PBC 16, Crescent CC 3: Pres overcame treacherous conditions and a courageous Crescent College Comprehensive to book a Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final place at wind-swept Lansdowne yesterday.
The Limerick side decided to play with the howling wind from the start, but fell behind to a 10th minute try after Crescent flanker Fintan Coleman was dispatched to the sin-bin.
Pres kicked to the corner and hooker Billy Scannell was driven over by the rest of the pack to give the tournament favourites the ideal start.
Despite playing into the near-gale at times, Pres controlled possession well and frustrated Crescent’s attempts to engineer field-position. The visitors managed to get on the scoreboard on a rare visit to Pres territory, when wing Mark Shanahan kicked a 20th-minute penalty, leaving the Cork school 5-3 in front at the break.
Pres struck again within three minutes of the resumption after out-half Peter Sylvester found touch deep in the Crescent 22 with a booming kick. The Crescent line-out came under intense pressure which yielded a five-metre scrum following a crooked throw.
From it, outstanding number eight and captain Jack O’Sullivan went down the narrow channel to send wing Sam O’Donovan in at the corner, 10-3.
Pres continued to play smart football, keeping Crescent pinned back in their half of the pitch for long spells and a clever Sylvester drop-goal after 51 minutes made it a two-score game. To their credit, Crescent kept battling and were offered a glimmer of hope when referee Shane Kierans showed yellow cards to Pres flanker Cian Fitzgerald and Sylvester for innocuous high tackles in quick succession entering the closing 10 minutes.
Crescent couldn’t find a way through, however, and Pres bagged the final score with an injury-time penalty from centre Sean French to settle matters.
J Wren; P Buckley, S French, J Broderick, S O’Donovan; P Sylvester, G Bradley; C Burke, B Scannell, B O’Connor; A McAuliffe, M McCarthy; C Fitzgerald, J O’Sullivan, captain, D Hyland.
A Keating, K Nugent, E Burns, E Quilter, D O’Callaghan, D Harrington, H Dillon, T Fitzgerald.
T Duggan; M Shanahan, K Moloney, S Faloon, T O’Hora; M Edwards, A Cosgrove; C Fitzgerald, E O’Halloran, T Connolly; B Kelly, S Leahy; F Coleman, J Blake, captain, D Feasey.
R Reynolds, B Leahy, P King, J Gannon, C McDonagh, J Hoffman, M Bateman, W Nowak.
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