24 May, 10:30
This week's Club Notes come from Cashel and Shannon Rugby Clubs.
Clon Running Out of Chances
The trek to Dublin to play third placed Seapoint next Saturday (2nd March) is unlikely to give beleagured Clon any respite in their quest for the vital points that could give them a fighting chance of survival. They are currently eight points below the relegation/promotion play-off spot that would give them a home shot at retaining division 2A status next season. There are 20 points still on offer but it is difficult to see many of these being bagged and even then the results elsewhere will decide their fate. In the meantime the side will battle until the end. This was very evident from recent games and last Saturday against Old Crescent was no exception. The constant puzzlement of visiting supporters as to why Clon languish at the bottom of the table was again in evidence as Clon took the game to the Limerickmen.
For 30 minutes Clon dominated, playing good rugby and racking up large numbers of phases before making the errors that prevented the good work from being converted to points. They got the first opportunity, following good work from Kieran Howlin and excellent ball retention and the pressure gave Clon a penalty after ten minutes, which was narrowly wide. It was Crescent, against the run of play, that scored first with a penalty after 15 minutes following their first foray into Clon’s half courtesy of possession kicked away by Clon unnecessarily.
Denis McCarthy levelled the scores with a penalty on the half hour, which was scant reward for all the territory and possession that had reduced Crescent to a purely defensive role for virtually all of this time. For the remainder of the half Clon continued to provide all the rugby and creativity but were usually the architects of their own misfortune and the inability to convert this to points would prove costly. Paddy Ryan was despatched to the Sin Bin just before half time (a decision that was to force the unfortunate open-side to wear the female fairy outfit post match).
The second half started with Clon resuming their pacy, intense game as if there had been no break. Darragh Lynch went in for a great try following superb work from David Lombard and Matt Kirby and it was the culmination of some excellent organisation all round. Although the conversion was missed Clon’s momentum and 8 – 3 lead gave realistic hope that they would take the spoils. However Crescent established a foothold in the Clon 22 and only for great tackles from Cathal Kirby and Seán Dignan would have scored a try. The pressure forced a transgression from Clon and the sin-binning of Denis McCarthy. A rare drop in concentration caught Clon flat-footed when the penalty was quickly taken and the ball moved wide for a simple try by outside centre Brian Dennehy. The excellent conversion by Loughran after 14 minutes of the second half gave Crescent the lead for the first time 8 – 10.
Clon’s season was typified when a promising attack broke down and the vistors capitalised with a length of the field counter and a try from Dennehy again to put them 8 – 15 ahead. When Jason Wycherley added a penalty it looked as if even the losing bonus point would be denied to Clon. However the spirit which has sustained Clon all season was still evident and a great break out from Paddy Ryan deep in Clon’s 22 was carried on by half backs Mark Purcell and Matt Kirby. Noel O’Sullivan took possession on the ten-metre line and made great ground up the left touchline until challenged when he executed a superb overhead pass to Lombard who found Kieran Howlin out wide and the winger scorched in in the far corner for a really great try. The bonus point will be poor consolation for a side who gave everything and were deserving of more.
The squad was: Matt Kirby, Kieran Howlin, Darragh Lynch, David Lombard, Noel O’Sullivan, Mark Purcell, Joe Crowley, Gary Shannon, Batt Duggan, Ryan Purcell, Seán Dignan, Mike Keohane (Capt), Tomás Keogh, Paddy Ryan, Ger McCarthy, Cathal Kirby, Stephen Cotter, Jake Ball, Fiachra Keane and Denis McCarthy.
There were better tidings from The Vale on Sunday when the ever-improving Development Squad defeated Bandon by 32 points to 7 in a play-off for home advantage in the semi-finals of the Mick Barry Cup. This match was balanced on a knife edge for the first half but Clon took control in the second period and it became one way traffic for the final quarter as they displayed a ruthlessness in racking up trys as their confidence grew.
Clon opened the scoring with a Peter Deane penalty after good work from Terry Phair. Brian Blackwell chased a seemingly lost ball as it was about to roll into touch and when the unexpected bounce took it back in and over the line he was on hand to dive on it for the try and an 8 – 0 lead. A superb break from Ciarán O’Donovan made the opportunity for Deane to power over for another try, which he converted to bring the score to 15 – 0. James O’Driscoll touched down behind the posts ten minutes later following good work from Alan Harte, Brian McSweeney and Padraig Kingston. Paul O’Donovan converted for an unassailable 22 – 0 lead. Clon scored another two trys through Ciarán O’Donovan and O’Driscoll before Bandon scored a late try which was converted for a final score of 32 - 7. Clon will eagerly await the visit of Cobh on Sunday for the semi-final. Support would be greatly appreciated.
Brian Blackwell has built a very strong squad and brought much-needed organisation on to the pitch. There is no shortage of flair. In O’Donovan and O’Driscoll they have two wingers of enormous potential. Brian McSweeney and Peter Deane play with a confidence that belie their years and in the forwards David Healy, Cathal O’Regan, and Padraig O’Leary were outstanding.
The Under 19s won 5 – 7 in Musgrave Park against Dolphin to set up a great opportunity for advancement when they meet Midleton this Saturday in the refixed abandoned game recently. A win or a draw sees them through to the final of the League, Phase Two whereas a loss gives them a play-off shot. The Under 17s sadly went down to Highfield in a great game in Cork last Saturday by 13 points to eight in front of a large crowd. They finished strongly and were denied a try at the death which could have given them at least a draw with the possible conversion to win it. Highfield held out and Clon are now out of the Pan Munster competition but can still look forward the South Munster semi-final. The under 14s had a comprehensive win over Cork Constitution and the Under 15s have the West Cork Cup and South Munster Cup campaigns to come. The club would like to remind all spectators at matches particularly underage to show respect to the officials.
