Val McDermott scorign our bonus point 4th try, Val’s 2nd, against Thomond in Rosbrien last Saturday. Well done, Val! Luke Sheehan Photography
Last Saturday, in the second of the two local AIL derby games, Old Crescent hosted Thomond in Rosbrien in a Ulster Bank League Division 2B clash. Crescent and Thomond always enjoy tight and exciting games and this was to be no different.
Your scribe was a little late and Thomond led by 10 points to 7 before he got his notebook out with ten minutes gone. Thomond had scored a penalty and a converted try, and Crescent had scored a try by John O’Dwyer which was converted by Barry Neville.
The two sides fought evenly for most of the first half until near the end of the half a Crescent attacked finished with a try scored by Cathal Monaghan, which was also converted by Barry Neville. Crescent went into the break leading for the first time in the game by 14 points to 10.
Ten minutes into the second half, Thomond went back in front with another converted try, bringing the score to Old Crescent 14 Thomond 17.
The decisive phase of the game, from a Crescent point of view, came midway through the seconds half when in broken play Val McDermott carved his way through the Thomond defence to touch down unhindered near the posts. Barry Neville added the easy conversion.
Five minutes later, Val was again in action when he scored a magnificent individual try in the corner after a period of strong Crescent play. The difficult conversion was missed but Crescent now led 26 points to 17 with the four try bonus point secured.
Thomond fought desperately for a losing bonus point and with ten minutes left they got within six with a converted penalty attempt. However, on the 80th minute, Crescent were awarded a penalty which Barry Neville duly converted to give the precious win to Crescent by 29 points to 20 and leave our visitors empty handed.
Last Friday evening, Old Crescent held a major fundraiser, The €20K Drop, in the South Court Hotel which was attended by over 300 people. This event was a huge success and we are deeply grateful to our main sponsors, Bluebird Care, Energia, Lyons of Limerick, Nordic Aviation, Rockin Joe’s, Rugby Travel Ireland, and Zurich Insurance. Without their support this event could not have happened.
A good nights entertainment was had by all with brilliant participation by the eight lucky ticket holders. The highlight was when senior player, Alex Simpson, came within an ace of winning €1,200, hard luck, Alex! A raffle was held at half time and the lucky winner of a lunch for two in Dáil Eireann with Senator Kieran O’Donnell was Brian Toland. Keanes Jewellers and the Buttery Restaurant kindly sponsored the main raffle prizes.
In fixtures next weekend, our senior side travel up north to take on Dungannon RFC in our last AIL fixture before the Christmas break, with kick off in Stevenson Park at 2.30pm next Saturday. The match will also be played for the Shields Cup which was presented many years ago by a former President of Dungannon RFC for competition between the two clubs. Before the AIL came into being, Old Crescent and Dungannon played each other every year on a home and away basis going back to the early 1950’s.
Our Seconds play Nenagh Ormond at home on Rosbrien next Monday evening under lights at 7.30pm, and our Thirds play Newcastlewest away next Saturday at 2.30pm.
Finally, Old Crescent were pleased to host a friendly recently between the Limerick Leprechauns and London Irish Veterans, and afterwards they all enjoyed a convivial evening in our clubhouse watching the Ireland v New Zealand game. We received a warm note from London Irish thanking Old Crescent RFC and our club manager Liam Noonan and his wife Eileen, for their hospitality.