Kinsale RFC, this first weekend in December, started brightly. Kinsale U-18's achieved a walkover against Midleton RFC. Kinsale were ready to go, but unfortunately Midleton withdrew.
Kinsale 2nd XV had no scheduled fixture this weekend, but, emphatically defeated Bandon in Old Chapel the Sunday before. Contests between Kinsale and Bandon are always battles to relish, and this match was no different. Kinsale started solidly and gradually imposed themselves in the set pieces. Strong running from Fintan Lawton and Robbie Darmody scored tries with Jason Murphy converting the second try from near the touch line. Kinsale lead proceedings 12-0 at half time. Kinsale forwards continued where they left off at half time…they rucked and mauled strongly and set up multi phases. Connie O'Regan and Ger Quinlan were imposing figures in the Kinsale pack - scoring well earned tries. In the final quarter, with so much go-forward ball, the Kinsale backs began to cut loose, exhibiting fast action running rugby. Bandon, kept up their efforts right through most of the game, but with limited opportunities, found themselves increasingly chasing the game. Billy Kiely, wing forward, constantly harassed the Bandon backs, whilst Dave Cowhig shone as second row and recent recruit Ralph Creswell also impressed. Yohan Fabritius, at scrum half, marshalled proceedings; Dave O'Connell as Captain and outhalf led by example, creating gaps for the Kinsale backline. Fintan Lawton made a lovely break to score his second try, and Dave O'Mahony, jinked his way through the cover to score the sixth Kinsale try. James Lynch slotted 3 conversions in the second half, with style. As a result of winning the bonus point, Kinsale remain in contention for winning honours in the league. Tough games lie ahead, but if Kinsale believe and deliver, there will be plenty to play for. Kinsale 2nd XV as follows: Jason Murphy, Paul O'Donoghue, Fintan Lawton, Greville Walsh, Ian Coughlan, Dave O'Connell, Yohan Fabritius; Robbie Darmody, Colin Raey, Ralph Creswell, Colin Cowhig, Ger Quinlan, Tim O'Leary, Billy Kiely, Connie O'Regan.
History was enacted on Sunday morning with the first match for the Kinsale Women's team. The home fixture against Clanwilliam saw Kinsale start brightly with a dream start try by Stephanie Coleman in the first minute. Clanwilliam were surprised by the pace of Kinsale's efforts and how they were kept at bay for much of the first half. Eventually, Clanwilliam's experience told and they led the proceedings at half time 3 tries to 1. In the 2nd half, Clanwilliam ramped it up and scored several tries. Kinsale never gave up - illustrated by scores in the last quarter by Sylvia O'Sullivan and Emma Dunne. Weather conditions changed suddenly to wind, rain and hail, but the players efforts never faltered. Kinsale's team coaches were delighted with the endeavour and enthusiasm of the players. A full squad of 20 players participated…eading to great expectations for Womens Rugby in Kinsale. Kinsale Womens XV Squad: Rebecca Costello (Captain), Stephanie Coleman, Emma Dunne, Nikita O'Connell, Nuala Madden, Jane Henderson, Ruth Doran, Sylvia O'Sullivan, Vicki Pettit, Jacqui O'Connell, Ciara O'Donovan, Kim Kerins, Jacqui D'Alton, Emer O'Brien, Jean Kerins, Alison Walsh, Marian Gabriel. Clanwilliam's try scorers were: Carmel Condon, Iris Condon, Mairead Crowe, Maria Hayes, Mary Horan, Sarah Keane; Catherine Hogan was captain.