This Weekend’s Fixtures:
Under 13s V Muskerry, Away, League (Time TBC)
Under 14s V Muskerry, The Vale, Friendly, 10.15am
Under 19s V Midleton, The Vale, League Phase Two, 11.30am
Development Squad V Cobh Pirates, Mick Barry Cup Semi-Final, 12 Noon
Young Munster do the double on Garryowen
Young Munster are still in with a shot at the league title after defeating Garryowen at Tom Clifford Park last weekend.
Outhalf Willie Staunton, who has been in terrific form with the boot all season, dropped an early goal for us in the first ten minutes despite the swirling wind.
Ten minutes later however it was Garryowen’s turn to reply with Ian Hanly getting in at the corner. The conversion from the touchline didn’t find its target. A penalty from Staunton brought the score to 6-5 in our favour as we entered the second quarter.
Garryowen got a penalty back on the half hour mark thanks to the boot of Declan Cusack but another score for Staunton took us just ahead at 9-8. The light blues had a penalty drop short before the half-time whistle to leave us ahead going into the break.
Not too long into the second half, Young Munster centre Andrew Burke chased a chip through from Staunton to score under the posts with Willie adding on the conversion to bring the score to a more comfortable lead at 16-8 but Garryowen always threatened and in the final quarter, Alan Gaughan found touch in the corner for a try with Declan Cusack on target with a great kick from touch this time to bring the score to 16-15.
Just minutes afterwards however, Andrew Burke struck again to complete his brace with a break through the middle of a ruck to score in the corner. The conversion didn’t find its way between the posts and the score remained 21-15 as we held out for the remaining ten minutes until player coach Mike Prendergast could send the ball to touch at the final whistle for another clean sweep for the Cookies.
Final score: Young Munster 21 – 15 Garryowen
Young Munster: Tries: Andrew Burke; Con: Willie Staunton; Pen: Willie Staunton; Drops: Willie Staunton 2
Garryowen: Tries: Ian Hanly, Alan Gaughan; Con: Declan Cusack; Pen: Declan Cusack
Following the weekend’s results, Clontarf and St.Mary’s both have 45 points at the top of the Ulster Bank League table with Clontarf just ahead on points difference.
Young Munster are in third position on 43 points but the teams at the top will all play each other over the remaining five games of the league so anything can happen…
YM UBL GAME 14 – Old Belvedere away 03/03/12
YM UBL GAME 15 – Clontarf at home 24/03/12 [*book now for this Pre-Match Lunch]
YM UBL GAME 16 –Lansdowne away 31/03/12
YM UBL GAME 17 – Dolphin at home 14/04/12 [*book now for this Pre-Match Lunch]
YM UBL GAME 18 –St. Mary’s away 21/04/12
Seconds through to semi-final of Transfield Cup
Our Seconds XV advanced to the semi final of the Transfield cup with a hard earned victory over a very good St Mary's team.
St. Mary's put us under pressure from the very start and only good defence by Declan Bannon, Mark Mulvaney and more stopped St Mary's from going in front. We settled into our own game and got the first score of the game after a great back line move resulted in Declan Brown scoring under the posts. Brian Haugh added the extras to put us 7-0 up after 18 minutes.
Young Munster increased our lead after 24 minutes when Mary's went offside at a ruck, and Brian Haugh kicked the resulting penalty from 30 metres out to put us 10-0 in front.
Mary's came straight back at us and got a deserved score when their number 8 drove over the line from a five metre scrum, to leave the half time score 10-5 in our favour.
Some strong words at half time by our coaches Gearoid Prendergast and Mark Hayes resulted in us starting the second half on the front foot, and it came as no surprise when we scored our second try through Craig O’Hanlon with a great individual try. Declan Bannon kicked the extras to put us ahead 17-5 after 49 minutes.
We scored again after 57 minutes with our third try through Owen Tarrant after great inter play between Ger O’Flaherty and Jake Considine to open up the Mary's defence for Owen to score in the corner, to put us 22-5 ahead.
Our fourth try came after 70 minutes again through Craig O’Hanlon with a great outside break to touch down near the posts. Declan Bannon added the conversion to leave the score at 29 -5 ahead with 10 minutes left on the clock. Mary's came back at us and scored their second try in the 78th minute through their number 9 and their outhalf added the easy conversion to leave the final score 29-12.
This was just the type of game we need before our trip to Cork Cons next Sunday in the next round of the Junior Cup. We wish St Mary's the best of luck for the rest of the season.
Final score: St. Mary's 12 – 29 Young Munster
Underage Fixtures for Sunday 26th Feb 2012
U16s Development League: St Senans v Young Munster, Shannon 12 Noon
U14s Friendly: Young Munster v Bruff, 11.30am Derryknockane
U8s Blitz: Venue Shannon RFC, Coonagh 10.30am
U9s Blitz: Venue Old Crescent 10.30am
U11s Blitz: Derryknockane top pitch 10.30am
*Our U10s Squad are attending the Munster v Cardiff Rabo Direct Pro 12 League game this Friday night at 7pm
Underage Results Sunday 19th Feb 2012
U14s Friendly: Young Munster 21-28 Garryowen
U16s Development League: Young Munster 5-25 Bruff