Crescent CC 17 Bandon GS 15
HEROIC Bandon Grammar School suffered the heartache of conceding a late try in a thrilling Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final at Takumi Park on Wednesday.
The 14-man west Cork side looked to have snatched a dramatic victory and a place in their first decider, when flanker JayC van der Weshuizen blocked a kick to score near the posts with Jeff Williams converting for a 15-12 lead.
There were just four minutes of regulation time remaining and a shock looked on the cards until Bandon made another mistake in their own 22, knocking on and handing the initiative to the Limerick side.
Crescent duly capitalized and outstanding number 8 Ruadhan Quinn barged over to complete a memorable hat-trick of tries.
Bandon had only two minutes’ injury-time of a quite eventful second-half to rescue the tie and the clock soon ended their campaign.
They lost the magnificent number 8 Adam Murphy, who was brilliant throughout, to a controversial red card after 57 minutes.
Referee Paudie Sheehan’s attention was brought to an incident by a touch judge and after a long discussion, Murphy was shown a red card, the referee indicating a shoulder charge.
Murphy had led Bandon’s brave resistance against the wind and playing up the slope in a scoreless first-half during which they lost prop Jack O’Regan to a yellow card for a tip tackle.
Bandon’s tackling was magnificent, time and again repulsing wave after wave of Crescent onslaughts to be in with a great shout at the break.
But, more line-out problems contributed to Quinn’s opening try after 37 minutes, Oscar Davey converting brilliantly, 7-0.
Jeff Williams kicked a Bandon penalty, but they fumbled the re-start and Quinn profited with his second try, 12-3.
Bandon replied with a fine Peter O’Sullivan try following Paddy Gaffney’s pin-point cross-kick, to cut the lead to four points with 20 minutes remaining.
Williams was unlucky to see a penalty strike the outside of a post on the hour before the game ended in high drama with tries at either end.
Scorers for Crescent CC: Tries: R Quinn (3).
Con: O Davey.
Scorers for Bandon GS: Tries: P O’Sullivan, J van der Westhuizen.
Con: J Williams.
Pen: J Williams.
TEAMS: CRESCENT CC: J O’Dwyer; B Nash, C O’Halloran, W Hoffman, J McEnery; O Davey, J Duggan; L O’Grady, C Henchy, M Fitzgerald; J Somers, C Kelly; M Clein, P Obasa, R Quinn.
Sunbs: C Clery, A O’Connor, J Madden, D Murphy, A Ahearne, F Casserly, M Lyons, E O’Callaghan, H Ezomo, E Bennett.
BANDON GS: P Gaffney; B Spearman-Walsh, P O’Sullivan, L McCarthy, C Ryan; J Williams, D O’Driscoll; J O’Regan, D McGarvey, M Connolly; S Coughlan, B Kingston; C Miskella, JC van der Westhuizen, A Murphy.
Subs: F O’Neill, K O’Regan, S Nnamani, R O’Callaghan, L Prior, L McVitty, S Hathaway, B O’Connor, P Symington, A O’Reilly.
Referee: P Sheehan (MAR).