Fitzgerald try lights path to glory after PBC survive Crescent revival
PBC 17 Crescent Comp 12
Munster Schools Junior Cup final
Presentation Brothers College won the Junior Cup for a record 29th time with a deserved victory over Crescent College Comprehensive on Wednesday at Temple Hill.
The strong, swirling wind made things difficult for both sides. Pres' reliable kicker James Broderick was off target with four of his seven kicks at goal, while Crescent were penalised several times for crooked throws into the line-out especially in the final quarter as the Limerick side were chasing the game.
Crescent played with the aid of the strong wind in the opening half and centre Daniel Hurley always looked dangerous with ball in hand as Crescent went in search of the opening score.
Pres scrum-half Harry Shanahan proved his worth in this opening period with some delightful kicks to relieve the pressure.
Just as Crescent's persistence looked like paying off after several drives at the Pres' line, Michael St Ledger gathered the ball on his own line and raced up the wing only to be bundled into touch deep in the Crescent half.
Pres put on the pressure and after Broderick was off target with a penalty effort, he made amends on 16 minutes to put his side ahead 3-0.
Further Pres pressure was rewarded five minutes later, when from a line-out inside the Crescent '22', Pres skipper Jack O'Shea found a gap and got in for a try, which Broderick converted.
Crescent rallied in the final minutes of the half and were rewarded for their efforts when Hurley sent winger Aaron Cosgrove in for a try in the corner to leave it 10-5 at half-time.
It was all Pres pressure at the start of the second half, with Broderick off target with two penalty attempts.
Then, following a yellow card for Crescent's prop Jack Henchy, Pres made their numerical advantage count, when, following a series of drives at the Crescent line, winger Cian Fitzgerald touched down and Broderick added the extras for a 17-5 advantage.
To their credit Crescent kept up the fight and were rewarded with a try six minutes from time when replacement Mark Fitzgerald touched down in the corner and Brian Ryan expertly converted from the sideline to reduce the margin to five points.
Crescent tried to rescue the game in the dying minutes, with one break out of defence by Hurley finally halted on the Pres '22' and then came the final whistle.
PBC – M Healy; P Buckley, J Broderick, J O'Shea, M St Leger; P Sylvester, H Shanahan; N O'Brien, B Scannell (D O'Brien 58), K Morris, C O'Flynn, J O'Sullivan, B O'Connor, C Fitzgerald, J O'Sullivan.
CRESCENT COMP – B Ryan; K Brosnahan, D Hurley, M Shanahan (M Fitzgerald 48), A Cosgrove; M Hanley, B Fitzgerald; J Henchy, M Sheehan (E O'Halloran 48), SG Scanlon, S Leahy, P King, T Connolly, E Wixted (R McMahon 41), J Blake.
Ref – K Imbusch (MAR)