A DRAMATIC injury-time try secured Highfield a place in the quarter-finals of the Munster Senior Challenge Cup, after defeating Old Crescent 29-24 at Rosbrien.
Following a penalty converted by Crescent’s Ronan McKenna, ‘Field replied two minutes later with a try from centre Ben Murphy in the corner making it 5-3 to the visitors.
A scintillating brace and offload from fly-half Shane O’Riordan stunned the Crescent line and allowed back-row Cathal Gallagher to run in for a try, O’Riordan extended the Corkmen’s lead to 12-3.
Old Crescent’s miserly first-half continued when a loose ball was picked up by second-row Kevin O’Leary who popped it to winger Paul Buckley for Highfield’s third try of the afternoon.
O’Riordan’s conversion hit the post ending the half at 17-3, Crescent head coach, Matt Brown’s half-time team talk inspired a valiant second-half effort from the Rosbrien side.
Tries from Kevin Doyle and Cathal Monaghan accompanied by expertly converted kicks from replacement kicker Jack Broderick equalised the match at 17 apiece.
Highfield’s Ben Murphy scored his second try at the fifty-fifth-minute mark to put them back in the lead at 22-17.
Crescent took the lead for the first time in over an hour after a try from back-row Cian Reale, followed by a Jack Broderick conversion making it 24-22 with very little time remaining.
At the eighty-second minute, super-sub Eddie Earle became the hero of the ‘Field with an ecstatic converted try to end the thrilling epic 29-24 to Highfield, who will play Cashel in the quarter-final.
SCORERS: Old Crescent: Kevin Doyle, Cathal Monaghan and Cian Reale a try each, Ronan McKenna one pen, Jack Broderick three cons.
Highfield: Ben Murphy two tries, Cathal Gallagher, Paul Buckley and Eddie Earle a try each, Shane O’Riordan two cons.
OLD CRESCENT: Brian Tuohy; Cathal Monaghan, James Neville, Shane Mullally, Jack Broderick; Ronan McKenna, Gary Fitzgerald; Seaghan Gleeson, Niall Hardiman, Donal Murphy, David O’Brien (capt.), Geoffry Coyne, Cian Reale, Jack O’Neill, Kevin Doyle. Subs used: Alex Simpson, Mark-Patrick Rickard, Tevita Tali Toia, Nahuel Davolo, Padraig Monaghan, Sean Fitzgerald, Kevin Meade.
HIGHFIELD: Paul Downes; Paul Bickley, Ben Murphy, David O’Sullivan, Paul Stack; Shane O’Riordan, Christopher Banon; Timothy Ryan, Daniel Healy, Ian McCarthy, Kevin O’Leary, Colm Gallagher, Luke Kingston, Cathal Gallagher, Jeremiah Cronin (capt.).
Subs used: Michael Shinkwin, Michael Dillane, Eddie Earle, Dylan Purvis, Jack Duffy, Eoin Keating, Jamie Murphy.
REFEREE: Tommy O’Donoghue (IRFU)
All pictures: Kieran Ryan-Benson