After an opening half of disappointingly poor quality, the game came to life on the turnover with Crescent always looking the more dangerous side. However they were consistently held at bay by a fine Ard Scoil defence in which flanker Darren Horan and number eight Michael Sherry did trojan work.
Crescent were certainly the more innovative side and their diminutive half-backs, Andrew Burke and Diarmuid Upton, were a constant threat, while further out skipper Ronan O’Sullivan, his centre partner, Eoin Breen, and especially right-wing Mark Doyle frequently went close. More often than not, the Ard Scoil defence held firm although Doyle sent flanker Ruairi Herbert over on 18 minutes only to be called back by Trevor Collins who ruled that the scoring pass was forward. For the best part of an hour, it looked as if stalemate would prevail and the issue decided by penalties. However, against the run of play, the game was turned on its head in the 62nd minute when Ard Scoil second-row Sean Hogan burst through from a line-out on the Crescent 22-metre line and showed a commendable turn of foot to make the try line before the startled Crescent defence could react.
Finucane added the points to put Ard Scoil Rís 10-6 in front and seemingly in control. But their joy was shortlived. Three minutes later, Crescent’s outstanding line-out jumper Ken Hanly won a throw off the top, Upton and Burke released their speedy threequarters just inside the Ard Scoil half. A perfectly timed pass by Breen was taken at speed by Scanlon who dove over in the right corner.
Crescent were now a point in front but there might well have still been a sting in the tail. In stoppage time, Ard Scoil’s Mark Cosgrove burst down the left wing, beating several tackles, and was within ten metres of his target when finally brought down. Crescent cleared and go through to a semi-final clash with the winners of Sunday’s clash of St Munchins and Rockwell at Thomond Park.
: S. Scanlon; M. Doyle, E. Breen, R. O’Sullivan capt, D. O’Brien; A. Burke, D. Upton; E. Moylan, J. Corrigan, S. Henniger, K. Hanley, A. McCloskey, E. Ryan, R. Herbert, D. Mulcair.
: G. Finucane; B. Canty, P. Gleeson, D. Ryan, M. Cosgrove; D. Lynch, M. Rowley; D. Kilcoyne, J. Burton, B. Rowley capt, S. Hogan, S. Daly, J. Keogh, D. Horan, M. Sherry. Replacements: J. Flood for Keogh 50 mins; D. O’Rahilly for Lynch 60; D. Toomey for Burton 63; G. Leyden for Daly 70.
: T. Collins (Munster).