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This Sporting Life

sportinglife_01Crescent College Comprehensive has had such a remarkable run of successes in sport that on May 26th Richard Butler, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, held a reception to mark it. He presented the school with a special scroll signalling this year’s achievements.  The achievers were girls and boys, at every age-level, and not merely in Limerick and Munster, but at a national and international (England, USA) level. In 2010 Crescent was named Munster rugby and hockey School of the Year. Now they have improved on that, enjoying their most successful year ever across a broad spectrum of sports: rugby, hockey, soccer, athletics, swimming, golf, hurling, camogie, Gaelic football and equestrian events. Our picture shows Coach Anne O’Dea (far left) with the winning All-Ireland Intermediate Girls champions. To see the range of successes, read the summary below.

Crescent’s Sporting Year

In rugby, the school successfully defended the Munster Junior Cup, thus becoming the first Crescent team in the history of the school to win the Junior Cup two years in a row. Five squad members secured their second Junior Cup medal. Earlier in the season the Junior Squad also won the prestigious Andy Joselyn Memorial Cup on a tour of England. To illustrate the depth of talent at Junior Level, Crescent also won the Kidney Cup, named after the current international manager, Declan Kidney, which is a competition for Seconds players. The Crescent senior team fought bravely through the tournament to a memorable Thomond park semi-final before losing out to Presentation College, Cork. At First Year level, Crescent secured the Munster First-Year Sevens crown.

In hockey, Crescent enjoyed a season which will be hard to beat. They won all the main cups at Minor, Junior and Senior Level as well as the leagues at each level. The school effectively won every competitive match it played in Munster this year. At Senior level Crescent retained the Munster Cup, and this allowed the school to host and compete in the All-Ireland Kate Russell series. Hosted in beautiful March sunshine, Crescent finished third in Ireland. The senior team proved to be an inspiration to the younger girls who went on to achieve Minor and Junior Munster Cup success. Crescent were voted the Munster Schools Hockey School of the Year 2011.

In Soccer Crescent retained the North Munster U.18 and U.17 crowns. The U.18 team also travelled to Florida to contest and win the Weston International Cup. Crescent qualified for the Munster Youth Cup final but were defeated. At First Year level Crescent first won the Limerick and then the Munster titles, and lost in extra time in the All Ireland Final of that competition.

In Athletics Crescent dominated the Munster Schools track and field Championships, as Greg O’Shea, Jessica Coyne, Brona Croke,Lily Ann O’Hora,  Aisling Croke and Mark Varley all secured gold medals in their individual events. Crescent won altogether 9 Gold medals. At the All-Ireland Finals the Intermediate Girls won the National Award for best school in that age-group at the Aviva All- Ireland Schools Athletics Championship in Tullamore. This award was earned by the outstanding performances of individual athletes in their own events. Jessica Coyne won the 800m and followed that a few hours later with a bronze medal in the 1500m. Lily Ann O’Hora won gold in the sprint hurdles, and Brona Croke won bronze in the 3000m. The Intermediate Relay team also won bronze. Aisling Croke, winner of the high jump at the Munster Athletics, has been struggling with injury and could not compete in that event in Tullamore.

Injury also marred the boys’ challenge at the All Irelands, but Greg O’Shea, gold medallist at the Munster Intermediate 100m and 200m, fought bravely to secure the silver medal in both events in Tullamore. Mark Varley, gold medallist at the Munster Junior 100m and 200m suffered an injury in the 100m and had to withdraw.

On the G.A.A. front, Crescent won the Girls First Year Blitz in Limerick, also a first for the school. The Under-15 girls also finished off the year with a county  title. Crescent has a huge number of boys and girls who play hurling, camogie and football in clubs all over the city and county. Two students, Diarmuid Dee and Brian Murphy, starred for the Limerick Minor hurlers in their championship win over Cork. They have a long season ahead.

On the golf course Crescent also excelled, with a Junior Munster Schools Championship victory for Clodagh Moloney and Nicole Power. The staff also did their bit, holding a highly talented student team to a 3-3 tie in the annual staff-versus-students match in Limerick Golf Club. Even the school Principal got in the act !

In swimming and equestrian sports the school also won a host of awards, with outstanding performances by girls and boys in the pool, on the track and in the arena. Students from the Crescent also bagged medals at the national swimming championships in Galway.

Aside from the team and individual successes, Crescent had numerous players who represented the school at provincial and national level. In Rugby Sean Monaghan, Paul O’Sullivan, Padraic Ryan and Niall Horan represented the school at Munster level. In Hockey Cara O’Sullivan and Karen Fitzgerald represented the school at Munster level. Roisin Upton and Clodagh Moloney represented the school at International level. Roisin was recently crowned International Schools Player of the Year. At soccer Garbhan Coughlan represented the school at national level.

Crescent continues to offer a chance to all its students to excel in a range of sporting activities.