Park Tops in Ballinakill Thriller
Waterpark 28-27 Instonians
Last Saturday 16th February will live long in the memory of the Park faithful, as a totally committed display on the paddock by the guys in red and black, saw the return of pride and passion, to a side who have suffered several defeats to date, to record an amazing and well deserved victory against high flying Instonians in this A.I.L. Division 3 encounter played in Ballinakill. Coming into this game Park were rooted at the bottom of the division with only one win to show for all their efforts throughout the season and with the visitors from the north long odds on to collect full points, allied to a complete change of personnel in the coaching department of the home side. However the form book went out the window and at the end of eighty pulsating minutes Park had bagged four vital points in their quest to stave off relegation by the minimum of margins at 28-27.
The opening exchanges of the first quarter were fairly evenly contested with the visitors using the considerable bulk of their forwards to punch holes in the opposition defence. However the home side stood firm and on twenty five minutes, after a lengthy stoppage for an injury to Instonians centre, Michael McKeever, Park winger David Copeland put in a lovely placed kick ahead deep into the visitors half which he chased and latched onto a favourable bounce and offloaded to the supporting Shane Kavanagh who galloped over for the opening score and with outhalf Gary Jones adding the conversion, Park were ahead by 7-0. Instonians were back on level terms within five minutes when Instonian?s outhalf Niall Malone got the touchdown which was converted by full back Owen McMurray. Jones then restored his sides lead with a long range penalty but just on the stroke of halftime the visitors took the lead for the first time at 10-12 after prop, Gary Mitchell, burrowed over from close range.
Five minutes after the break Jones was again successful with another penalty to put Park ahead at 13-12 and three minutes later they hit a purple patch when centre Craig Doyle made a magnificent break in midfield that took him from inside his own half up to within five metres of the opposition line where he found team captain Mark Murphy at his side to go over for a wonderful try. Jones added the easy kick to put Park eight points clear at 20-12. On fifty five minutes Jones put further daylight between the sides with another penalty but three minutes later Instonians had reduced the deficit to four points at 23-19 with a well worked try by centre, Jamie Scott which was converted by McMurray. On sixty five minutes the visitors took the lead at 23-24 after a crooked throw to a lineout just on the Park twenty two went unpunished, the ball was recycled to the backs for Neil Simpson to crash over in the corner.
Try Saving Tackle
This margin was increased to 23-27 with another penalty by McMurray with eight minutes left and a minute later it looked curtains for Park when with the Instonians three quarters in full flow and Scott heading straight under the posts a magnificent tackle from behind by winger Mick O?Grady five metres out saved the day. With five minutes left McMurray was again wide with a penalty and straight from the kick off Park?s Doyle reacted quicker to the bouncing ball to shoot clear down the left wing and with the visiting defence bearing down he put in a delightful cross kick in behind the cover towards the posts and with the intensity of the pressure being applied by the chasing Park players, full back McMurray had little option but to carry over his own line and concede a five metre scrum to the home side from which Jones broke right and looped with Copeland to crash over for the final try and put his side ahead at 28-27. During time added on Park had to survive a few scary moments but survive they did and this victory lifts them off the bottom of the Division and even though there are a few games in hand we are not out of the woods as of yet.
Magnificent Team Performance
This was a truly amazing game with every ball being fiercely contested from start to finish and with the scoreline changing almost every few minutes the supporters from both sides were kept on their toes throughout the entire affair. The talk around the ground was that even if Park had been on the wrong side of the scoreline, it was still a great game and a wonderful team performance from which every player emerged with flying colours. Congratulations to all concerned !!
Five Left !!
We now have two away games against Nenagh on Saturday next and Sundays Well on the 2nd. March. These will be followed by three home games for the final run in on 17th, 22nd and 29th March against Queens University, Old Wesley and City of Derry respectively, so mark these dates in your diary and come out to Ballinakill and support the team in their endeavour to maintain Senior Rugby in the South East.
*A very good win for Kinsale on Sunday in the J3 Round Robin League beating Charleville at home by 20 pts to 10. 4 unconverted tries scored by Kinsale. Try scorers included Fintan Lawton, Gordon Sullivan, Joe Lyons. This is new league competition. Kinsale achieved 3rd place last time out and will be seeking to better that ..
* Next Sunday sees the 2nd XV building on that success with a league game away to Ballincollig 12.00 k.o.
* Kinsale Women are continuing to train .. numbers are consistent ; the coaching team are pleased with the progress in fitness and skillset levels. A fixture is to be arranged against Highfield B, but no final details have been arranged.
* Kinsale 1st XV were given another walkover today by Killorglin in the J1 League. Incredibly, the team have had no competitive rugby in a month due to cancellations and walkovers. Next Sunday sees Kinsale travelling to north Munster to play Galbally in the Martin O'Sullivan Cup. No doubt the players will be well up for this competitive fixture.
* The following Sunday 2nd March is also most eagerly awaited ... ' The Final Coundown ' against Charleville in the final league game. Charleville beat St Marys, from Limerick, 17-3. However the bonus point eluded them today. Kinsale are the remaining undefeated team in the competition and will want to keep their league record intact, particularly at home.
* Have no doubt - this is a big occasion and the team will be hoping for a big turnout from club members, supporters, and sports enthusiasts to be there before the 2.30. k.o. Charleville, too, will want to play their part in what will be a cracker of a game!