Later in the day, Kinsale 1st XV lined out against a full strength side from Castleisland, Co Kerry. The first time Castleisland played in Snugmore, (1985) a certain Mick Galwey played at outhalf. On that day, Kinsale won comfortably…would this augur well this time round? Kinsale elected to play with the strong south westerly wind…but started nervously. Line out play was inconsistent, to say the least and the Kinsale forwards were needlessly put themselves under pressure. Kinsale ball was slow in moving out to the backs, much of the game was played inside Kinsale's '22'. Castleisland were penalised in the line out and later in the rucks…Frazer Hodgson, Kinsale's outhalf, scored 2 penalties, the second from near the half way mark. Nevertheless, Castleisland continued to press ahead in the forward exchanges. The game descended into a kicking match late in the first half with Kinsale seemingly content to kick into the hands of the Kerrymen. Castleisland, whilst, enjoying the better possession, did not have any great ideas and Kinsale's usual strong defence kept Castleisland's account closed at the break, 6-0 to Kinsale. The second half saw the weather deteriorate again. For both sides, the ball became a bit hot to handle with penalties for knock-ons being awarded against both sides. Kinsale's fitness levels began to make a difference. They wheeled Castleisland off their scrum and gain vital metres in the middle of the park. Still, no team was winning clean possession from the set pieces .. Kinsale earning more profit from stringing phases and a driving maul into the Castleisland 22, going into the final quarter of the game. Hodgson sending Brian Egan on with a fine reverse pass - Egan, typically crashing into the opposition and over the gainline. The contest, in the best tradition of Munster Rugby, was one of no quarter given or taken. On this occasion, the props took the brunt .. supersub Pádraig Moloney replaced John O'Sullivan, Kinsale Captain, more than once. Castleisland lost their 3 props resulting in uncontested scrums. Kinsale's pressure eventually told and another string of phases brought a Kinsale try - touching the goal post pad, but not awarded. A minute later, more pressure and recycled ball saw Eddie Farren over the line, near the corner flag, for Kinsale's try. Earlier, Jeremy Coughlan was almost through, beating 3 players but was just caught near the touchline. Castleisland responded strongly and immediately brought play into Kinsale's 22. But Kinsale's resolute defence remained unbreached…noteworthy efforts by Gordon Sullivan, Tadgh Wright, Barry Wright, upfront while the backs more than played their part .. try saving tackles by Andy Lynch, Stephen Murphy, Denis O'Dowd and Hodgson again. Castleisland certainly made a tight game of it. Indeed if they had confidence in place kicking they might have profited some by taking penalties at goal when the scoreline was delicately poised. As it was, Kinsale certainly earned their points the hard way, but were better value on the day. Their self belief and ability to score when opportune carried them through as winners. 11-0 to Kinsale. Kinsale team as follows: Colm McCarthy, Jeremy Coughlan, Stephen Murphy, Denis O'Dowd, Andy Lynch, Frazer Hodgson, Neilie Dunne; John O'Sullivan, Eddie Farren, Pat O'Regan, Gordon Sullivan, Brian Egan, John Coleman, Barry Wright, Tadgh Wright; Subs Pádraig Moloney (for John O'Sullivan)
Last word, a strong vote of thanks to all the Grounds Committee and the Bar Committee on a weekend when so many fixtures were cancelled all over Munster, it was heartening the see the games played on our fine pitches and the warm welcome extended to the visiting teams and supporters after the games in our clubhouse pavilion.
Charleville defeat reduces margin of error for promotion chasing Carrick
Munster Junior League (Division Three)
By Dermot Keyes
Carrick-on-Suir's ambitions of ending the season as Munster Junior League Division Three winners were dealt a major blow on Sunday when they lost 8-0 to fellow promotion hunters Charleville. But their push for Division Two status remains alive given that both league leaders Kinsale and second placed Charleville have yet to cross swords in this hotly contested division. Having conceded a try midway through the first half on a day blighted by poor weather, Carrick rallied excellently and fronted up well against a physically bigger home side. For the visitors to face a bigger pack is nothing new in the Carrick experience, who would have benefited enormously from the considerable physical presence that the injured Evan Stanley usually provides. But, rather than dwelling who wasn't available, Carrick, as they have all season, tackled very well on a pitch which excellently stood up to the weekend's inclemencies. Nothing is gained from self-pity so Carrick minds have already turned to next Sunday's long trip to struggling Killarney, who have won only one of their five Division Three starts to date. Neighbouring Waterford City, whom Carrick are due to face in the final round of games on March 2nd, were not in action last weekend and remain in fifth position. Their hopes of finishing above fourth-placed Castleisland were aided by Kinsale's 11-0 win over the Kerrymen on Sunday. Realistically, the race for Division Two is clearly being fought between three teams: Kinsale, Charleville and Carrick. Based on their form to date this season, Carrick will feel confident of winning their remaining three games and hopefully pick up two bonuses along the way. That would leave them on a potential finishing total of 39 points, which leaves Charleville's trips to both Kinsale and Castleisland looking pivotal. The concluding third of this campaign is marvelously poised and Carrick will want to go into 2008 with 30 points to their name after next weekend's trip to Killarney. Meanwhile, Carrick's Second XV will face Kilfeacle under the Tybroughney lights next Saturday evening with the game scheduled for a 7:30pm kick-off.
