Defending champions Crescent Comp shaded a high-scoring Munster Senior Schools Cup quarter-final eliminator. They remove Bandon from the competition, despite a hat-trick from winger Conor Ryan.
Comp last defended this title in 2014 and are bidding to do the same this year. Teacher Lee Nicholas and his backroom team will be relieved to have seen off a stern test from Bandon.
It was the Cork side who got out of the traps quicker and opened the scoring after eight minutes. Conor Ryan crossed on the left after they’d gone close twice before this.
Chasing a 12th title, the Limerick school were able to select many who featured heavily last campaign. Fionn Casserly, Jack Somers, Jed O’Dwyer as well as captain Cillian Kelly were all in from the start. It was Casserly who replied to the Bandon try for a tied game – 5-5.
He crossed on 20, after a cleanly executed lineout, five meters out, on the left wing. Crescent weren’t able to settle into any sort of stride and were soon reduced to fourteen men – courtesy of a yellow card.
A high tackle from O’Dwyer was punished by Tipperary referee John Lillis, after consulting with his linesman. But Bandon failed to make the advantage tell, coughing up possession too easily at times.
Eoin O’Callaghan landed a Comp penalty for 8-5, but this was cancelled out by Peter Symington in stoppage time, to leave it all square at the interval.
The second half was filled with tries. Comp, from kick-off, gathered a loose ball as Cillian Kelly went over. This was just after just 12 seconds. But Bandon fought back, Calem Harte going over to tie this again, 15-15.
From here to the finish, the Dooradoyle outfit would outscore the Corkmen three tries to one. Marcus Lyons, Andrew Aherne and sub Conor Ryan went over. Bandon’s Conor Ryan had landed his second five-pointer for the men in green and black, but they were chasing for much of the second half.
Ryan would cross for his third in stoppage time, an infraction from Comp meant that Bandon had the restart, they did retain the ball but they were unable to work the magic for a fifth and equalising try, and ran out of time.
Crescent Comp now set up an all-Limerick clash with Ardscoil Rís who lost out to St. Munchin’s, also at Thomond Park on Tuesday afternoon.
J O’Dwyer; E O’Callaghan, J McEnery, B Gallagher, E Cusack; R Godfrey, M Lyons; M Fitzgerald, C Clery, C Lanigan Ryan, J Somers, S Magee, F Casserly, A Ahearne, C Kelly ©.
J Byrne, A McNamara, D O’Dwyer, C Ryan, J Power, C Fenton, C Quinn, M O’Mara, E Bennett, S Morrissey.
R O’Brien; C Harte, A O’Reilly, B Spearman, C Ryan; P Symington, P Gaffney; F O’Neill, M Kelly, A Cleary-Zurek, R O’Callaghan, J Connolly, L Prior, C Miskkella, S Nnamani.
J D’alton, K O’Reagan, C Healy, M MCQuiston, C O’Sullivan, R Golden, A Hutchinson, R Kingston, Z Canniffe.
J Lillis (MAR).