CRESCENT College Comprehensive team mentor, Chris Cullinan believes the experience the Junior Cup players gained in reaching the Munster Schools final will stand them in good stead at senior level.
Crescent came up short in their bid to complete the double when the Junior Cup side suffered a 17-12 defeat to PBC, of Cork, at Temple Hill this Wednesday.
Crescent College have appeared in four of the last five Junior Cup finals, landing the title in both 2010 and 2011.
Chris Cullinan said: “These Junior Cup campaigns are huge for players. You need to give guys experience in this kind of atmosphere if you want to be successful. This was almost as good as you can get.
“The better team won on the day. We were slow to start. Pres’ went 10 points up early on. It was tough coming back. That said we had opportunities and we could have taken it in the end. It wouldn’t have been a steal, but it would have been nice!
“At 10-5 at half-time, it was anyone’s match. We hoped to be able to push on from there, We hoped to get the next score, but Pres’ got it. That made it an uphill battle. But we battled again and at 17-12 it was up for grabs again. Pres’ held on.
“Daniel Hurley made a good break near the end, but their number eight just got back to stop him with a hand trip. We thought that would be it. They are the margins at this level. They’re inches.
“Every side can look back on the opportunities they miss. Pres’ were probably worthy winners, but we could have snuck it in the end.”
Wednesday’s final produced five smashing tries and was highly entertaining with both sides intent on playing an open, expansive style of play.
Chris Cullinan said; “That’s the way we have always played and will always play, I would think. Maybe we played a little bit too much football in our own half. We needed to get inside their half a little bit more. I think it would have paid dividends for us. But it wasn’t to be on the day.
“We didn’t talk about the double at all really. If the double happened, it would happen. Each team is separate in their own right, separate identities. I am sure it will happen
“We have three or four players back next year and most of them will go up to play at Bowen Shield level.
“It has been a brilliant year for the school. There is a real buzz around. To be part of that buzz was great.”