Crescent College Comprehensive 26 PBC Cork 5
Rampant Crescent College Comprehensive justified their position as favourites to lift the Munster Schools Senior Cup for the 12th time with a magnificent display against well-beaten PBC Cork at Thomond Park.
The Limerick school were the outstanding team all season and carried that form into the most important game by dominating for long spells.
And Crescent had a true captain in hooker Conall Henchy, who must have covered every blade of grass on the hallowed turf with a succession of big hits and carries to lead by example.
Yet Pres also started sensationally with a lung-bursting run from over halfway by outhalf Harry Coughlan after five minutes only to be nailed by fullback Jed O’Dwyer inches from the line.
They spent much of the half, though, camped in their own territory as Crescent competed feverishly at the breakdown and applied pressure throughout.
Crescent took the lead after 17 minutes with a well-worked try from wing Brandon Nash, converted by outhalf Oscar Davey.
And Crescent capitalised on loose Pres defence five minutes later when O’Dwyer jinked his way through a yawning gap to touch down for try number two, Davey again obliging from the tee to make it 14-0 at the interval.
Pres needed a quick response on the resumption but they fell further behind after losing their own lineout near the corner and Davey accepted Henchy’s offload to make it a 19-point game.
Credit Pres for not throwing in the towel because they hit back almost immediately and for once put the Crescent defence under the cosh, eventually hooker Danny Sheahan dotting down for a 47th minute try, which proved their lone score.
But, the new Garrett Fitzgerald Cup, named in honour of the late Munster CEO and former schools cup winner as a player and coach with CBC Cork, was definitely staying Shannonside when Crescent grabbed a fourth try within five minutes.
It reflected the pressure Pres faced throughout as Coughlan’s attempted clearance was charged down by rampaging flanker Max Clein, who fastened on to the loose ball to score with Davey adding the extras to complete a memorable afternoon for the Limerick school.
Scorers: Crescent CC: Tries: B Nash, J O'Dwyer, M Clein, O Davey.
Cons: O Davey (3).
PBC: Try: D Sheahan.
CRESCENT CC: J O'Dwyer; B Nash, C O'Halloran, W Hoffman, J McEnery; O Davey, J Duggan; L O'Grady, C Henchy, captain, M Fitzgerald; J Somers, C Kelly; M Clein, R Quinn, P Obasa.
Subs: C Cleary, A O'Connor, J Madden, D Murphy, A Ahearne, F Casserly, M Lyons, E O'Callaghan, H Ezobo, E Bennett.
PBC: B O'Connor; A Twomey, S Sexton, R O'Shaughnessy, S Condon; H Coughlan, M Murphy; F Cowhig, D Sheahan, P Salvador; L Herdman, A Keane; F Rousel, J Sheahan, captain, I Dennehy.
Subs: J Lynch, D Healy, G O'Leary-Nasseem, T McCarthy, Z Dinan, A Cooke, D Noonan, C Twomey, P Doyle.
Referee: F Murphy (IRFU).