Christians pip Crescent to kick-start historic week

A potentially historic week in the proud history of Christian Brothers College Cork got off on the brightest possible note at Thomond Park when they pipped Crescent Comprehensive in a thrilling Clayton Hotels Munster Senior Schools Cup quarter-final.

Christians pip Crescent to kick-start historic week

Crescent Comp 19 CBC 21

A potentially historic week in the proud history of Christian Brothers College Cork got off on the brightest possible note at Thomond Park when they pipped Crescent Comprehensive in a thrilling Clayton Hotels Munster Senior Schools Cup quarter-final.

While the purist would have been frustrated by the number of errors made by both sides, much of the rugby was also of the highest quality with the level of commitment and burning desire for victory more than compensating. Christians can now turn their attentions to the little matter of Saturday’s Dr Harty Cup final against Midleton CBS.

The scoreboard accurately reflects how little there was separating two fine teams. Crescent may have edged the try count 3-2 but Christians probably just about deserved to claim the honours because their burly pack with number eight Cian Hurley, skipper and hooker Scott Buckley and second-row John Willis very much to the fore, ensured that they enjoyed a territorial advantage while it was very much to the credit of all concerned that they held Crescent scoreless in the second half.

But credit, too, to Crescent for the manner in which they took up the fight and particularly for the way they battled back from falling 12 points behind after 18 minutes to claim the lead before the half time whistle. John Willis got the touch down for the first Christians try after a powerful line-out maul on fifteen minutes and immediately afterwards a superb eighty metre movement in which out-half Cian Whooley and speedy winger Aaron Leahy played major roles ended in a try for centre Harry O’Riordan which full-back Billy Cain converted.

However, Crescent were clearly too good a side to take this lying down and with hooker Charlie Dineen and number eight Jack Madden very much to the fore, they laid siege on the Christians line and created beautifully taken tries for left wing Ben Carew and out-half Maccon Casserly, one converted by Jack Delaney, to level the scoring.

A Cain penalty nudged the Cork side back into the lead but Crescent struck for their third try on half time when Jack Madden crashed over and Delaney converted to put them19-15 in front. The second half may have been confined to two Christians penalties by Cain in the 4th and 27th minutes but it certainly wasn’t short of drama and excitement before the outcome was eventually decided.

CBC – B Cain; P O’Hara, C Coughlan, H O’Riordan, A Leahy; C Whooley, M O’Connor; C Rasmussen, S Buckley capt, M Donnelly, A O’Brien, J Willis, R O’Sullivan, C Walsh, C Hurley. Replacements used – K Waterman, K Murphy, D McAuliffe, P O’Brien, A O’Brien, S Rall, R Kelleher.

Crescent Comp – T Duggan; C Quilligan, J Hoffman, J Delanye, B Carew; M Casserly, D Ahearne; D O’Shea, C Dineen, R Gallery, C McDonagh, S Malone, J McKeogh, B Scott, J Madden. Replacements used – J Connolly, C Tuohy, A Herbert, D Casserly, J Skehan Fitzgerald, E O’Sullivan.

Referee – Tommy O’Donoghue.

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