CRESCENT College Comprehensive booked their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup, thanks to a hard earned 15-5 first round victory over Glenstal Abbey on Thomond Park’s back pitch this Wednesday.
Crescent’s reward for their deserved success is a quarter-final meeting with another first round winner, Bandon Grammar School, in the quarter-finals of the Cup next month.
Crescent College laid the foundation for this win over gritty opponents in the opening half after which the Dooradoyle side held a sizeable 10-0 advantage.
Full-back Conor O'Halloran kicked Crescent College into an early 3-0 advantage after landing a second minute penalty goal.
Crescent increased their lead in the 22nd minute after Glenstal Abbey had defended resolutely after their opponents had enjoyed the lions share of possession and territory.
Second row Cian Kirby finally broke the Murroe side's resistance when he powered over for his side's opening try. O'Halloran duly added the conversion.
Crescent, who included Brandon Nash, brother of Munster player Calvin, on the left wing, made the game safe after 43 minutes when grabbing their second try.
Hugely influential centre Elvis Duruji created the opening when sending a neatly placed grubber kick in behind the Glenstal cover and Crescent's lively scrum-half Jamie Duggan won the race to the touchdown to score.
To their credit, Glenstal Abbey scored the try that their admirable endeavour and industry deserved 10 minutes from full-time when hooker Dermot Hughes dotted down after a period of sustained pressure.
Crescent retained their 10-point advantage through the closing minutes to seal their passage into the last eight. As this was a straight knock-out game in a change to the format of the Junior Cup this season, Glenstal exit the competition for another year.
As well as the meeting of Crescent College and Bandon Grammar School, the quarter-final line-up in this season's Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup will also include the all-Limerick quarter-final clash of Ardscoil Ris and Castletroy College, while holders St Munchin's College will take on CBC, of Cork, and Tipperary rugby nursery Rockwell College will meet PBC, of Cork.
The quarter-final fixtures are due to take place on the weekend of February 25.
CRESCENT COLLEGE COMPREHENSIVE: Conor O'Halloran; Joseph McMahon, Elvis Duruji, Daragh O'Sullivan, Brandon Nash; Werner Hoffman, Jamie Duggan; Max Duggan, Max Clein, Sean Farrell; Quinn Ruadhan, Cian Kirby; Jubril Olamiposi Olakunle Obasa, Conor Clery, John Lyons. Replacements: Jack Madden, Lee O Grady, Jack Neilon, Jonah Colgan, Alan Kirby, Sean Donnarumma, Jack Somers, Cian O'Halloran.
GLENSTAL ABBEY: Chris Burke-Young; William Cahir-Whelan, Aboudi Al-Helaissi, James Shields, Padraig Hassett; Michael Buckley, Ian Larkin; Odran Furlong, Dermot Hughes, Cian O’Brien; Jamie O’Mahony, Liam Duggan; Tom McAllister, Ben Shippam, Stefan Caulfield-Dreier. Replacements: Dan Kennedy, Kieran Roche, Garvan Woodcock, Harry Whelehan, Daragh Lehane, Ke Burke-Young, Nyoleme Agbanobi, Peter Queally.
REFEREE: Niall Kendall (MAR)