24 May, 10:30
This week's Club Notes come from Cashel and Shannon Rugby Clubs.
Match report kindly compiled and supplied by Jim Drohan
To describe this victory as just a good win would be a gross injustice to the fifteen guys together, with the substitutes, who rose to the occasion, put their bodies on the line and turned in a totally committed performance to overcome the strong challenge of visitors, City of Derry, in this make or break game played before a sizeable crowd in Ballinakill on Saturday last. After a pulsating game in which the elements played a big part it was Derry who took the drop to the Junior ranks and Park lived to fight another day in their quest to keep Senior rugby in the South East. After the weekend results involving the Junior clubs in the Round Robin, it now appears that northern outfit, Portadown are back in Senior Rugby and either Monivea from the Connacht or Cill Dara (that?s Kildare for you non Irish viewers) from Leinster will be the visitors to Ballinakill in two weeks time on the 12th. April in what should be a humdinger of a game with the winners securing a place in the A.I.l. Division 3 for next season.
Due to the extremely heavy showers of hail and sleet about an hour before the appointed time, the start was put back, on the instructions of the referee, to 3 pm due to several pools of water being on the surface of the pitch, and with the biting wind blowing straight down the field the stage was set for battle to commence. And commence it did in no uncertain terms as straight from the kick off both teams stepped up to the mark and refused to give ground, with the result that there were some big hits going in during the opening period. Park had given away two penalties in as many minutes and it looked ominous as the big heavy Derry forwards made inroads inside home territory, even though they were playing into the wind. However Park met this challenge at the front line and after five minutes outhalf Gary Jones had slotted a penalty from forty metres between the posts to settle his sides nerves. On ten minutes Park were dealt a severe blow with the retirement of flanker, Dermot Kiely with suspected medial ligament trouble. He was replaced in the back row by Declan Brady, who went on to have a fine game in the number six position. A minute after this incident Jones put over another penalty to increase the gap to 6-0 and restore team confidence.
With Park doing all the pressing, Derry were reduced to fourteen men after outhalf, Steven Smith, was sent to the Bin. On twenty minutes Jones was wide from thirty metres, but straight from the kick off Park launched an attack from inside their own half which took them inside the opposition twenty two and from a scrum fifteen metres out, a great break by number eight, John Phelan from the back of the scrum, and quick hands by scrum half Richard Jones, who was in support, to winger David Copeland, saw the number fourteen work wonders in the minimum of space to nip inside the cover and over for the first try of the match. With the successful conversion by Jones, Park now led 11-0 after twenty three minutes. Four minutes later Parks fortunes received another boost with the binning of Derry scrum half, Andrew Semple, for a deliberate knock down to reduce his side to thirteen players.
At this point the home side should have exploited their numerical advantage but as happens, it only served as a catalyst to spur on Derry to lift their game and retain the ball through several phases and put Park on the back foot inside their own twentytwo for a sustained period. They came at the home defence in droves, scorned a very kickable penalty and opted for a scrum to keep Park pinned down within ten metres of their line. However after some heroic defence the home side lifted the siege with a magnificent penalty kick by Jones from virtually the goaline, which brought his side almost the full length of the pitch to within ten metres of the Derry tryline and a good attacking position. However they squandered possession on two occasions when a score looked on the cards and with the game in injury time the referee sounded the half time whistle and Park ahead 11-0
With the wind and driving rain at the backs of the visitors, all associated with Park were in unison that this half would be a ?backs to the wall job? and so it proved as from the restart Derry used their big men to try and bore holes in the home defence but to a man they stood firm and weathered the storm for the first ten minutes. Unfortunately all this tackling took it?s toll and a missed tackle on centre, Greg Mitchell, allowed the ball to be moved wide for winger, Ian Orr, to cross for Derry?s opening score and reduce the gap to 11-5.The fact that it took the visitors over fifty minutes to put points on the board says volumes for the commitment shown by the Park team.
To Parks credit they never dropped the heads and with the crowd urging them on they dug deep and raised their game and three minutes later came the defining score of the game when from a scrum on halfway, a lovely break and a deft pass by scrum half, Richard Jones to his brother Gary, saw the outhalf make a magnificent break between the cover defence to race thirty metres and cross for the try to the delight of his players and the home crowd alike. He was also successful with the conversion to put thirteen points between the sides at 18-5. To my mind this score seemed to demoralise the visitors but with so much at stake Derry threw everything at Park and came at them in waves for the remainder of the game. However despite coming perilously close on a few occasions they were unable to breach Parks magnificent defensive wall and at the end of the game it was a very dejected City of Derry that trooped off the field knowing full well that their fate for next season had been signed, sealed and delivered by a magnificent and totally committed performance by the home side.
