Crescent, held to a draw in a thriller at Rosbrien in midweek, dug even deeper yesterday to emerge from another physically draining contest to secure a well deserved victory.
Victory went to the bigger, stronger and more resourceful side led, superbly by skipper Cormac Blake.
Pres will look back and regret a couple of first-half storming runs from David St Leger were not better rewarded, also at a couple of borderline opportunities and at one try scoring chance in particular, carved out by the excellent scrum half John Poland and nearly finished by winger Cian Collins.
However, there will be more regret that they failed to make territorial advantage pay in the opening half and that they conceded a breakaway try that allowed Crescent lead 5-3 at the break.
One sloppy pass in the 30th minute allowed the young Crescent winger Calvin Nash a window of opportunity and he ran in a try from over 50 metres to cancel out a 13th minute penalty from Poland.
Winning coach Conan Doyle paid tribute to Nash for taking the game to Pres: “The difference today was young Calvin coming through, he’s probably the youngest guy in the team and it was an outstanding performance, he was the difference between the teams essentially because there wasn’t anything to separate the sides.”
Nash produced another brilliant cameo four minutes into the second half with his second try that Fionn McGibney converted and they never really looked back. McGibney kicked a 60th minute penalty and Crescent held out despite intense pressure with both JJ O’Neill and Jason O’Sullivan having been yellow carded.
Doyle added: “We had two in the bin at the end and another player down on the ground injured; to have 12 guys defending the line and doing it successfully is credit to the group.
“The game was over I suppose, but in fairness they held on strong and that will stand to them hopefully. We will just move on from here, we won’t get ahead of ourselves and it is another quick turnaround. We’re playing Friday which is three games in nine days and that is a very hard ask for anyone. It’s more about how well we can recover from now.”
Seat Munster Schools Senior Cup semi finals: Wednesday: St Munchin’s v Ard Scoil Ris; Friday: Crescent Comprehensive v Castletroy.
PBC: R Reardon, B Pope, P Kiernan (captain), S Daly, C Collins, C Flanagan, J Poland, J O’Donovan, C Stanton, S McCarthy, D Fitzgerald, C Dineen, M Carey, D St Leger, E Perry.
Replacements: E McCarthy for Stanton, C O’Flynn for Dineen, G Smith for Perry, C Murphy for Pope (all 45), J Ring for o’Donovan (50), K O’Leary for Fitzgerald (55).
CRESCENT: J Harrington, J O’Sullivan, JJ O’Neill, W Leonard, C Nash, F McGibney, G Fitzgerald, M O’Donnell, C Moloney, L McMahon, R Scott, J Keane, S Fitzgerald, C Blake (captain), J Kavanagh.
Replacements: D Sheehan for Harrington (40), R Noone for Kavanagh (57)
Referee: D O’Flynn (MAR).