Division Three: the top five
P W D L F A BP Pts
Kinsale 7 7 0 0 203 14 4 32
Charleville 6 6 0 0 148 6 3 27
Carrick-on-Suir 7 5 0 2 165 68 5 25
Castleisland 6 3 0 3 80 73 2 14
Waterford City 5 3 0 2 76 90 2 14
UL BOHEMIAN RFC
Denis Ryan PRO
A day on the West coast with a gale blowing from the ocean promised to make life difficult in this game against Galwegians, but UL Bohs showed fantastic commitment to keep the home side scoreless in a first half where they faced the full fury of the elements. Each player put his body on the line when required, and when the sides turned over at the break level 0-0, the UL Bohs supporters might have been windblown, wet and cold, but boy were we happy. Using the elements in the second half, Fergal Lawlor kept UL Bohs in the Galwegians danger area, and kicked the first points of the game when the inevitable penalty was conceded. The young outhalf suffered a knock shortly after, and was replaced by Paul Warwick. Paul might have been making his first start for the club, but he was anxious to show that he was not just around to revel in the Antarctic-like conditions. With practically his first touch of the ball he flung out a long pass to Barry Murphy. Barry made space for Coleman Finn who took out the usual 2/3 tacklers before spreading the ball even wider, and following great handling in the conditions, Mark Butler touched down in the corner. While Paul failed with the conversion, he put over a penalty shortly after, and then, when another flowing back movement saw Looie Siale break up the right wing, Paul Warwick was on hand to take the pass and touch down for the try. Paul added the points with a great kick. Injuries to Barry Murphy and Martin McPhail and the yellow carding of Coleman Finn allowed the home side into the game in the closing stages, but determined defence kept the line intact. Stars on the day, in addition to Paul Warwick and Fergal Lawlor, were Kieran Essex who made an impressive debut, and David Foley, who broke Galwegians' hearts with some critical lineout steals. The side deserved the 18-0 winning margin at the end. This Saturday it's down to Cork for the crucial game against unbeaten Constitution.
The gales were in equal evidence in Annacotty, where the U-20s took on Young Munster. Behind 10-0 at the break, and missing the influence of David Foley and Kieran Essex who were helping the 1st XV, the home side pulled back the deficit but just failed to get the winning score, having a couple of touchdowns disallowed for forward passes. On Saturday they entertain Galwegians and following two draws, will be looking to get back to winning ways. On Sunday in Annacotty the 2nd XV completed their Munster Senior Seconds League campaign undefeated for the second year running. Cork Con had the benefit of the gale in the first half, and when Gary Walsh touched down between the posts for a try, converted by Aidan McNulty, to give the home side a 7-0 interval lead it looked as if the points were in the bag. However, the visitors upset matters when they intercepted a UL Bohs passing movement and following a 70 metre break scored in the corner. Marcus O'Mahony increased the margin between the sides when he touched down, and then as a near hurricane erupted, the UL Bohs pressure told with a flurry of tries from Fintan Cross, Ger Leyden, David Kilcoyne and Harry de Stacpoole, with a further 3 conversions from Aidan McNulty leaving the final score 38-5.
The Women's team were also in action in Annacotty on Sunday when they met the very strong Highfield team. Despite the fierce winds and heavy showers, both sides showed great commitment, but when UL Bohs scored a try in the corner, through Olivette Vaughan, to take a 5-0 lead into the wind-assisted second half, it seemed the Highfield resistance had been broken. However, as the only side to have beaten UL Bohs in the league for some years when they did so last season, the visitors did not give up so readily, and keeping the ball tight among their well drilled pack, they forced their way upfield against the wind and the UL Bohs defence and scored a good try. The home response was immediate. From the kick off, play moved to the Highfield line and inevitably almost, Lynn Cantwell darted over for a try, converted by Nicole Fitzgerald. In the very tough conditions there were outstanding displays by players from both sides, with Fiona Coghlan, Joy Neville and Patrique Kelly particularly showing their class, but in the end, Player of the Match was awarded to the dynamic Laura Guest. It doesn't get any easier for the women, as next Sunday they look forward to the visit of Blackrock to Annacotty.