This display on Saturday last only proved to highlight the false position that Park find themselves in this Division. It was also shown in the recent games against Instonians and Queens University that we are a much better side than given credit for and I have no doubt that whoever comes to Ballinakill in two weeks time to try and take away our Senior status are in for a rude awakening if the guys repeat this performance. To a man they played with pride and passion in the jersey and they got their just rewards at the end of the day. While this was a great performance don?t lose sight of the fact that there is one last hurdle to clear in two weeks time.
Such was the display of every player in a red and black jersey that it would be an impossible task to pick out one individual that stood out as man of the match so all that I will say is that you all have restored a pride within the club that will be carried forward to the 12th. April when I have no doubt that you will emerge victorious and secure our divisional status.
UL Bohemian RFC
Denis Ryan PRO
Grey skies, grey loughs of water and Greystones awaited UL Bohs for this game which was far more meaningful for the home side, as they rest in the relegation area. Unfortunately for Greystones, UL Bohs were smarting after dropping out of contention for a top four place following a couple of results which went against them recently, particularly the previous weekend?s game against Blackrock. This was lost with the final move of the game. The end result was that a hungry UL Bohs came out on top by 38-15, despite finishing the game with just 13 men.
The rain stopped for the duration of the game, and with a very strong wind, the pitch dried up. Despite playing with the advantage of the gale, Greystones were 3-5 behind as half time approached, Ian Hanley having crossed for a well worked try for the visitors to overtake the penalty kicked by James Power. Then, just on the break, while the home No 8 Daniel Kenny, got through to give Greystones an 8-5 advantage, the lead never looked enough such was the strength of the wind.
This was quickly borne out when Ian Hanley and Mike Long both touched down within minutes of the restart. Fergal Lawlor and Batt Duggan added more tries as the visitors showed a dazzling range of attacking moves. Batt Duggan, who had come on as a replacement, was yellow carded shortly after for a technical offence, and when Tom O?Donnell had to leave with a shoulder injury, UL Bohs finished with 13 men, as the bench had previously been emptied. James O?Neill crossed for another try, before Greystones Captain Stuart Abbott touched down with the last move of the match. The final game will be away again, with Old Belvedere the opposition, and with coach Ian Costello anxious to finish the season on a positive note, another open game is anticipated.
The U-20s were at home to Dublin University in the All Ireland Cup semi final at the same time on Saturday, so messages were flying between Greystones and Annacotty. In the event, the scorelines were pretty similar, with UL Bohs beating Trinity by 38-3. Try scorers for UL Bohs were Aidan McNulty, David Kilcoyne, Noel Kinnane, Kieran Essex and Myles Riordan, while Myles also kicked 3 penalties and 2 conversions. The reward for this win is an appearance in the All Ireland Final for the Frazer McMullen Cup. The game will take place in Port Laoise at 2.30pm on Saturday and a large travelling support from Limerick is expected.
The 2nd XV played Shannon in a friendly in Annacotty on Sunday, to assist them in their Junior Cup preparations. The appalling weather ruined the game, but the players enjoyed the run out, which was a prelude to the presentation of medals for their win in the Munster Senior Seconds League.
Shannon Bounce back emphatically
UCD 14 Shannon 45
Andrew McNamara PRO
Aidan Clifford PRO
Killorglin Rugby Club Under 18 team, the West Munster League Champions, took on Abbeyfeale in the West Munster Cup Semi-Final last Sunday 30th of March. In bad conditions and on a poor pitch, Killorglin took the game to the hosts from the kickoff. They scored a try three minutes into the game when No 8 Dan Clifford charged down a clearing kick inside the Abbeyfeale 22 and chased onto to touch down for the try. Killorglin were 5-0 ahead and remained so for the rest of the half. The second half was a different story however, as Abbeyfeale hit Killorglin straight from kickoff and scored a try themselves 3 mins into the half. The scores were now level at 5-5. Abbeyfeale forwards held onto possession very well in the wind and rain & put Killorglin?s smaller pack under pressure. This pressure paid off as they scored two more tries, one from their tight forward unit and another from a superb interception in the centre. Killorglin great season is now over, and can be very proud of their efforts. Their coaches John Costello and Dermot O?Shea put in a great effort and would like to thank all the players for the time they gave over the season.
