Christians hadn’t managed a single score in the two previous cup meetings of the sides, and so travelled to Limerick with a whole lot to prove. This time they were equal to the task, coming back from a potentially disastrous start to emerge convincing winners after a positive performance of forward strength and decisive midfield running, especially in the second-half.
It certainly was an afternoon to remember for Christians centre Alex McHenry, who scored one superb individual try and finished off a late attack for a second. He was just one of a number of backs on both sides to display admirable footballing skills, and none more so than the Christian full-back Liam Coombes who used his imposing physique to telling effect on a number of occasions. And nobody answered the call up front more than hooker Gordon Good.
Overall, it was a display that must have delighted coach Neil Lucey, all the more because his side found themselves five points behind within 60 seconds of the start. A knock-on from the kick-off led to an attacking scrum for Crescent which saw Jack Lyons, Matthew Hanly, and Billy O’Hora make ground before releasing right-wing Glenn Dickenson for a splendid try in the corner.
Christians took some time to settle but reduced arrears with a penalty by James Taylor and were happy to turn over 5-3 in arrears. However, the strength of their bench told as the second-half developed, and they duly took the lead on 53 minutes when winning possession from a lineout that saw McHenry scorch through a gap in the Crescent defence for a terrific try that Taylor converted.
Christians were forced to stoutly defend their five-point lead before raising the siege and creating the opportunity for McHenry to strike for his second try that was again converted by Taylor.
D Hurley; G Dickenson, C Nash capt, B O’Hara, J Fehilly; M Hanly, J Lyons; J Henchy, J Barry, T Connolly, F Coleman, J Blake, N Mulcahy, P Hickey, B Falloon capt.
C Phillips for Fehilly half time; S Leahy for Falloon, injured, 58.
L Coombes; O Conway, J Harrington, A McHenry, I Casey; J Taylor, R Cassidy; J Humphries, G Good, C Leahy, R Thompson, S Duffy, R O’Neill, R Hyde, D Feeney capt.
J D O’Hea for Conway half time; C McHugh for Humphries 42; D Barry for Thompson, injured, 58; S Bushe for Good, injured, 60; E Cahill for Hyde, injured, 68; C Sisk for Cassidy 69.
T O’Donoghue (MAR).