came back for a penalty which Reynolds posted for 12-3 in the 38th minute.

Monkstown were back on the front-foot where they were stymied at the breakdown by Cathal Walsh, Robert Enraght-Moony and their crew of scavengers.

When Roscrea got into their phase game, they were relentless in recycling, prop Milne and lock Neal Moylett showing up well. Flanker Walsh clamped down for a penalty and captain Conor Kelly was on line, but short.

They suffered a double blow when straying offside for Reynolds to slot three points for 12-6 in the 55th minute to make it a one-score game. Suddenly, CBC were growing into the game and Roscrea’s exit strategy was not working for them.

Their defence was and it was good enough to shut down the game for a place in the quarter-final.


At Castle Avenue – CISTERCIAN COLLEGE ROSCREA 12 (A Donovan, F Crowley try each; T Bird con); CBC MONKSTOWN 6 (J Reynolds 2 pens).


Roscrea: Tadhg Bird; Ben Hyland, Philip O’Shea Adi Donovan, Paul Keane; Conor Kelly (capt), Finbarr Crowley; Josh Wycherley, Tom Byrne, Michael Milne, Ryan Lomas, Neal Moylett, Cathal Walsh, Robert Enraght-Moony, James Brandon.

Replacements: David Maher for Wycherley 19 mins; Jerry Cahir for Byrne 51 mins; Jay Culleton for Keane 56 mins; Ben Murphy for Bird 65 mins – temp.

CBC: James Reynolds; Conor Newman, Cameron Watson, Darragh Forster, Luke Sweeney; Sean Power, Shane O’Hanrahan; Max Read, Mark Theunissen, Callum Kavanagh, Robert Ivers, Eoin Vaughan, Robert Doyle, Zach Sattar, Eoghan Clarke (capt).

Replacements: Harry Shaw for Forster 37 mins; Conor Byrne for Theunissen 54 mins;

Referee: Helen O’Reilly, Leinster Branch.

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile