But Rockwell’s proud tradition stood to them and they battled on with typical guts and resilience to stand just two points behind as the game entered stoppage time.
It was only then that a fifth Crescent try ensured them of a place in the semi-finals after a game blessed with some fine rugby but also blemished with the kind of errors one doesn’t associate with teams of this stature at an advanced stage of the competition.
A 25-metre burst by impressive prop Conor Fitzgerald after 10 minutes yielded Crescent’s first try and almost immediately skipper Daniel Feasy, one of the game’s outstanding players, gathered a delightfully-placed crosskick by out-half Jack Delaney and darted over to stretch his side’s lead to 10 points.
However, with number eight Ciaran Ryan a massive influence in the Rockwell pack and scrum-half Oisin Mangan putting possession to good effect, the game swung in the Tipperary side’s favour for much of the remainder of the first half and the sides turned over on level terms, 10-all. Out-half Jake Flannery kicked a penalty after 20 minutes after which sustained pressure led to a try for flanker Conall Kennedy converted by Jake Flannery.
An upset was on the cards when Rockwell resumed the second half where they had left off in the first only to be rocked back on their heels when Crescent full-back Conor Phillips launched a counter-attack from deep in his own half, kicked ahead and then took advantage of a favourable bounce to win the race for the touch down.
Feasy then went over for his second try after a kick ahead by Jake Connolly, John Hurley converting from the touchline, to make it 22-10 but Rockwell refused to lie down. Instead, Flannery kicked his second penalty and then Crescent had an attempted clearance charged down and replacement Tom Russell pounced for a ‘Rock’ try to which Flannery added the points to cut the gap to 22-20. However, Crescent made sure with their fifth try by wing Tim Duggan in the last minute.
C Phillips; T Duggan, J Hoffman, J Hurley, C Tuohy; J Delaney, A Cosgrove; C Fitzgerald, R Reynolds, B Leahy, P King, C McDonagh, J Madden, D Feasy capt, F Coleman.
Replacements used – J Connolly, B Scott, J Fitzgerald, S Faloon.
R O’Sullivan; C Pearson, J Hunt, A Daly, D Flannery; J Flannery, O Mangan; D Molloy, J O’Meara, B Ryan, N Hanrahan, R Browne, C Kennedy, S Grogan, C Ryan.
Replacements used – T Russell, C Hayes, H Tobin, J O’Sullivan, S Cotter, A Flannery.
K Barry (MAR)