Although deserving the win, Crescent were flattered by the margin with the scoreline doing scant justice to Rockwell who remained competitive to the final whistle.
The Crescent back division, with full-back Colm Quilligan a constant threat and Jack Delaney the perfect general at out-half, carried a potent threat. After 10 minutes, centre Tony O’Sullivan made the game’s first line break and it took some resolute defending by the Rockwell cover to keep him at bay.
However, there was little they could do when Delaney displayed great pace and superb lines of running to run in from 40m to put Crescent ahead after quarter of an hour. They struck again on 23 minutes when a series of attacks culminated in space being created for right wing Gary Kelly to cross far out.
With the wind at their backs on the turnover, Rockwell were not without hope. Half-back John O’Sullivan looked a class act and linked well with Eddie Daly while skipper and openside flanker Alan Flannery was one of the game’s outstanding performers. They badly needed an early score to eat into the Crescent lead but instead fell further behind when Delaney knocked over a good penalty from 35m.
The Tipp boys never gave up but were out of luck when O’Sullivan displayed his wiles at the base of the scrum only to have the ball dashed from his grasp as he dived for what might have been a match-changing try. Instead, Crescent hit back and set up a penalty for Delaney.
O’Sullivan eventually had a deserved reward for a fine personal performance with a well taken Rockwell try. But when they tried to run a free kick a few feet from their own line in the last minute, alert Crescent winger Seamus Hurley read the situation to dash in at pace and intercept a pass and touch down for try number three.
C Quilligan; G Kelly, T O’Sullivan, B Moore, S Hurley; J Delaney, J Connolly capt; E O’Sullivan, J Skehan-Fitzgerald, J Cross, D Doyle, S Malone, B Scott, J McKeogh, D Rickard. Replacements – D Spillane, J Rickard, B O’Sullivan, L Burke, B Davey, D O’Shea, B Cosgrove, D Hickey, D Fenton, D O’Grady.
N Kennedy; S Tarleton, D Farrelly, P Wall, M Mulligan; E Daly, J O’Sullivan; A Buttimer, C Shanahan, S Rapoport, B O’Dea, K Grogan, C Hayes, A Flannery, J Dwan. Replacements – M Cooper, J Shine, J Roman, D Fanning, T Tobin, R Anglim, A Maher, H Fitzgerald, D Achimugu, C Pearson.
Ken Imbusch (MAR).