Action from the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup Group a fixture between Crescent College Comprehensive and St Munchin's College at Dooradoyle on Wednesday Picture: Gareth Williams
CRESCENT College Comprehensive secured a hard earned 24-17 victory over local rivals St Munchin's College in an entertaining Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup Group A fixture played in Dooradoyle on Wednesday afternoon.
The Limerick rivals scored three tries each in an exciting opening round robin fixture with a late penalty goal from the reliable boot of Crescent College's excellent goalkicker Ciaran Campbell finally deciding the contest in the home side's favour.
Group A of this season's new-look Junior Cup also includes fellow Limerick schools Castletroy College and Ardscoil Ris who are due to meet in their opening round robin fixture this Friday at Castletroy College, 2.30pm.
Visitors St Munchin's got off to the ideal start against Crescent College when striking for a well-taken try from the speedy Oisin Pepper after a fine break up the right wing on five minutes.
WATCH: Second try for @SjCrescent who now lead @stmunchins 14-5 close to half-time in @ClaytonHotels Munster Schools Junior Cup Group A game at Dooradoyle #LLSport @LimkLeaderSport #MSJC pic.twitter.com/tNZgsnwDjD— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) October 16, 2019
Back came Crescent College and the home side had built a useful 14-5 half-time lead in the sunny conditions with tries from Andrew Condon on 13 minutes and the lively Brandon Nash, brother of Munster senior player Calvin Nash.
Campbell converted both Crescent tries for good measure.
2018 Junior Cup winners St Munchin's needed a quick start to the second half and they got it when Oisin Minogue, son of former Ireland womens' rugby international Rosie Foley, powered over the whitewash from close range after the Corbally side used the pick-and-go to great effect deep inside their opponents '22.
Cillian O'Connor duly added the conversion to make it a two-point game at 14-12.
The momentum of the game swung back in Crescent College's favour again, however, soon after as the fleet-footed Nash dashed up the right wing before scoring his second try of the game 10 minutes after the restart.
A superb conversion from Campbell made it 21-12 to the home side for whom Jack Somers excelled in the engine room.
To their credit, St Munchin's rallied once more, with Gordon Wood, son of Munster, Ireland and Lions hooker Keith Wood, very influential at scrum-half.
Up to eight members of the St Munchin's College squad have been involved in the Munster Schools U16 squad.
St Munchin's resilience paid dividends when Eoin McGurran finished off a fine move with a try in the left corner to reduce Crescent's lead to just four points, 21-17, with 10 minutes remaining.
However, a sweetly struck penalty goal from Campbell, struck from outside the '22 and into a stiff breeze, sealed victory for Crescent College late on.
Crescent College have won the Junior Cup seven times, most recently in 2016.
CRESCENT College Comprehensive Squad: Andrew Condon, Lee O'Grady*, Mark Fitzgerald, Jack Sommers*, Max Duggan*, Conor Cleary (vc)*, Andrew Ahearne, Cillian Kelly (Capt), Michael Cleary, Oscar Davey, Luke Ryan, Ciaran Campbell, Jed O'Dwyer, Josh Boland, Ryan Godfrey, Darragh Walsh, Fionn Casserly, Henry Ezomo, Conor Benson, Mark Molloy, Joe Mcenery, Brandon Nash*, Evan Bennett. *Denotes played Junior Cup last season.
Coaches: Head coach: Seaghan Gleeson; Forwards coach: Ger Moloney; Backs coach: Stephen Tuohy; S&C: Cecilia Hoffman.
ST MUNCHIN'S College Junior Cup squad: Charlie Deedigan, Sean C Rice, Ben McCarthy, Alex Finn, Ben Quane, Conor Ward, Mark Walsh, Harry Bennis, Gordon Wood, Cillian O'Connor, Eoin McGurran, Liam Angermann, Eoin Walsh, Conor McCarthy, Oisin Pepper, Eoin Sarsfield, Cathal Colgan, Marcus Corrigan, Rian Burke, Tony Foley, Oisin Minogue, Eoin O'Shea, Joseph Noonan, Ronan Deegan, Azad Mohamed, Calum Cunningham, Peter Dougan, Calum Cunningham, Ruairi Walshe Kelly, Sam Long, Trinity Minehan, Shane Geraghty, Edward O'Gorman, Leon Rush, Marcus Hogan, Jack Doran, Feargal de Barra, Jack O'Callaghan.
Coaches: Head Coach: Eoghan Rowley; Forwards coach David Quinlan, Backs coach: Gary Quilligan; Strength and conditioning: Jack Brady and Eric Finn.