4 Dec, 09:57
This Friday night coming, 6th December (kick-off 7.45pm), Midleton RFC host Sundays Well RFC in the All Ireland League "under lights" at Towns Park.
Crescent who were the first winners of this trophy in 1928 were deserving winners of this final in an absorbing contest.
This game had everything that is good about schools rugby. Plenty of open running, big tackles and two packs that went at it hammer and thongs from the start.
The outcome of this epic contest was in doubt right up to the final whistle and credit must go to both teams for producing a game that was best about everything in schools rugby.
Crescent started the game as firm favourites as this side had won the Avonmore Milk Schools Junior Cup last season and the McCarthy Cup the year previous.
The Limerick side showed why they held the favourites tag as from the kick off they had the Pres’ defence in all sorts of trouble with out half Gearoid Ryan exploring gaps. Ryan was off target with a long range penalty effort after four minutes but made amends three minutes later with a sweeping move that sent full back Jason O’Sullivan in at the corner for a try.
Pres’ showed that they were not going to be brushed aside and they spent the next fifteen minutes camped in the Crescent Twenty Two but strong defending by the Limerick side and persistence in looking for a try rather than a kick at goal meant PBC ended this spell of the game scoreless. Crescent showed their credentials with another sweeping move that ended with number 8 Cormac Blake touching down to make it 10-0 after twenty three minutes.
Pres’ were enjoying great success in the line out with Conor Casey and Cormac Dineen excelling but in the second half when the chips were down Crescent’s Robbie Scott took over stealing the ball on several occasions especially on five meter throw ins’ close to the Crescent line.
Pres’ dominated the second half and knew that they had to get tries to win this game as the rules stated that tries would count in the event of the sides finishing level. The Mardyke School opted for touch from numerous penalties rather than kick the points. Morgan Carey did get over the Crescent line but the defence held him up and the danger was cleared.
Pres’ eventually made the brake through ten minutes from time when from a scrum, prop Stephen McCarthy barged over for a try and Conor Flanagan converted. Crescent weathered the storm from the restart and kept Pres’ in their own half but with the game in injury time Pres’ made one last effort. A great break by full back Paddy Hegarty sent winger Jerry Roche racing away but the Crescent cover got back to bundle him into touch short of the line.
Pres’ kept up the pressure and in one final drive they managed to get over the line but referee Kieran Barry decided that the ball was knocked on in the act of grounding it and so with it went the Cork side’s last chance as the final whistle sounded.
Scorers P.B.C.: Stephen McCarthy try, Conor Flanagan con.
Crescent Comp: Jason O’Sullivan, Cormac Blake tries.
P.B.C: Paddy Hegarty; Sandeep Walia, Eoin Perry, David St. Ledger, Jerry Roche; Conor Flanagan, Luke Merriman; Bryan Traynor, Ben Murphy, Stephen McCarthy; Conor Casey, Cormac Dineen; Morgan Carey, Dylan Lane, Michael Murphy. Replacements: Cian Stanton, Patrick Lee, Kieran O’Driscoll, James O’Brien, Conor Murphy, Rob Reardon, Hugh O’Keeffe, Cian Collins.
Crescent Comp: Jason O’Sullivan; Greg O’Shea, Will Leonard, JJ O’Neill, Jack Hogan; Gearoid Lyons, Ed Barry; Jonny Keane, Cillian Roe, Liam McMahon; Cian Guerin, Robbie Scott; Jay Kavanagh, James Green, Cormac Blake.
Replacements: Mark Rickard, Cian Spillane, James Beary, John Tuohy, Mark O’Connor, Gary Fitzgerald, Tim Moloney, Eoin Parkes.
Referee: K Barry (M.A.R.)
Midleton College and Bandon Grammar will meet in the final qualifier in this season’s Avonmore Supermilk Schools Senior Cup next Wednesday 14th December in Midleton.
Bandon Grammar defeated Newtown School 30-5 at Bandon. The Waterford side took an early lead with a try but Bandon hit back with a try from Jerry Robinson and a conversion and penalty by Darren Sweetnam for a 10-5 interval lead. Ben Hunter and Jamie Kingston added further tries after the break and Sweetnam converted both and also added two penalties.
Midleton College defeated Abbey CBS Tipperary 13-0. Alex Simonin, Louis Farnham and a penalty by Ned Hodgson saw the East cork school advance.
Bowen Shield Final: P.B.C. 7, Crescent Comp. 12;
Avonmore Supermilk Schools Senior Cup: Bandon Grammar 30, Newtown School 5;
Midleton College 13, Abbey CBS 0;
Avonmore Supermilk Schools Junior Cup: Midleton College 10, St. Clements 24;