A try in each half, full-back Daniel Hurley going over after 16 minutes to finish off some good work by Daniel Feasey, and John Blake after an effective break by Bailey Faloon down the wing, and Niall Mulcahy scoring in the corner shortly after the break following some sustained pressure by the Crescent forwards, were the crucial scores and those were blows which Rockwell could never recover from.
They did cross the line themselves in the second half, Ben Murray the last man up after an impressive maul which wasn’t the first time the Rockwell forwards had asserted themselves. But they couldn’t add to that single-score tally. The loss of influential flanker Mikey Wilson to an ankle injury shortly before the interval looked at the time a severe blow to the Rockwell’s chances of staying in the 2016 competition, and so it was.
Wilson’s counterpart for Crescent, Niall Mulcahy, was one of the Limerick college’s key threats throughout this match in Clanwilliam RFC, Tipperary; his pace, strength and ball-carrying proving crucial for the victors.
After a first-minute penalty by Hurley for Crescent, Rockwell looked for some time like they could dominate this game as their pack gained momentum and drove their opponents back on more than one occasion.
Some near misses in the first half, with the tie still up for grabs, proved costly, and the Tipperary-based college will regret not making more hay when their forwards were so on top.
Winger Brian Fitzpatrick almost got over in the corner and Ben Murray also came close in that first period, but it was Crescent who were able to capitalise on the occasions when their forwards got the upper hand.
Much of the second half was about Crescent repelling most attempts made by Rockwell to get back into contention, and in truth the challengers rarely looked in much danger as the time ebbed away.
D Hurley, N Mulcahy tries; D Hurley two conversions, one penalty.
B Murray try.
D Hurley, J Fehilly, C Nash, B O’Hora, C Phillips, M Hanly, J Lyons, J Henchy, J Barry, T Connolly, F Coleman, J Blake, N Mulcahy, D Feasey, B Faloon.
S Leahy for B Faloon (50), A Thai for D Feasey (68), M Sheahen for F Coleman (68), E O’ Halloran for J Blake (70).
P Feehan, B Fitzpatrick, J Stone, C Cashman, P Leamy, J Flannery, J Pickering, N Campion, D Barron, J Kendrick, D Shaw, P Murchan, M Wilson, B Murray, M Casey.
P Ryan for M Wilson (35), L Ashmore for N Campion (HT), G Kavanagh for J Flannery (39), C Fox for P Murchan (55), D Egan for J Pickering (65).
K Barry (Cork).