SPIRITED Crescent College Comprehensive suffered a 22-10 defeat to CBC in an exciting Munster Schools Junior Cup final played at a sun-drenched Thomond Park on Thursday afternoon.
The Cork side outscored their opponents by three tries to one, but the outcome of this highly competitive final was in real doubt until the 58th minute when an intercept try from CBC centre JD O’Hea finally sealed the victory.
Crescent College, who had defeated Glenstal Abbey, Rockwell College and Castletroy College earlier in the Cup, were appearing in their fifth Junior final in six seasons.
CBC laid the foundation for this win in the opening half after which the Cork side led 15-3. On a perfect afternoon for rugby, Christians’ opened the scored with a fifth minute penalty goal from out-half Eoin Monahan.
The visitors bagged their opening try on 13 minutes when CBC took advantage of a Crescent knock-on in midfield to score through prop Robert Loftus. While Crescent created several excellent line-breaks, the Dooradoyle side was unable to finish them off with scores.
CBC added a second try in the 26th minute when full-back Robert Hedderman touched down. Despite trailing by 12 points at the break, Crescent fought valiantly to get back into the game and the Limerick side was rewarded when out-half John Hurley darted over in the 36th minute. Hurley also converted to reduce the CBC lead to 15-10.
Crescent pressed hard for another score, but conceded a third try two minutes from full-time when CBC centre JD O’Hea intercepted the inside the home side’s ‘22 and raced over. Monahan also added the conversion to consign Crescent College to a third successive Junior Cup final defeat.
SCORERS: Crescent College Comprehensive: John Hurley try, pen, con. CBC: Robert Loftus, Robert Hedderman, JD O’Hea try each, Eoin Monahan pen, two cons.
CRESCENT COLLEGE COMPREHENSIVE: Aaron Cosgrave; Cian Cusack, Tommy O’Hora, Nevil O’Sullivan (Capt), Conor Phillips; John Hurley, Mark Edwards; Conor Dennehy, Eoin O’Halloran, David Nevin, Peter King, Fintan Coleman; Karl Moloney, Jack Hennessy, Daniel Feasey. Replacements: Conor Fitzgerald for Dennehy (58 mins), Ben Leahy for Moloney (59 mins), Dylan Shaw-Kelly for Feasey (58 mins), Sean Burton for King (injured, 40 mins), Michael Fenton for Cusack (58 mins). Not used: Sheehan Fallon, Kevin LeGear, Mark Hickey.
CBC: Robert Hedderman, Conor Shallloe, JD O’Hea, Eoghan Barrett, Daniel Galvin, Eoin Monahan (Capt), Colin Sisk; Luke Masters, Daniel O’Connor, Robert Loftus, Eamonn Doyle, Anthony Ryan; Ronan Barry, Finn Burke, Ben Roche. Replacements: Liam McCarthy, Charlie Rasmussen, Paul Harrington, Scott Buckley, Eamonn O’Mahony, Eoin Moloney, Sean Lynch, Louis Kahin.
REFEREE: Kieran Barry (IRFU)