Lyons guides Crescent to long-awaited triumph
Crescent CC 27
Rockwell College 5
Munster Schools Snr Cup Final
Crescent College won their first title at this level in 19 years with a resounding triumph at Thomond Park.
Rockwell came into the game chasing a three-in-a-row but were comprehensibly beaten by a side who they had already defeated in the preliminary round of the competition.
The Limerick school started much stronger and raced into a nine-point lead thanks to the boot of the nerveless Gearoid Lyons.
However, Rockwell's first trip into the Crescent '22' resulted in the game's first try after 25 minutes. James Feehan was stopped just short of the line before winger David O'Mahony touched down at the base of the ruck.
Crescent responded immediately with a try of their own as Greg O'Shea sent JJ O'Neill over for a well-worked score in the corner. Lyons added a fine touchline conversion to hand his side an 11-point half-time lead.
Rockwell's hopes of a comeback were dashed five minutes into the second half when full-back Steven McMahon was shown a red card for a tip tackle on William Leonard. McMahon, who is due to link up with the Ireland U-18 schools team, has an anxious wait to see if he will face any further punishment.
Lyons (right) added two further penalties before Crescent sealed their victory with a try 15 minutes before the end. Barnstorming No 8 Jack Dineen found a gap in the Rockwell backline and his perfectly weighted pass was collected by Diarmuid Dee who finished well. Lyons was wide with the conversion, his only miss in any otherwise flawless performance.
Crescent's Gerard Mullins was sent to the sin-bin in injury time but it mattered little as his side ran out 27-5 winners.
Crescent College's coach Conan Doyle – a former Munster player – paid tribute to his side for winning the title for the first time since 1994.
"There was talk in the school that it had been 19 years since they won it, but these lads have won everything that they've played in, they had the confidence and knew they were well capable of winning it. We couldn't fault them," he said.
His opposite number Mark Butler admitted that his side were outplayed for the entire game, saying: "They were a lot more clinical than us.
"I don't think the red card had a bearing on the game. Crescent had their lead established by then. As well as attack, they defended extremely well and congratulations to them."
Crescent College Comprehensive – J Frawley (J Leonard 69); J O'Sullivan, JJ O'Neill, W Leonard (J Purcell 41), G O'Shea; G Lyons (capt), G Fitzgerald (E Barry 69); S McGee (M O'Donnell 47), J Green (C Rea 69), L McMahon (G Mullins 69); J Keane, R Scott (C Blake 47); D Dee, J Kavanagh, J Dineen (E Casserly 69).
Rockwell College – S McMahon; S O'Mahony, S O'Donoghue (E Mulcahy 64), R Parata, W Coffey; A Moynihan (R Horgan 61), B Riley (A McMahon 59); D O'Connell, S McNulty (J Bolger 69), J Maxwell (D O'Dwyer 68); N Flynn (A Horgan 47), S O'Connor; J Feehan, S Dwyer, A Butler (capt, T Anglim 35).
Ref – K Barry (MAR)