After over four weeks of hard competition the Munster Senior Schools Cup will come to its conclusion this Wednesday as Presentation Brothers College face the Combined Community Schools side at the Mardyke with an 11am start.
This year’s edition has been a huge success, with only one game falling foul of the weather, and nine played amongst the four schools of Christian Brothers College Cork, Midleton College, Bandon Grammar School, as well as the two finalists in the group stage of the competition which saw each college play the other before a top two were chosen.
Huge thanks must go to Jim Doran, Munster Development Officer, for his tireless work in the running of the competition; CBC manager Kevin O’Sullivan, Midleton bosses Andrew Levis and Chris Blayney, Bandon head John Buss and the managers of both CCS and PBC in their excellent work with their respective sides.
The Combined team secured their path into the final early, and have been imperious in 2016 winning all three of their games thus far in the tournament against CBC, Bandon, and Midleton College. The boys down the ‘Dyke however can consider themselves rather fortunate to be in the showpiece event; it seemed with old rivals Christians only needing to avoid defeat against a winless Midleton to qualify, however the East Cork side stunned the City boys, winning by 13 runs, and pushing it to the final day.
That final day was last Friday, May 20th, where Pres knew any kind of positive result against the Combined Community Schools team would mean their safe passage, and as anticipated the heavens opened up, causing the game’s abandonment, and seeing Pres through by the tightest margain of a single point.
This is CCS’ first time in the competition, and they are joined by fellow debutants Bandon Grammar School, who enjoyed their first victory in over a decade in the competition, beating Midleton College by 85 runs earlier this month. The Combined Schools has undoubtedly been the more successful on-the-pitch however, and with Youth interpros Kieran O’Reilly and Seanan Jones, averaging 70 and 67.5 with the bat respectively, Chris Hickey’s outfit undoubtedly go into the game as favourites.
However, Pres are the only side that haven’t matched up against the Combined side this far this season, and are looking to retain the crown they won last year, pipping Midleton in an excellent final on the banks of the Lee. Don Buckley has some fantastic talent to choose from amongst his ranks as well; Munster opener Aidan Kelleher is already on the fringes of Cork County’s first team, and has averaged just under an impressive 40 with the bat, while all-rounder Diarmuid Carey’s economical bowling, the best in the competition, will be crucial to frustrate the Combined team.
The final will start at 11am in the Mardyke, while a full match report will be available in Thursday’s Evening Echo.
Combined Community Schools' captain Kieran O'Reilly leads the batting averages with 70.
PBC's left-arm spinner Diarmuid Carey - a key player for Pres.