CRESCENT College Comprehensive will have another trip to Cork for the Munster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final after losing 17-8 to PBC on Wednesday.
Under the second-chance system, they are still in the competition but will have to travel to play CBC in the quarter-final
A gritty Crescent side came up just short against PBC in their highly entertaining preliminary round tie played at a sunny Musgrave Park.
Crescent were within two points of their hosts, trailing 8-10, coming into the closing minutes of a fiercely competitive tie. However, a defensive mix-up following a well-placed Garryowen from Pres’ out-half Rory Scannell allowed the Cork side’s winger Seamus Glynn in to score the easiest of tries and end the visitors hopes of a precious victory.
It was tough luck on the Dooradoyle side who were well in the game until that point, but despite having an equal share of possession, they lacked the cutting edge necessary to breach their opponents’ defence during the second period.
Crescent were forced to line out without two of their talented back-row forward contingent, Diarmuid Dee and Jack Dinneen, who were ruled out through injury before kick-off. The encouraging news for the 1994 Senior Cup winners is that both should be available for the make-or-break clash with CBC later this month.
Both sides struggled to build any kind of momentum and phases during the opening quarter of an hour. There was no doubting the potential on show, but a combination of understandable rustiness given it was their first competitive outings in the Cup and a hint of nerves prevented the sides from gaining a stranglehold.
However, the complexion of the match changed in the 17th minute when out-half Rory Scannell created the space for winger Rory Fenton to touch down in the left corner. Full-back Steve Dinan duly added the difficult conversion.
To their credit, Crescent hit back almost immediately and Gearoid Lyons landed a smashing drop goal from just inside the opposing 10 metre line with 20 minutes on the clock.
Those scores had a settling effect on the teams who deserve credit for their attacking, enterprising approach.
Both sides displayed an eagerness to move the ball through the hands when the opportunity arose and, as a result, this was an entertaining spectacle for those present.
Pres’ stretched their lead to seven points when Rory Scannell kicked a sweet drop goal from in front of the Crescent posts.
However, with the likes of Cormac Blake, Seaghan Gleeson and Niall Horan impressing in the pack, and the centre partnership of Greg O’Shea and Greg Barry ever-threatening with ball in hand, Crescent continued to pose a real threat.
Their persistence was rewarded when following a fine break in midfield by Greg O’Shea, winger Nigel Kerr was on hand to touch down.
PBC led 10-8 at the break, but the game produced no further score until the 64th minute when Glynn struck for his opportunist try.
Dinan’s successful conversion stretched the Pres’ lead to nine points and two scores clear, the issue was no longer in doubt.
A minute’s silence was observed before kick-off as a mark of respect to the late Br Matthew Corkery, of Glenstal Abbey, who passed away suddenly this week.
SCORERS – PBC: Rory Fenton, Seamus Glynn try each, Steve Dinan two cons, Rory Scannell drop goal. Crescent College Comprehensive: Nigel Kerr try, Gearoid Lyons drop goal
PBC – Steve Dinan; Josh Barrett, Seamus Glynn, Cian Murphy, Rory Fenton; Rory Scannell, Philip O’Leary; Aidan Slattery, Max Abbott, David Hartnett; Ross McCarthy, Ian Silke; William Foley, Paul Derham, John Fitzgerald (Capt). Replacements: Peter O’Brien for Cian Murphy, Aidan O’Brien for Hartnett (both 46 mins), Hugh O’Halloran for Slattery (63 mins), Kieran Farmer for Abbott (67 mins), Matt Curtin for Foley (67 mins), Brian Crowley for Fenton (injured 68 mins), Thomas Duggan for O’Leary
CRESCENT COLLEGE COMPREHENSIVE – James Frawley; Nigel Kerr, Greg O’Shea, Greg Barry, Jack Hogan; Gearoid Lyons, Ronan O’Doherty; Seaghan Gleeson, James Green, Niall Horan (Capt); Karl Hanly, Eoin Casserly; Elliott Fitzgerald, Jay Kavanagh, Cormac Blake. Replacements: Cillian Rea for Fitzgerald (15 mins, injured), JJ O’Neill for Frawley (49 mins), Ed Barry for O’Doherty (55 mins), Cathal Monaghan for Hogan (65 mins), Sean McGee for Gleeson (68 mins).
REFEREE – Tommy O’Donoghue (MAR)