CRESCENT College remain on course to complete a magnificent Munster schools double this season after their Junior Cup side recorded a stunning 23-20 semi-final replay win over CBC on Tuesday afternoon.
A Cian Clifford penalty goal in the third minute of added time helped Crescent secured a thrilling victory over the reigning champions. Had the sides finished level at the end of normal time in the replay, CBC would have been declared the winners as a result of scoring the game’s opening try.
Christians had looked all set to reach this weekend’s decider when holding a commanding 17-0 half-time lead. However, just as happened when the same two schools locked horns in their Senior Schools Cup replay in Cork a week earlier, Crescent struck late on to book their final place.
Crescent College regained the province’s schools senior cup with an emphatic victory over a fancied Rockwell College side at Thomond Park on Monday. Now, local rivals Castletroy College stand in the Dooradoyle side’s way of completing a famous Senior and Junior Cup double.
The Limerick side made the worst start possible when conceding a try to CBC out-half Michael O’Halloran with barely a minute on the clock. Further tries from scrum-half Jack Lyons and winger Alex O’Brien helped the CBC side – which included Alex Penney, son of Munster coach Rob – in the second row, into a commanding 17-0 lead.
Cian Clifford landed two early second half penalties to reduce the home side’s advantage to 17-6 and give Crescent some hope. CBC lost their influential out-half O’Halloran to injury in the third quarter and the Cork side were reduced to 14 players soon after with the sin-binning of prop Robert Maguire.
Crescent took full advantage of their numerical superiority when flanker Conor Slattery crossed for a well-worked try which out-half Clifford duly converted. The CBC lead was now down to a manageable four points at 17-13. The holders stretched seven points to the good once again when replacement out-half James Taylor landed a sweet drop goal.
However, Crescent College would simply not be denied. A 56th minute try from prop Sean Scanlon Garry, and Clifford’s successful conversion tied the scores at 20-20. Ultimately, Clifford’s third penalty turned the tie in the visitors’ favour.
CBC – Shane Murphy; Ben O’Callaghan, Alex McHenry, Oisin Conway, Alex O’Brien; Michael O’Halloran, Robert McGuire; Gary Maloney, James Humphries, Conor Leahy; Declan Barry, Daire Feeney; Robert Hyde, Eoghan Cahill (Capt), Darragh McGinn. Replacements: Evan Barrett, Fergus Hennessy, Dara O’Donovan, Cameron Penney, Richard Cassidy, James Taylor, Killian O’Sullivan, Tom McKenzie
CRESCENT COLLEGE COMPREHENSIVE – Glen Dickinson; Conor McSweeney, Billy O’Hora, Calvin Nash (capt), Jordan Young O’Connor; Cian Clifford, Jack Lyons; Anson Thai, Jason Barry, Sean Scanlon Garry; Brian Considine, John Blake; Conor Slattery, Peter Hickey, Niall Mulcahy. Replacements used: Bailey Faloon for Hickey. Not used: Brian Ryan, Sean Downes, Ed Barry, Luke O’Connell, Joe Barry, Andrew Reeves, Killian Murphy