Clinical CBC powered their way to a 16th Munster Schools Junior Cup title, thanks to a hard-earned victory over a spirited Crescent College side at a sun-drenched Thomond Park.
The physically imposing Cork side outscored their gritty opponents by three tries to one to record a deserved first success at this level since 2012.
CBC laid the foundations for their victory in the opening half, after which the they enjoyed a sizeable 15-3 advantage.
To their credit, Crescent made a real fight of it in the second half and drew within five points in the final quarter.
However, the crucial score of this entertaining final arrived in the 58th minute when CBC centre JD O’Hea intercepted a pass deep inside the Crescent ‘22’ before racing clear and touching down under the posts. Out-half Eoin Monahan duly converted to seal the deal.
Favourites CBC, led by their impressive flanker Finn Burke, settled first and a fifth-minute penalty goal from captain Monahan helped them into an early lead.
Inspired by their powerful pack, they increased their advantage in the 13th minute when influential prop Robert Loftus powered his way over after a marauding run from his front-row colleague Luke Masters. Monahan converted to give his side a 10-0 lead.
Crescent, with exciting winger Conor Phillips and talented full-back Aaron Cosgrave ever-threatening with ball in hand, made several clean line-breaks, but were unable to convert them into points. A 22nd-minute John Hurley penalty goal was their only reward.
CBC took a firm grip on the game when full-back Robert Hedderman bagged his fifth try of the campaign in the 26th minute.
Crescent gave themselves hope of staging a comeback when out-half Hurley touched down six minutes into the second half. However, the home side were unable to bridge the gap and O’Hea’s late try sealed their fate.
CBC – R Hedderman; C Shalloe, JD O’Hea, E Barrett (E Moloney 40), D Galvin; E Monahan (capt), C Sisk; L Masters, D O’Connor (L McCarthy 58), R Loftus (P Harrington 50), E Doyle, A Ryan; R Barry, F Burke, B Roche.
Crescent CC – A Cosgrave; C Cusack (M Fenton 58), T O’Hora, N O’Sullivan (capt), C Phillips; J Hurley, M Edwards; C Dennehy (C Fitzgerald 58), E O’Halloran, D Nevin, P King (S Burton 40), F Coleman; K Moloney (B Leahy 59), J Hennessy, D Feasey (D Shaw-Kelly 58).
Ref – K Barry (IRFU)