Clonmel 1st XV Vs Kilfeacle 1st XV
Postponed due to weather conditions. 1st XV away to Skibereen next Sunday, KO 2.30 pm.
Clonmel 2nd XV Vs Ennis 2nd XV
Postponed due to weather conditions.
CLONMEL U 13's travelled to Dungarvan to play two games on Saturday last in a mini tournament. The hosts played Waterpark in the opening game and at the end of a very close game Waterpark held on to win. Then it was Clonmel's turn to take on Waterpark and we fielded a very young team that had not played together before and for some it their first time playing the full pitch and 15 a side. But after a few minutes of play they looked and played like seasoned professionals. Hungry for the ball and for work, Clonmel played all the rugby and only for an intercept try were well in this game at half time. The second half and playing into a strong wind which Waterpark used very well, we were under pressure and conceded two more scores. Some great team play and lovely individual skills almost got us on the scoreboard but strong defending and the wind stopped us short. The game ended with Clonmel camped on the opposition line but unable to cross. A great, gutsy performance which deserved more.
In the second game we took on Dungarvan and with the team more confident and used to the conditions, settled very well and played lovely, open rugby which created space and allowed us to attack out wide where Simon Brennan ran a lovely line and broke the strong defence to touch down for a great try which he converted. Clonmel were on a roll now and were controlling the game except for the odd handling error which proved costly as Dungarvan pounced on every mistake and scored two unconverted tries. But this Clonmel side meant business and knuckled down to more hard graft and good rugby and were rewarded when Aidan Butler touched down for a great try out wide on the right. The difficult conversion scraped the wrong side of the upright and left the score at 12-10 to Clonmel. With time running out, Dungarvan were on the attack and Clonmel defended fiercely but a try was awarded and the final whistle sounded immediately which left the score at 15-12. A good morning's rugby and a lot of lessons learned to be used in the months ahead. Well done to this young team!.
Team: L. Fitzgerald, K. McMahon, D.O'Callaghan, A. Quinlivan, F. Duff-White, D. Hoyne, D. Guidera, C. Tobin, A. Sheehan, S. Dooley, C. Delahunty, D. Cadogan, S. Brennan, M. Hackett, A. Butler, J. Mullins, S. Twomey, D. Cass.Clonmel U16s
In what can be described as storm conditions, Clonmel and Kilfeacle played out an epic game of rugby. The score-line does little to reflect this huge contest between two very good sides. With the wind behind their backs Clonmel applied early pressure but on bring the ball into contact lost the ball. Some good work by the whole team had Osama in for a try in the corner only to be held up. The break through finally came when Ross Mullane landed a 45 metre penalty, 3-0 Clonmel. After the break Kilfeacle had the wind advantage. Clonmel expected huge pressure which came. Clonmel tackled as if their lives depended on it and to a man they can take huge credit for their defence. Eventually the pressure told and Kilfeacle got over for a try 5-3.Clonmel despite facing a gale force wind fought back and pinned Kilfeacle back in their own half for the final 10 mins. The pressure told and Clonmel got a penalty to win the game. Into a wind that you wouldn't put a dog out in the penalty was not a cert, the ball was heading over only for the wind to catch it and ruin Clonmel's day. Clonmel to a man stood up and were counted. The team showed huge heart and commitment. It's hard to single out anyone for mention because the whole team made Clonmel proud with their performance and if they keep this up the world is at their feet. Game next Sunday V Fethard
Clonmel Youth Rugby fixtures for this weekend
Under 8s, 10s and 12s are at home to Waterpark this Saturday. Kick off is scheduled at 10.30
Training for 14s, 16s and 18s as usual at 10.30 am on Saturday morning.
Under 14s are at home to Clanwilliam on Sunday. Kick off 11 am.
Under 16s are away to Fethard on Sunday. We are hoping that parents will provide transport. Meet at Clonmel RFC at 9.45 am on Sunday morning.
