Old Crescent RFC’s Under 20 season continued last Tuesday night with success in a very challenging match, in an away fixture against Garryowen in the Under 20 Cup. The match certainly had plenty of bite, as straight from the kick off, Garryowen had a man in the bin for the first 10 minutes as Rory Cunningham was taken out in the air. That said, it took us some time to settle into the game and make use of the extra man and we led by 3-0 through a Conor Lenihan penalty when they resumed to having their full complement of players.
Garryowen then had a period of sustained pressure and we showed our defensive qualities by keeping our line intact, Garryowen coming away with just a penalty to draw the match level at 3-3. Crescent then had the opportunity to dominate and with good territory and possession, we generated a succession of penalties, all of which were converted by Conor Lenihan to give us a well deserved lead of 12-3 in the lead up to half time. However, a break by the Garryowen centre took him over the try line to score by the posts and with the conversion our lead was reduced to 12-10 at half time.
Indeed, much against the run of play, Garryowen then got an early penalty to lead by 13-12 just into the second half. Crescent then went through their strongest period of the game with us camped in the Garryowen 22 for a period of 10-15 minutes but were unable to secure the much needed score. Indeed, on one occasion a Garryowen intercept almost brought them a score hat may well have sunk us, but it was not to be as we scrambled back to foil their attack.
Further pressure resulted in us getting over, but Ian Clein was deemed to have been held up over the line. We eventually secured a penalty out wide on the right, with the right footed Conor Lenihan converting from the touch line to make it 5 from 5, with a slim 15-13 margin in our favour as we entered the last quarter of the game. We continued to pressure Garryowen and eventually the winning score came with Rory Cunningham evading the cover from a scrum in their 22 to get over near the corner, which we were unable to convert.
Garryowen threw everything at us for the last 10 minutes but were unable to secure the vital score that might have tied the game. On balance we were the better and fitter team and now face a semi final against UL Bohs next week. Credit to the entire team, with the pack having to work extremely hard to provide the platform on a night when maybe our backs did not have the opportunity to create as much space as we might have liked, but none the less defended resolutely when they had, Thanks again to the large and loud Old Crescent support, which was great to see and hear!
In our only other fixture last weekend, our Thirds lost to Kilrush in the Webb Cup last Saturday.
Next weekend our senior squad conclude their UBL programme with a home game in Rosbrien against Navan RFC at 2.30pm next Saturday. Our senior squad have worked hard all season, not always with the success they deserved, and we call on all Old Crescent supporters to come to Rosbrien next Saturday afternoon to give them a rousing finish to the season.