Relieved coach Neil Lucey hails Christians hero Richard Thompson

CBC coach Neil Lucey was delighted at the gutsy performance that helped the Cork school to a record 29th Munster Schools Senior Cup victory at Musgrave Park yesterday.
Relieved coach Neil Lucey hails Christians hero Richard Thompson

Minutes after the end of a hotly-contested decider against Crescent Comprehensive, Lucey singled out Richard Thompson for special praise after watching his side cling to a 9-8 advantage in the closing minutes.

“What can I say? He stole a lineout over in the far corner, intercepted (a potential try-scoring pass) with one hand and then held it before holding up a Crescent ball-carrier subsequently to win a scrum for us. I can’t say much more that that, but it was a great contribution, outstanding from the lad.”

Lucey admitted that two consecutive one-point cup victories (they won the semi final 13-12 against local rivals PBC) had caused him to age a bit.

“But” he said, “we backed our process, I knew if the lads bought into it that we had a good chance of winning. Our defence and discipline was very good, we kept at them, kept in their faces. All credit to Crescent, we knew if we gave them half a chance that they would take it because they had threats all over the pitch.”

Eugene McGovern, Crescent’s head coach, admitted to being bitterly disappointed that his side didn’t take the opportunities presented to them.

“We created chances, we played an expansive game and that’s the way we like to play, it’s a high-risk attitude, a high-risk game and that means you’ve got to take chances when they come. You don’t score the points, you don’t get the win.”

“I suppose there were 6,000 or more people with their hearts thumping, people on both sides of the fence, we got opportunities but Christians held out and they were very impressive in holding out. The intercept from the second row was one incident that could have gone the other way but it was one isolated incident, there were other factors in us not winning the game.”

Any consolation? “Right now, no, although there are some players eligible for next year and the school has been producing some very good teams at lower levels, we’re in the junior final next week and it’s an opportunity for us to win a trophy.”

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