Under 18s are at home to Thurles on Sunday. Kick off 11 am. We are asking all players in this age group to make a special effort to turn up for this match.
Andrew McNamara PRO
We can't really complain the way our senior team is plodding along can we? Five AIB league wins from five games and place in the senior cup final. I know I keep saying that there's a long way to April and May when the AIB league honours will be won and lost , but we've put ourselves in a strong position to be challenging for those honours after our latest league win over Blackrock. The conditions may well have been difficult at best and deplorable in the main, but both sides gave committed and often enterprising performances. 26-7 was an excellent scoreline for us and despite the slight disappointment at not gaining a bonus point; the lads can be very pleased with the professional job they carried out. Every game has the potential to be a banana skin and Blackrock certainly put it up to us even when they were chasing the game they demonstrated some great handling skills in the wet conditions. I suppose the biggest talking point from a Shannon perspective, result apart, was Anthony Foley's appearance. It may have been quite a while since he togged out in the black and blue, but his enthusiasm for the club remains as strong as ever. He's no stranger to Coonagh this season and has been assisting Gallimh and Ian on the training field. He's a great influence to have around the club and the benefit, especially amongst some of the younger members of the squad is immense. Several players shone, and although Sean Cronin was awarded the AIB man of the match, Dave O'Donovan and Phil O'Connor were close contenders. Starting his very first AIL game , U/20 scrum half Dave Barry acquitted himself very well before Fiach replaced him and another first starter, Killian O'Neill had a powerful game in the front row. After just five minutes Joe Manuel showed his strength and speed to score the first try under the posts and although Blackrock crossed our try line we headed into the break 10-7 to the good with the considerable wind in our favour in the second period. The lead was increased when Andrew Thompson landed a penalty and then we advanced the cause when Dave Quinlan was on the end of a rumbling maul. By this stage we were reasonably comfortable and when another Tommy penalty put us in a commanding position. Blackrock never relented though and ensured the lads had to be alert at all times. The clinching try came on the stroke of full time when Stephen Kelly deservedly scorched over from the half way line. Competent, clinical and constructive was the general feeling in the post match dressing room, but with room for improvement. Two consecutive trips to Dublin will see the year out in the AIB league and first up is St Mary's College this Saturday. We may have won our last three games against Mary's, but our record in Templeville road up to recently has been patchy, so a big test is expected. A supporters coach is leaving from Thomond Park at 10am and Tadhg Crowe can be contacted at 087 6524958.
The U/20's were in sparkling form in Cork last Saturday where they very comfortably beat Con's in the AIL by 43 nil. It was a devastating performance with the lads crossing the Cork Con try line on seven occasions. Everyone made a significant contribution and when someone like Junior Vice President ,Martin Clancy says that the handling skills were as good as he has ever seen , than who can argue. We finish our 2007with a home match against Bruff next Sunday at 2pm, and the players and Management would like to thank Colm Tucker and Bank of Scotland for supporting the trip to Cork.
Sunday saw a complete washout with pitches all around the area burdened with the vast amount of rainfall that fell. It meant that the second's game was called off and the Underage completely cancelled.
This Sunday the seconds are away to Garryowen at 2.30 while the ladies also travel to Highfield in the AIL.
Underage fixtures see the U/18's away to Young Munster with a 12pm start in Derryknockane and the U/16's travel to Newcastlewest. In Coonagh at 11.30 the U/14's host Bruff, while on Saturday the U/12's will travel to Dublin to play St Mary's prior to the senor game.
Our EGM to discuss the proposed redevelopment of our club pavilion in Thomond Park was an enormous success and once again the foresight of our members has allowed the executive to proceed to the next phase in this exciting development for Shannon. It's not a forgone conclusion that the project will be completed, several factors need to be negotiated, but at least the body of the club are in total support of the venture. It was great to see our oldest member Stephen Fitzgerald present at the meeting and it was pointed out that it Stephen and others of his era who planted the seeds that bore our success many years ago. So it's onwards and upwards both on and off the field.