Aidan Clifford PRO
Killorglin Rugby Club Senior Team were due to play Kinsale in the Munster Junior League last Sunday, but after a run of bad luck that has seen injury strike through the panel, they were forced to concede the match and the points. However the Under 18 team was in action in the final of the West Munster League against Tralee. The match was played in Killarney, and Killorglin travelled there with confidence having lost only a single game all season. The match proved to be as close as expected. Tralee took the game to Killorglin from the start and took the lead with a penalty after 8 minutes ? Killorglin?s defense eventually penalised after stellar work in the opening exchanges. Killorglin kept their heads up though and took the lead on 22 minutes. Liam Walsh stole possession of the ball and passed to hooker Stephen Cotter, who then off-loaded to outhalf and captain Luke O?Shea. O?Shea then beat the winger & fullback to score in the corner. He was unable to convert, leaving the score at 5-3 and that is how it stayed until the break. Killorglin conceded a penalty early in the second half and trailed 6-5 until the 45th minute when Killorglin?s forwards again turned over possession giving the ball to Luke O?Shea who then sent a beautiful pass to centre Chris O?Sullivan. O?Sullivan turned down the option of a pass back to O?Shea, but instead spotted a gap in the defense and sauntered through to score a cracking try. A missed conversion left the score at 10-6 but O?Shea made up for his missed kick 10 minutes later with a superb penalty kick to extend Killorglin?s lead to 13-6 with 15 minutes remaining. The closing stages of the game was very close, with tension almost getting the better of both teams. Disaster struck for Killorglin with a minute to go when a clearing kick by O?Shea was blocked down and the chase was on for the line between three Tralee players and Killorglin?s last man Noel O?Reilly. O?Reilly looked certain to win the race and secure victory for Killorglin when the ball bounced into the goalpost and back into the arms of the onrushing attacker to give them a try under the posts. The game was now tied 13-13 and that is how it stayed at the final whistle. It sets up a promising replay in Killarney at 12pm this Saturday. Killorglin will be really up for the game and hope to get as much support there as possible.
Killorglin Rugby Team: - 1 Barry Sheehan, 2 Stephen Cotter, 3 Michael Breen, 4 Shane Costello, 5 Daniel Clifford, 6 Declan Lillis, 7 John James Johnson, 8 Liam Walsh, 9 Pa Knightly, 10 Luke O?Shea (c), 11 Stephen Mullins, 12 Rikus O?Connor, 13 Chris O?Sullivan, 14 Lorca Maher, 15 Noel O?Reilly.
Subs: - Donagh McGillicuddy for Mullins.
Fixtures: On Saturday next, February 23rd, Killorglin?s under 18 team take on Tralee in the West Munster League final replay in Direen , Killarney at 12 noon. All support would be greatly appreciated in what promises to be a super game of rugby. On Sunday, the senior side host Kilrush in the O?Sullivan Cup for Munster Junior Clubs. We would appreciate all support for what promises to be a great match. Kickoff is at 2:30pm in Community College grounds, Langford Street.
ST. SENAN'S RFC
The Under 18s lost narrowly to Highfield 3 - 6 in the semi-final of the league in a game in which both sides played poorly. Clon's under 14s lost also to Sunday's Well but the under 16s defeated Dunmanway 12 - 7. The mini rugby outing was a huge success with hordes of future stars from 6 to 10 enjoying a great day out with Kinsale. The club would like to thank all who participated in the recent match day raffles run by John Lombard in the clubhouse and the proceeds will be donated to the Children of the late Rose Patterson fund.
Andrew McNamara PRO
Four games remaining, two points adrift of Cork Con, three ahead of Garryowen and seven clear of forth placed side Clontarf. It's no bad place to be in the AIB league as the ground gets harder and the evenings brighter. A rare four try bonus point win was a thoroughly justified result against a Ballymena side that was competitive throughout and did, at times make life difficult for us. However the victory came at a price. Tadgh Bennett lasted only four minutes in the game after he badly dislocated his shoulder and the painful injury looks set to sideline him for a while. David Quinlan lasted a little longer, 24 minutes, but his finger dislocation will see will see him miss out for a few weeks at least. That was the bad news. The good news was the win which keeps us at the right end of the table However, despite the four tries the mid game lulls are still apparent as we allowed Ballymena in for a few tries when we comfortably leading. These lulls could cost us but on Saturday we had sufficient points accumulated with our four tries. An excellent start saw David Quinlan score our opener, and with Tadgh off the field his replacement, Joey Moran, himself only returning from an injury induced layoff, slotted in seamlessly and went on to receive the AIB man of the match award. Next to cross the whitewash was Andrew Thompson who scored again in the second half to bring his personal tally to 18 points on the day. Jake Paringatai was having a very industrious outing and has blended well into the panel. Ballymena's response was a try from their main attacking threat, a strong effective maul from a lineout, but before the break Fiach's eye for a gap reaped a fine try. When all is said and done it was a good win over a side that was always competitive. A break in the league programme sees us travel to Dublin to play St Mary's in the AIB Cup. We don't need much reminding as to the result on our previous trip to Templeogue; suffice to say we owe them one. Sunday's kickoff is at 2.30
We wish the AIB Club International side all the best in their game with Scotland and in particular our sole representative Andrew Finn who is a replacement and indeed we extend our well wishes to all the Club players involved throughout the weekend.