Last time out, these two talented sides produced many great moments in an intense struggle before it all ended in a 16-16 draw.
The general concensus was a draw was the best result, although both sides had their chances to seal the deal. Crescent sometimes looked the more dangerous of the two outfits but struggled with the strength of a big CBC pack and ultimately were pleased to survive a final rally, when Christians missed penalty and drop goal chances at the death.
Today, holders CBC (16 titles) will be seeking to create a little bit of history – they have never secured two in succession. Sitting behind PBC (29) and Rockwell (19), they are, nevertheless, well ahead of this afternoon’s rivals who have won just six, the first in 1950 and last in 2011. Crescent coach Ger Slattery is hoping to deny Christians their place in the sun and that injured prop Ronan Gallery’s recent injury will have responded fully to treatment to allow him play through the 60 minutes.
“Last time out it was a great game, a fitting game for a final and it could have gone either way for sure. We were possibly a bit fortunate in the end but hopefully we can go one better now.” However, Slattery knows it will be tough, as it was in the first round when Crescent won 17-10 and then in that drawn decider.
“Look, we have a very competitive team from one to 15 and our backs are particularly talented, but I suppose it is all about getting a bit of ball off an excellent CBC pack to allow us do a bit of damage.
“There are a lot of areas of our game that we have worked on since the drawn match, and hopefully we won’t be so reliant on the back line.
“Our biggest problem the last day was the physicality of the Christians lads, the size of some of their forwards; we found it difficult to deal with that but hopefully the lads will have found ways of doing what they need to do to combat that threat.”
D Larkin; B Carew, J Hoffman, J Delaney, T Duggan; J Hurley (captain), D Ahearne; C Fitzgerald, R Reynolds, R Gallery; C McDonagh, C O’Malley; O Evans, A Garland, J Madden.
. C Dineen, E Feeney, J Hanley, B Murphy, T Allen, M Casserly, M McCrann, C Tuohy.
T Downes; M Soans, K Coghlan, F Conway, K Waterman; B Cain, J O’Riordan; H Fitzgerald, D Good, M Donnelly; A Brien, D McAuliffe; S Buckley (captain), C Walsh, C O’Sullivan.
A Coleman, S Kelly, N Hasson, C Barry, D O’Hara, H O’Riordan, W Fielding, D Rice.
T O’Donoghue (M.A.R)