The Munster Junior team that defeated Connacht to win the Junior Inter Provincial title.
The concluding weekend of the rugby season saw the Munster Junior team win the Junior Interprovincial Championship after an eight year gap and Carrigaline retained the Kelly Cup for the third time.
Connacht 0, Munster 17 (Stephen Collins)
The visiting side started with a strong wind against them in the first half but Connacht’s David Prior was unable to convert early scoring opportunities from the tee.
Munster were first to open the scoring when centre Darren O’Keefe linked up with Clonmel’s Conor Cooney splitting the Connacht defence sending the full back through the gap and under the posts. Out half Ben Martin converted giving the Reds a 7-0 lead.
Prior was wide of the mark on a second occasion shortly after while Munster enjoyed the lion’s share of possession for the majority of the first half. Connacht rallied just before half time pushing the Munster defence to the limit but will be regretting missed opportunities on the stroke of half time.
The second half kicked off and Connacht hardly had time to set their defence when Brian O’Neill gathered just outside the 22 from the restart and went barreling towards the opposition line offloading to Mike Cronin who was held up just short. Stuart Lee was quick to the breakdown and Ben Martin found himself dotting down between the sticks which he duly converted.
At 14-0 the game ebbed and flowed with both sides working hard in defence, possession was hard to come by and Stuart Lee found himself taking a 10 minute break after illegally playing the ball on the floor.
Down to 14 men Munster endured a difficult 10 minutes but eventually came out the better, Connacht’s Kiwi center Jason Harrimate was constantly threatening across the park but O’Keefe, Cooney and the Carroll brothers Rob and Greg were up to the challenge closing down the danger whenever it presented itself.
Martin extended the lead with a penalty to 17-0 and that is how the score finished ensuring Munster picked up their first Interpro title in 8 years.
Captain Dan McCabe, who put in a man of the match performance, praised the younger players in the team and thanked the entire squad, management and support when presented with the cup.
Munster: Conor Cooney (Clonmel); Rob Carroll (Clonmel), Darren O’Keeffe (Crosshaven), Luke McCabe (Kanturk), Greg Carroll (Clonmel); Ben Martin (Clonmel), Stuart Lee (Old Christians); Barry Kelly (St Mary’s), Mike Cronin (Castleisland), Brian O’Neill (Kanturk); Stephen Burke (Galbally), Ruairi O’Donnell (St Mary’s); Brian Downey (St Mary’s), Kevin Allen (Cobh Pirates), Dan McCabe (Kanturk). Replacements: Gareth Mulcahy (Clonmel), Patrick Ryan (St Senan’s), Declan Moloney (Newcastle West), Barra Buckley (Kanturk), Dave O’Donoghue (Waterpark), Mark Chandler (Cobh Pirates), Darragh Meade (Kanturk), Peter Earlie (Kanturk).
Connacht: Seamus Fahy (Monivea); Conor Mulligan (OLBC), Jerome Harimate (Ballina), David Prior (OLBC), Andrew McAleer (Westport); Sam Johnson (Ballina), Mickey Murphy (Ballina); Tom Toolan (Ballina), Martin Lee (Corrib), Ronan Coughlan (Monivea); Liam Scahill (Westport), Willie Cullinan (Loughrea); John Hayes(Ballinasloe), Philip Timoney (Ballina), Aidan McNulty (Ballina). Replacements: Richard Kelly (Ballina), Patrick Mullins (Loughrea), Paul McCreanor (OLBC), James Moran (OLBC), David O’Reilly (OLBC), Mike Ward (Monivea), James Murphy (Tuam), Dave Ryan (UCG), Darren Griffin (Loughrea).
Carrigaline 18, Mallow 10 (Leonard Allen)
Mallow’s hopes of winning the Kelly Cup for the first time failed at Musgrave Park as holder’s Carrigaline won the trophy for the third successive time.
Carrigaline who also won the Junior Two South League and Cup this season will now go up a level next season as they will be playing in Division Three of the Munster Junior League.
Despite playing into wind in the opening half Carrigaline led 18-0 at half time.
Sean Lucey opened the scoring with a try in the corner after four minutes. He added a penalty mid-way through the half and then converted a try by Tony O’Keeffe and also kicked a second penalty just before the half time break.
Aidan Twomey gave Mallow hope with a try under the posts after four minutes and Conrad Barry scored a second try eight minutes from time but both conversions were missed from very kickable positions to deny the North Cork side any hope of a comeback
Scorers Carrigaline: Sean Lucey 1 try, 2 penalties & 1 conversion; Tony O’Keeffe 1 try.
Mallow: Aidan Twomey & Conrad Barry 1 try each.
Carrigaline: Jason Corkery; Tony O’Keeffe, Brian Fleming, Donnacha Kiely, Sean Lucey; Steve Caul, John Tait; Garry Murphy, Kieran Kelleher, Marcus Gates; Ken Wilkins, Brendan Kelly; Kevin Foley, Killian O’Mahony, Ray O’Donoghue.
Replacements: Padraig O’Connor, Niall Sheehan, Andy Bugler, Roy Murphy, Shane McCarthy.
Mallow: Gavin O’Keeffe; Hugh Barry, Leo O’Regan, Brian McMahon, Niall McSherry; Aidan Twomey, Eric Twomey; John Forrest, Tim Fitzgerald, Jason Sheehan; Oliver White, Conrad Barry; Cormac Nyhan, Brian Henry, Darryl Barry.
Replacements: Trevor Costello, Tim Barnaby, Anthony Barrett, Kevin Twomey, Brain Ward.
Referee: Colin McTaggart (M.A.R.)