CRESCENT College Comprehensive’s talented side face their date with destiny on Sunday when locking horns with CBC in the 107th Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final at Musgrave Park.
Crescent’s resilient side has bounced back from suffering a first round defeat to this weekend’s opponents CBC to reach a first Senior Cup decider since 2014, when the 11-time winners succeeded in made it back-to-back Cup wins.
Crescent College have been ultra consistent at Junior Cup level, reaching five of the last six finals, winning the title in both 2010 and 2011. Crescent are also gunning for a Senior and Junior Cup double this year as they will be involved in next Wednesday’s Junior Cup decider.
Free-scoring Crescent have managed 13 tries in their last three outings in the Cup, including bagging five tries in their semi-final win over Castletroy.
Crescent fought back from a 12-0 half-time deficit to see off their local rivals.
Crescent boast a potent backline. Full-back Daniel Hurley has been in terrific form in their run of the final, while Calvin Nash and Billy O’Hora are a formidable midfield pairing. Wingers Conor Phillips and Jake Fehilly are proven finishers, who pose a constant threat to opposition defences.
The half-back partnership of Mathew Hanly and Jack Lyons is proven and trusted at this level.
Crescent’s pack has improved with every outing. The Dooradoyle side has a tenacious, highly effective back-row unit in flankers Daniel Feasey and Niall Mulcahy as well as captain and number eight Bailey Faloon.
Elsewhere, Munster U-18 player, prop Jack Henchy and second row John Blake are hughly influential figures in the pack.
Crescent College Comprehensive head coach Eugene McGovern says the side has improved since their first round meeting with CBC which ended in a 17-5 defeat for the Limerick school.
McGovern said: “The occasion is one part of the day, but you have to look at other aspects of the day, how you execute your own gameplan, what we are going to do in certain parts of the pitch, how the opposition play.
“I wouldn’t read too much into the first round game between the two sides. Both teams have come a long way.
”CBC are a better side than they were based on the rounds they have played since. It’s the same for us, we are a lot further down the road.
”In Cup rugby a week is a long time. We are two months further on. I wouldn’t read too much into the first round game.
While CBC have now won the Senior Cup since 2009, Crescent claimed the last of their 11 titles just two years ago.
“It is a benefit that myself and (assistant coach) Conan Doyle have been involved in Senior Cup successes in recent season, the players too have played in Junior finals, albeit they lost them.
”They have the experience of being in a final. They know what that hurt is and it will give them that bit more incentive to go on and win the game.
“The weather conditions will dictate a lot as to the kind of game we will have on Sunday. The forecast is for it to be mild. The surface at Musgrave Park is decent.
”Christians like to play an expansive game, similar to us. But they can also play it tight.
”We are a team that likes an expansive game.”
Following that opening round win over Crescent, CBC defeated Ardscoil Ris 28-15 and neighbours PBC, 13-12, to reach Sunday’s decider.
Daire Feeney is captained of a CBC side which boasts a physically powerful pack littered with interprovincials. Twenty one members of the extended Senior Cup squad from 2015 are involved again this time round.
The Cork side is captained by excellent number eight Daire Feeney. Forwards James Taylor, Fergus Hennessy, Oisin Conway, Ciaran McHugh and Luke Masters have played for Munster U-18 Schools.
Inside centre, Alex McHenry, Munster U-19 captain and son of former European tour golfer John McHenry is a key figure in CBC’s backline. Crescent will need to limit his influence in this weekend’s final if they are to prevail.