9 Dec, 12:44
Munster Rugby and IRFU Referee Department have just completed their very successful joint venture to find the next generation of referees in schools within the Limerick area.
An epic encounter between the top two Junior clubs in Munster at an excellent St. Mary’s Ground in Grove Island Corbally.
While some of the Richmond players and supporters were not happy with the amount of injury time played by referee George Finn, they will have to look back at the amount of injuries and stoppages particularly in the last fifteen minutes of the game. Added to the fact that two of their players David Sheehan and substitute Thomas Aherne were shown yellow cards and Mike Kelliher saw red, this indiscipline did not help their club’s cause as they battled to contain a rampant Kanturk pack in these final minutes.
Indeed the holders were pinned back inside their own half for most of the second half having dominated the opening forty minutes.
The game got off to an explosive start with Kanturk hitting the front on three minutes with a well worked try. A break by young out half Mark Healy saw him feed Phillippe Trippier who sent Dara Meade in for a try which Meade converted.
If this was awake up call for Richmond and they certainly responded. A break by Sean Bennett saw David Sheehan stopped inside the Kanturk Twenty Two and from a resulting penalty Brian Mullins opened Richmond’s account.
Within a minute Kanturk were restarting the game for the second time, as Mike Kelliher gathered the ball in his own half made a great run up field chipped the ball over the Kanturk defence and won the race to touch down and Mullins converted to give his side a 10-3 advantage.
Richmond were dominating the forward exchanges with their pack pushing the Duhallow side off the ball in the scrums and Johnny Deedigan and Gearoid Phelan were doing an amount of work in the loose.
Kelliher who was putting in a man of the match performance for Richmond was the architect of their second try on nineteen minutes. A delightful chip ahead saw Finbarr Hogan win the race to score in the corner and Mullins added the extras to make it 17-7.
Meade closed the gap with a penalty on twenty five minutes and Mullins and Meade each added a penalty in the final few minutes of the half to leave it 20-13 at the interval.
Mullins missed a penalty at the start of the second half and Meade closed the gap to four with his third kick on forty five minutes.
Skipper Dan McCabe leading by example took the game to the defending champions and he was well supported by Bryan O’Neill, Garry Pigott and Carlton O’Leary. Mark Healy at out half put in an impeccable performance and he got good service from both Aaron Jones and Michael Twohig.
With the game entering the final stages, Kanturk opted for short penalty taps inside the Richmond Twenty Two rather than kick the points and skipper Dan McCabe’s call proved correct even if they had to wait for the eighty ninth minute to get the winning score when Paul Cotter got in for a try after several drives by the Kanturk pack at the Richmond line. Meade’s conversion brought this tie to an end and great celebrations began for the players and the large contingent of supporters that had travelled up for the tie from the Duhallow area.
Kanturk: Paul Cotter; Peter Earlie, Dara Meade, Phillippe Trippier, Luke McCabe; Mark Healy, Aaron Jones; Brendan Kelleher, Conor O'Sullivan, Bryan O'Neill; Barra Buckley, Calvin Noonan; Karlton O'Leary, Garry Pigott, Dan McCabe.
Replacements: Matt Daly, Ned English, John Duggan, Michael Twohig, Kealan Buckley.
Richmond: Jeffrey McNamara ; Finbarr Hogan, Mike Kelliher, Stephen Clancy, Gareth O'Hanlon; Brian Mullins, Tomas O'Brien; Barry McNamara, Pat Humphries, Pat McNamara; Sean Bennett, James Hayes; John Deedigan, Gearoid Phelan, David Sheehan.
Replacements: Emmett Harty, James Kelly, Stefano Coppola, Thomas Aherne, Jonathon Tully.
Referee: G Finn (M.A.R.)