CRESCENT College Comprehensive’s dreams of claiming a first Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup title in five years remains very much alive following their thrilling 16-16 final draw with holders CBC, of Cork at Musgrave Park this Wednesday.
The sides will replay the game at Thomond Park on Wednesday, April 6 at 2.30pm.
A share of the spoils was perhaps the fairest result in an absorbing final where both sides enjoyed periods of dominance. Crescent had recorded a 17-10 win over CBC when the sides met in the opening round of this season’s Junior Cup.
This talented Crescent side showed admirable resilience to earn the replay after a physically imposing CBC side raced into a 16-11 lead after 52 minutes. However, a well-worked try in the right corner from winger Ben Carew in the 52nd minute tied up the game once again.
Crescent, who have appeared in six of the last seven Junior Cup finals will hope for a chance of fortune in the replay in Limerick as the Dooradoyle side had lost their last three final appearances.
Wind-assisted CBC opened the scoring on 9 minutes when, following a Crescent scrum inside their own 22, the Cork side pinched possession and opportunist flanker Conor Walsh touched down.
Resilient Crescent reponded in the best possible fashion and John Hurley’s 12th minute penalty goal from just outside the ‘22.
And the Limerick side hit the front, 8-5, in the 17th minute when notching a smashing try. From a penalty award inside the CBC ‘22, Crescent kicked to touch. The Dooradoyle side won clean line-out possession and mauled their way up to the try-line, before flanker Oisin Evans dotted the ball down from close range. Hurley was off target with the conversion.
Crescent centres Jack Delaney and Jamin Hoffman remained hugely threatening with ball in hand, as did out-half Hurley. Hoffman was very unfortunate not to grab a second try for his side soon after, following a smashing break, only to put a foot in touch.
However, Hurley’s second penalty in first half stoppage time had Crescent 11-8 to the good at half-time.
The see-saw nature of the game continued early in the second half when Cain kicked CBC level with his second peanlty goal of the game.
CBC hit the front with a 45th minute try from number eight Conor O’Sullivan, only for Crescent winger Ben Carew to draw his side level with eight minutes left.
CBC did have the chance to win the game late on. However, Cain’s penalty attempt after the Limerick side was penalised for pulling down a maul flew left and wide. The replay should be a cracker.
SCORERS - CBC: Conor Walsh, Conor O’Sullivan try each, Billy Cain two pens. Crescent College Comprehensive: Oisin Evans, Ben Carew try, John Hurley two pens.
CBC: Thomas Downes; Matthew Soans, Killian Coghlan, Fergal Conway, Karl Waterman; Billy Caine, Jack O’Riordan; Charlie Rasmussen, David Good, Mark Donnelly; Aidan Brien, Dillon McAuliffe; Scott Buckley (Capt), Conor Walsh, Conor O’Sullivan. Replacements: Adam Coleman for Rasmusson, Harry Fitzgerald for Good, Cillian Barry for Buckley (47 mins), Rasmusson for Donnelly (injured 58 mins).
CRESCENT COLLEGE COMPREHENSIVE: Daniel Larkin; Timothy Duggan, Jamin Hoffman, Jack Delaney, Ben Carew; John Hurley (Capt), David Ahearne; Conor Fitzgerald, Ronan Reynolds, Ronan Gallery; Cian McDonagh, Cillian O’Malley; Oisin Evans, Alan Garland, Jack Madden. Replacements: James Hanley for Gallery (injured, 4 mins), Charlie Dinneen for Evans (46 mins), Tristan Allen for Ahearne (50 mins)
REFEREE: Shane Kierans (MAR)