Limerick’s Crescent College Comprehensive secured a well-earned place in the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup semi-finals with a disciplined showing, beating Bandon Grammar School 20-8 in Musgrave Park.
With rugby is on a high in Bandon after they knocked out champions Glenstal Abbey in the Senior Cup 24 hours earlier, the west Cork side were looking to build on the momentum in the school.
However, they found themselves on the backfoot early on in this Junior Cup quarter-final as Crescent took the game to them early on.
After 10 minutes of sustained pressure, the Limerick school finally got over the line, Joe McMahon making the most of the overlap to touch down.
They got their second try on 22 minutes when Elvis Duruji finished off a fine team move involving Werner Hoffman, Ruan Quinn and Conal Henchy. Conor O’Halloran’s conversion put Crescent 12-3 up, Bandon’s lone score a Louis Archer penalty.
For both teams, this was a second outing of the competition, after enjoying preliminary round wins but it was the Limerick side who looked much the sharper outfit in the opening 30 minutes.
Taking a nine-point lead into the interval, Crescent started the second half where they left off pushing Bandon back into their own territory.
A missed penalty meant they lost a chance to increase their lead as they failed to fully capitalise on their territorial advantage.
Then, mid-way through the second half, somewhat against the run of play, Bandon crossed for their first and only try. Sean Coughlin finished off the move to reduce the deficit to four.
However, less than 90 seconds after the restart, flanker John Lyons got a try of his own for Crescent to put them back in control.
A late penalty from O’Halloran sealed the well-deserved win for the Limerick side.
Crescent join Castletroy and Rockwell College in the last four. The fourth quarter-final, a repeat of last year’s decider between CBC and St Munchin’s takes place on Friday.
CRESCENT CC: C O’Halloran, J McMahon, E Duruji, D O’Sullivan, B Nash, W Hoffman, J Duggan; M Duggan, M Clein, J Madden, R Quinn, C Kirby, J Lyons, J Oliampossi-Basu, C Henchy.
Replacements: C Clery, C O’Halloran, S Donnarumma, N Roche,
BANDON GRAMMAR: P Symington, J Hayes, A O’Reilly, L McCarthy, B Spearman-Walsh, L Archer, B O’Connor; C Aherne, M Connolly, S Jennings, D Abat, S Coughlan, B Kingston, T Good, A Murphy.
Replacements: R McGann, A Nnamani, P O’Sullivan, A O’Shaughnessy, J O’Regan,
REFEREE: Stuart Donaldson.