Pictured above is the Old Crescent RFC Senior Team that defeated Dundalk RFC by 52 points to 5 in the UBL clash at Rosbrien last Saturday, left to right, back row, Joe Nix, Head Coach, Sean Monaghan, Kevin Meade, Padraig Monaghan, Larry Hanly, Steve O’Carroll, Karl Hanley, Cathal Monaghan, Brendan Guilfoyle, Tommy Pratt, Manager. Front row, Martin Ryan, Gar Quinn McDonagh, Jack O’Neill, Cathal O’Reilly (Captain), Shane O’Connell, Seaghan Gleeson, and Shane O’Brien. Photo: Keith Wiseman Photography
The Old Crescent win over Nenagh Ormond in the first round of the Munster Junior Cup in Rosbrien last Sunday afternoon rounded off a very successful few days of senior rugby for Old Crescent RFC, with our Under 20 side winning the North Munster Under 20 League Final for the third time in a row last Thursday and our Senior side crushing Dundalk in a UBL clash in Rosbrien last Saturday.
In a top versus bottom of the table clash, it was always on the cards that Old Crescent would beat Dundalk but the manner in which it was achieved was most impressive. However, it did take us a while to settle into the game and we conceded too many penalties in the first half which resulted in us being down to 13 men towards the end of the first half.
We opened the scoring with a super try by Larry Hanly, which was set up by a fantastic reverse pass from our winger Marty Ryan which flat footed the Dundalk defence. Larry kicked the conversion from the touch line. The needless concession of penalties by Crescent was keeping Dundalk in the game and they had their best period midway through the first half when they scored an unconverted try.
Coming up to the break, Brendan Guilfoyle grabbed a Dundalk fumble and ran away to score in the corner, flattening a Dundalk defender with a textbook hand-off in the process. The conversion was missed leaving the half time score Old Crescent 12 Dundalk 5.
The half time team talk must have worked as the Crescent side finally showed why they are at the top of the table in the second half. The tone was set by our Captain, Cathal O’Reilly, who barged over the Dundalk line just a few minutes after the restart. This was followed a few minutes later by another charge over the Dundalk line by Padraig Monaghan for the bonus point fourth try, Larry Hanly kicked the conversion. A few minutes later, Larry burst through the Dundalk defence to score his second try and he again kicked the conversion to put us 31 points to 5 ahead.
With a bonus point win in the bag midway through the second half, Crescent might have eased off but it was heartening to see our team continue to press forward until the final whistle. Crescent scored three further tries in the last fifteen minutes of the game against a tiring Dundalk side, a second try by Brendan Guilfoyle and tries by Sean Monaghan and Marty Ryan. All three were converted by Shane O’Brien. The final score was Old Crescent 52 Dundalk 5, with Crescent scoring eight tries in total.
This comprehensive victory, together with results elsewhere going our way, means that Crescent are now five points clear at the top of UBL Division 2C, with 11 games played and 7 games remaining. We continue to make our own luck and the future is bright if we continue to play like we did last Saturday.
On Sunday, Old Crescent took the field in Rosbrien against Nenagh Ormond in the first round of the Munster Junior Cup. In a keenly contested but low scoring game, Nenagh were first to score with a converted penalty after 12 minutes. Crescent replied with a long range penalty kicked by Conor Lenihan a few minutes later. Both teams battled valiantly throughout the first half but there were no further scores until just before the break Conor Lenihan was successful with another penalty kick to put us 6 points to 3 ahead at half time.
Ten minutes into the second half, Nenagh levelled the scores with successful penalty kick. The decisive score came when David Hurley crashed over the Nenagh line after a period of Crescent pressure in the Nenagh 22. The conversion was missed but Crescent went further ahead when Conor Lenihan was again successful with a long range penalty attempt to put us more than a score ahead at 14 points to 6 with 20 minutes remaining.
Crescent played sensible cup rugby and the game was mostly played deep in the Nenagh half for the remainder of the game. The final score of Old Crescent 14 Nenagh Ormond 6 rounded off a most successful few days of senior rugby for Old Crescent RFC.
Last Thursday evening on the 3G pitch in Dooradoyle, Old Crescent RFC retained the Under 20 North Munster League Final against Tipperary opposition for the second year running, this year against Clanwilliam and last year against Nenagh.
Old Crescent dominated the early period of the game and had a very good scoring opportunity from a driving maul off a line out that ultimately led to a penalty in front of the posts which was converted by Conor Lenihan to give us a slender 3-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Old Crescent set up a magnificent effort with a penalty option being kicked to the corner and what appeared like a training ground move working superbly, with Cian Reale taking the initial line out and the pack driving on to force play over the line with Geoffrey Coyne being credited with the try, duly converted by Conor Lenihan to give us a 10-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Clanwilliam then had their best period of the game and began to make more frequent visits to the Crescent half, which up to that point had been rare. A penalty by their outhalf on 30 minutes was followed up by a period of dominance by their pack, which yielded a further penalty opportunity which slipped wide, but they were not to be denied as they continued to press and although Crescent had a penalty to clear their lines, they failed to find touch and found themselves under further pressure again.
Clanwilliam elected to scrummage a further penalty opportunity and although this was initially repelled, a number of ‘pick and gos’ eventually breached the Crescent line and this was duly converted to leave the sides level at 10-10 at half time.
Crescent were the slower of the sides to settle into the second half, with a number of errors surfacing. However, Gavin Hogan’s break from play into the Clanwilliam 22 metre area brought us within five metres of their line, which was followed by a trademark direct burst from Paul McNamara who touched down to the left of the posts, with the conversion added by Conor Lenihan.
Clanwilliam needed to score next as line breaks were few and far between for them, with Crescent able to cope with whatever came their way. Still with just a score between the sides it was anybody’s game – Crescent had a further opportunity when Sean Fitzgerald broke through followed by another break by Paul McNamara. Although Clanwilliam continued to have a lot of possession, much of this was outside the Crescent 22 metre area and Crescent were able to clear their lines without conceding penalties.
As the game entered the latter stages, the next nearest scoring opportunity fell to Dave Garry who was unfortunate not to ground the ball as he crossed the line and was bundled into touch, with the referee giving Clanwilliam some breathing space by awarding a 22 metre drop out. Crescent should really have closed out the game in this area of the pitch but one last rally from Clanwilliam saw them awarded 3 penalties on the bounce as they took the game from inside their 10 metre line into the Crescent 22 metre area. But time ran out for them and Old Crescent were not to be denied. The final score Old Crescent 17 Clanwilliam 10.
This was a magnificent performance from the entire Old Crescent Under 20 squad, backs and forwards alike. The side’s dedication and commitment in response to our new Under 20 coaching set up is a credit to the players and the coaches. Well done to all concerned.
Next weekend, our senior side entertain Sligo in the UBL in Rosbrien at 2.30pm next Saturday. Our Under 20 side are also due to play Sundays Well in the Donal Walsh Trophy at home at 2.30pm next Saturday.