Munster Senior Cup semi-final.
Rockwell College 28 Crescent Comp 5
Rockwell College put in sufficient groundwork in the second half to cement their place in this year’s Munster Senior Cup semi-finals where CBC Cork await.
On a cool bright day in Markets Fields Limerick, a ground more associated with Soccer, Rockwell College advanced on a score line of 28-5 over Crescent Comprehensive, Limerick. There was a tense opening to this game by both sides but Crescent settled better and looked to have Rockwell in trouble on a number of occasions only to be denied by the interventions of Sam Tarleton and Adam Maher. Crescent had the first opportunity to threaten the score board when out half, Ben Davey, choose to kick at goal following a high tackle by Cathal Kelly. The kick was narrowly missed to the left of the posts. Captain, Alan Flannery, really came to the fore in getting his team into the game, with a 40m carry off a scrum 5m from Rockwell’s goal line. This gave Rockwell their first foothold in Crescent territory. Rockwell now became more comfortable with their surroundings, managing to keep hold of the ball better and getting through phases.
On the 12th minute mark, Rockwell got an opportunity to open their account when Crescent were penalised for a side entry at ruck time. John O’Sullivan’s radar was off as the ball went to the left of the post. This, however, was to be the only blotch in his copybook as John proceeded to show his class for the duration of the game alongside with Adam Maher, Alan Flannery, Sam Tarleton & Josh O’Dwyer in an exciting and efficient Rockwell backline. The best moment in the 1st half came 8 minutes later when Rockwell’s pack led by Dean Fanning, Cathal Kelly and Dylan Foley, mauled Crescent for 15m getting a penalty advantage. Rockwell moved the ball to Alan Flannery who showed awareness, power and pace to score from 35 metres out beating 3 Crescent defenders in the process. John O’Sullivan added the extras from a difficult angle.
As invariable happens, Rockwell lost their focus upon the restart and allowed Crescent an opportunity which they duly took through replacement wing, David Murphy, who scored in the right-hand corner following a 5m scrum. Den Davey failed to add the extras. The remainder of the half was very stop start with Rockwell discipline now coming into question. They felt the brunt of referee Tommy Donoghue’s whistle, conceding a number of penalties and free kicks. Rockwell were relieved to edge the score board by 2 points at the interval.
The second half started much better with both teams now beginning to test each other. This was both with and without the ball as the physicality stake went up a couple of notches and this led to the sin binning of the Crescent No. 5, Sean Malone, for throwing a punch. Rockwell would make Crescent pay dearly, and from a poor Crescent exit kick Tom Tobin offloaded the ball to Peter Wall who then fed Sam Tarleton crisply. With a number of defenders to beat, Tarleton stepped back inside, managing to hand off the covering defender, which allowed him to accelerate in for a try from 40m that would allow Rockwell to breathe easier. They extended their lead in the 55th. minute when Josh O’Dwyer showed great power and pace to race over the touchline in the corner. John O’Sullivan added the difficult conversion. Just before the final whistle Josh O’Dwyer was involved in setting up the out half, John O’Sullivan, to touch down and convert his own try. Rockwell were deserving winners on the day and displayed some magic moments of rugby in the second half. However, coach Kevin Leamy acknowledged that their failure to get going is a concern and they will have to step up another gear to dispose of C.B.C. in the semi-final. That match takes place in Irish Independent Park, Cork on Tuesday Feb. 25th KO 2:30pm
Crescent College Comprehensive: Ben Cosgrove; Darragh O’Shea, Darragh Casserly, Dave Rickard, Tony O’Sullivan; Benjamin Davey, Jamie Duggan; Ethan O’Sullivan, Joe Rickard, Ben O’Sullivan, David Doyle, Sean Malone, James McKeogh, Patrick Dolphin, Barry Scott (C).
Replacements: Conall Henchy, Luke Moloney, Eoghan Quinn, Ruadhan Quinn, Dean O’Grady, Aodhan Herbert, Eoghan Cantillon-Mann, Glenn Kelly, David Murphy, Cian O’Halloran.
Rockwell College: Joshua O’Dwyer; Peter Wall, Sam Tarleton, Alan Flannery (C), Tom Tobin; John O’Sullivan, Adam Maher; Dylan Foley, Dean Fanning, Matthew Burke, Luke Fogarty, Brian O’Dea, Cathal Kelly, Richard Anglim, Liam Shine.
Replacements: Cian Meaney, Cathal Ryan, Jamie Browne, Mikey Bergin, Kevin Grogan, Oisin Fagan, Ben McCarthy, Michael Mulligan, Henry Buttimer, Darius Achimugu.
Pic 1: Jake Flannery going in to score
Pic 2: Josh O'Dwyer and Tom Tobin making the tackle
Pic 3: Sam Tarleton on his way
Pic 4: Hand off from Josh O'Dwyer on his way to the tryline