Christians reach the promised land to send fans wild
CBC 9 Crescent CC 8
Christian Brothers College claimed the 107th Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup title by squeezing past Crescent College Comprehensive at Irish Independent Park last Sunday.
The Cork side now lead the roll of honour in Senior Cup wins following their 9-8 victory, boasting 29th titles since the competition's inception in 1909.
Out-half James Taylor was off target with a Christians penalty effort from 37 metres after two minutes.
Crescent full-back Daniel Hurley put the Limerick side ahead with a penalty after ten minutes but missed another effort from 30 metres in front of the posts on 19 minutes.
The lead only lasted four minutes when Taylor landed a long-range penalty for Christians.
Pressure by Crescent was eventually rewarded with a try four minutes before half time, when after a series of drives at the line by the pack, the ball went out the backline and Hurley got over for an 8-3 lead.
Further pressure by Crescent saw them being awarded another kickable penalty but they opted for the line. Christians defence held firm as the Limerick side led 8-3 at half-time.
Christians made an inspired substitution a minute into the second half bringing on bulky prop Peter Kelleher.
They had Crescent on the back foot with skipper Daire Feeney leading by example and he was well supported by Sean Duffy, Ross O'Neill and Robert Hyde. A great burst out of defence by O'Hora lifted the siege but he lost the ball close to the Christians 22.
An impressive break up the wing by Christians winger Jake Fehilly saw him go over the line but play was brought back for a foot in touch.
Then on 51 minutes O'Hora was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on and from the resulting penalty Taylor reduced the deficit to two points.
Following a lineout close to the Crescent line, Christians got in for a try but play was brought back for an infringement and Crescent cleared their lines.
Then came Taylor's match winning penalty but Christians supporters had to wait anxiously for another 15 minutes as Crescent did everything to rescue the game, but an excellent defensive performance by Christians made them worthy champions.
Speaking after the match CBC captain Daire Feeney gave credit to the runners up, who they also overcame in Limerick in the opening round.
"From the first round and our history with them over the years, we knew that the title wasn't going to be given to us very easily. They are a group of outstanding players - they really have unbelievable talent, so we really do appreciate the battle that was there," he said.
Acknowledge the support from his school Feeney continued: "We have a group of cheerleaders that have supported us throughout our campaign and they're outstanding - they really got the whole school behind us.
"There were hundreds of people here today in red who have absolute passion; it's great to see, it's great for the school all round and I'm very proud of everyone.
Head coach Neil Lucey said the players put in an enormous work in the final quarter and complimented them on their defensive efforts throughout.
"It's never comfortable when you're one point ahead in any game, let alone a final", he said.
"The one thing that we have looked at all year is buying into the process we've put down for ourselves. In relation to defence and discipline, the guys were outstanding and absolutely clinical in the last 15 minutes."
CBC - Liam Coombes; Barry Galvin, Joe Harrington, Alex McHenry, Ian Casey; James Taylor, Richard Cassidy; Luke Masters, Gordon Good, Conor Leahy; Richard Thompson, Sean Duffy; Ross O'Neill, Robert Hyde, Daire Feeney (capt). Reps: Shane Bushe, Peter Kelleher, Ciaran McHugh, Declan Barry, Fergus Hennessey, Colin Sisk, JD O'Hea, Robert Hedderman.
Crescent CC - Daniel Hurley; Jake Fehilly, Calvin Nash, Billy O'Hora, Conor Phillips; Mathew Hanly, Jack Lyons. Jack Henchy, Jason Barry, Thomas Connolly; John Blake, Fintan Coleman; Niall Mulcahy, Daniel Feasey, Bailey Faloon (capt). Reps: Michael Sheahan, Anson Thai, Scott Leahy, Peter Ian Hickey, Mark Edwards, Mark Shanahan, Aaron Cosgrove, Eoin O'Halloran.