Crescent Comprehensive launched their bid for a second Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup title in four years at Thomond Park today but were fully extended by a well drilled Glenstal Abbey side before emerging worthy 15-5 winners.
Crescent, who will meet Bandon Grammar School in the next round, dominated exchanges for the most part but most especially in the opening twenty minutes when only a superb Glenstal defence confined them to a 20th minute penalty goal by Conor O’Halloran. However, almost immediatelythe constant pressure told and second-row Cian Kirby combined speed and superb angles of running to beat a number of tackles and score the game’s first try.
O’Halloran converted and Glenstal’s prospects at ten points in arrears looked distinctly gloomy at this stage. However, to their great credit, they responded in style and laid siege to the Crescent line only to be thwarted by some fine defensive work and the arrival of the half time whistle when it looked as if they must score.
While Crescent still looked the better side the longer the game continued and stretched the lead to 15-0 on 43 minutes when centre Elvis Duruji placed a lovely little chip through over the Glenstal line for scrum-half Jamie Duggan to win the race for the touch down, the outcome was still far from decided.
Instead, the Co Limerick boys battled on gamely and were rewarded when impressive hooker Dermot Hughes burst his way over to make it 15-5 on 50 minutes and so maintain interest right to the end of an entertaining encounter.
Crescent Comprehensive – Conor O’Halloran; J McMahon, E Duruji, D O’Sullivan, B Nash; W Hoffman, J Duggan; M Duggan, M Clein, S Farrell, R Quinn, C Kirby C Cleary, A Basu, J Lyons. Subs used - J Madden, J Colgan, S Donnarumma, Cian O’Halloran.
Glenstal Abbbey – C Burke Young; W Cahir Whelan, A Al-Helaissi, J Shields, P Hassett; M Buckley, I Larkin; O Furlong, D Hughes, C O’Brien, J O’Mahony, L Duggan, T McAllister, B Shipman, S Caulfield-Dreier. Subs used - D Kennedy, K Roche, G Woodcock, H Whelehan, K Burke Young.
Referee – N Kendall.