Friday 23 February 2018

Coomber holds nerve in thrilling Junior finale

CBC’s Finn MacFhlannchadha dots down against Crescent
CBC’s Finn MacFhlannchadha dots down against Crescent newsdesk

A thrilling Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup final on Wednesday saw Ronan O'Sullivan's late, late try, followed by George Coomber's conversion, snatch Christians' 18th title and extract revenge for their final defeat to Crescent Comprehensive last year with a 21-19 victory.

Crescent were again committed to the running brand of rugby that saw them run in points for fun throughout the competition on a pristine surface at Irish Independent Park. Despite missing an early penalty, they were rewarded 12 minutes into the contest, albeit rather fortunately.

It was the Cork outfit who were spreading it out wide when a misplaced Cian Whooley pass bounced kindly for Jack Delaney, who turned on the afterburners to touch down under the posts, before catching his breath to convert the extra two.

The try served to galvanise the Sidney Hill outfit, who were able to enact their physical game in the scrum, despite Crescent opting not to contest the mauls. Tommy Crowe's side have shown composure on the line in abundance in the past, and again held their nerve through the phases for O'Sullivan to cross for his first try, Whooley slotting the extras.

That's the way it stood at the break, but the Cork side held their momentum through half-time and found themselves deep in enemy territory early in the second half, but after Mark O'Connor's clever ball, Harry O'Riordan was held up. They stuck at it, however, and Finn MacFhlannchadha burrowed his way over.

Crescent weren't prepared to give up their title too easily, however, and having made 50 yards from Tony O'Sullivan's incisive break, the ball went through the hands and Dara O'Shea crossed in the corner. Crescent's Ben Davey then got their third try before Ronan O'Sullivan touched down for CBC with extra-time ticking down to bring the scores level. Coomber held his nerve to slot the winning conversion.

Crescent - C Quilligan; G Kelly, T O'Sullivan, S Hurley, D O'Shea; J Delaney, J Connolly; E O'Sullivan, J Skehan Fitzgerald, J Cross, D Doyle, S Malone, B Scott, J McKeogh, D Rickard. Reps: D Spillane, J Rickard, B O'Sullivan, A Herbert, O Evans, L Burke, B Davey, B Cosgrove, E Cantillon Mann, D Hickey.

CBC - G Coomber; M Buckley, H O'Riordan, L Daly, A Leahy; C Whooley, M O'Connor; C Lavin, R O'Sullivan, F MacFhlannachadha, M McCarthy, R Kelleher, M Donnelly, S Rall, A O'Regan. Reps: R Horgan, D Shanahan, B O'Donnell, P McBarron, B Kahn, A Cremin, J Moylan, J Ryan, R Shalloe, P O'Hara.

Irish Independent

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