The Agony and the Ecstasy
Both emotions were tangible and visible at the final whistle last Saturday. "The Blue Bulls" were ecstatic at the one point win they had snatched in Leixlip while Clonakilty's players and supporters were left to wonder what exactly they need to do to get any bit of luck this season. Played five lost five makes depressing reading but three of those games could and should have been won if the slightest bit of luck or 50/50 refereeing decision had gone the way of the West Cork men.
Whatever about Buccaneers and Belfast Harlequins, Barnhall, not only should have been beaten given the possession, territory and scoring opportunities, but it would not have been surprising had Clon returned with a five pointer for four trys. A perfectly good try was disallowed and there were many "nearly" and "if only" moments. However the hope is still there and in truth the bonus point would have been taken by many going into the game such was the importance of staying in touch. Although the squad is still under strength it is very heartening to see those elevated to this level gaining valuable experience and becoming more and more part of the team and this can only be good for the future.
In the early stages there were promising signs from the backline in general and Paul Dillon and David Lombard in particular but at scrum time it was worrying. The first score was as a result of superior forward power albeit against the run of play from a relieving kick. The line out was turned over and the Barnhall eight drove to the 22 where the backs took over for the simple try and conversion. Clon returned to the pressure game immediately and when the next relieving kick came John McCarthy's athleticism was on hand as he blocked the kick and claimed possession to ground for the try. Gary Cribb's impossible conversion from the touchline with a crossing wind was superb and the sides were level. Clon continued to do most of the attacking but again when The Blue Bulls broke out they made it count with a penalty and a drop goal to leave the scores 13 - 7 at the break.
In the second half the only score registered was a superb Clon try. John O'Regan won a Barnhall lineout at the tail and he released Paul Dillon who made good ground. Derek Dillon from full back took a great line to split the defence and his perfectly timed pass to winger Noel O'Sullivan in space gave Clon's top try scorer another notch. Unfortunately the conversion, which looked routine for Cribb, was off target and how crucial that miss turned out to be. Although Clon appeared to be well on top and the disallowed try seemed to just delay the inevitable another score would just not come. Clon's pack had come more and more into the game and as the game progressed had gained parity in the scrums. It was their driving however that had resulted in the now infamous no score with Eddie Knowles touching down. Gritty Barnhall defence, wrong Clon options, refereeing decisions not going the way of the visitors and just bad luck resulted in a narrow agonising loss to a brave side that surely must be close to their first win of the campaign.
Dublin University are next up. They have already experienced Clon on song when losing to the West Cork club in Dublin in October in The AIB All Ireland Cup. They come to The Vale this Saturday and although they are in joint second place in the league will not relish the prospect. The squad was: Derek Dillon, John O'Donnell, Paul Dillon, David Lombard (Capt), Noel O'Sullivan, Gary Cribb, Colin Murphy, Eoin Murphy, Hugh O'Neill, Joe Knowles, Mike O'Hea, Mike Keohane, John O'Regan, John Darvill, John McCarthy, Eddie Knowles, Cathal Kirby, Aaron Spring, Shay O'Donovan and Michael Peter O'Regan.
The impressive Under 18s had another great win beating Highfield in Cork. Trys from Robert Cahill and James Deasy and a dropped goal from Gearoid Calnan gave them a five-point victory.
This week's fixtures: -
Sat 8th Seniors All Ireland League Dublin University The Vale 2.30
Under 18s League Cobh Pirates Cobh TBC
Under 16s League Old Christians Rathcooney TBC
Under 14s League Cork Constitution Cork TBC
Sun 9th Extra-Firsts League Dolphin Musgrave Park 2.30
Bulldogs League Highfield Cork 2.30
Tickets for the upcoming Night at the Dogs will be available this weekend in Clonakilty. Unfortunately the tickets for the function rooms and dining facilities are now all sold out. However you can still be part of a great night by getting an entry ticket to the concourse where food and drink and tote will all be available and then join in the dancing and hilarity with Joe Mac. The €10 charge includes entry into a raffle for great prizes with the top prize extremely attractive. The winner will receive two tickets for a rugby international, return train tickets and overnight hotel accommodation. Be sure you have yours?
Finally this week our under 12s are holding a fundraising raffle for their tour at Easter 2008 with 2 tickets to the Heineken Cup match between Munster & Wasps the first prize. We would ask all our members to support this worthy cause.