Team: - 1 Barry Sheehan, 2 Stephen Cotter, 3 Michael Breen, 4 Shane Costello, 5 Stephen Mullins, 6 Declan Lillis, 7 John James Johnson, 8 Dan Clifford, 9 Pa Knightly, 10 Luke O?Shea(c), 11 Lorca Maher, 12 Rikus O?Connor, 13 Chris O?Sullivan, 14 David O?Sullivan, 15 Donagh McGillicuddy. Subs: - Mark Riordan, Pa Kilkenny, Keelan Foley, Peter Mullins. Coaches: - John Costello and Dermot O?Shea.
OLD CRESCENT RFC
Pat Rickard PRO
The final weekend of the AIL Division 2 league campaign brought us and our near neighbours Young Munster together for a game of massive importance for both clubs. Young Munster with a number of clubs chasing them had to win to secure promotion to Division 1 while we need at least a point and maybe two to make sure of our survival in Division 2. Having lost the toss, we played with the elements in the first half and proceeded to take the game to our visitors. Encamped in the Young Munster 22 we spurned three kickable penalties before taking a deserved lead with a penalty duly converted by Brian Begley. We failed to add to our lead and in the dying moments of half with their first foray into our half , Young Munster earned a penalty which was put between the posts to give our side a four point lead at the interval. After some anxious phonecalls during the interval which told us the teams below us were both losing, we took the field for the second knowing that a brave second half performance would keep us in Division 2.
The second half commenced and Young Munster chipped away at the lead with a drop goal to leave just a point between the sides. Then our discipline broke down and we lost two forward to the sin bin in quick succession. Young Munster took the opportunity to score an unconverted try to take the lead for the first time in the match. Restored to 14 men, we again took the game to Young Munster and were awarded a penalty which was goaled by Brian Begley to reduce the gap between the side to a single point.
However, from the restart we conceded another penalty which was successfully kicked by Young Munster to restore their four point lead. The final ten minutes of the game were nerve racking for players and supporters alike but both defences held firm and at the final whistle the large Young Munster following cheered their success but the Crescent fans had to wait until the Barhall & Suttonians game were over before they could learn of their fate. After another couple of anxious phone calls, the cheers went up from the Old Crescent faithful that both of them had been defeated meaning the great escape which so many people thought was unlikely to happen was achieved.
Great credit is due to Jed O'Dwyer and his coaching staff and the players for the way they turned the season around in the last 5 games of the season.
The 3rd XV were also in action last weekend going out of the O'Carroll Plate with defeat to Newcastle West on Sunday. They will bring the curtain down on the adult teams competitive season on Friday night when they play Bruff in the final of the Mc Inerney Cup in Bruff at 7pm. We would ask as many members as possible to attend to support the team.
The under 18s had a very successful tour to Wales last weekend winning both their matches. This weekend our under 12s take to the road taking part in tournaments in Belfast & Cork.We wish both squads the best of luck. Training as usual for all other age groups on Sunday with minis at 10am and youths at 11.15am.
The winner of our most recent car draw which took place last Saturday was Emily Sexton - congratulations to her. The President Night takes place on Saturday April 12th in he Falls Hotel in Ennistymon. Tickets are available from any member of the committee.
Finally this week best of luck to the Munster squad for their big game on Saturday and safe travels to all who make the trip to support the side.
Maria O?Mahony PRO
The 1st XV made the long trek to play Scarriff from east Co Clare. This will be the first time Scarriff and Kinsale met in competition - Scarriff already taking Killarney's scalp. Kinsale had enough guile and experience to deal with the very adverse weather conditions, emerging deserving winners.Tries by Tadhg Wright, Cian O'Brien, Fraser Hodgson and John O'Sullivan with 2 tries converted by Hodgson as a apenalty. Final score 27 - 7 to Kinsale.
The Linehan Cup was also presented to John O'Sullivan, Captain, to mark the winning of the J1 Division 3 League. The trophy was presented by Paul Collins, Hon Secretary, Munster Junior Committee after the match against Scarriff. Kinsale will know face the winners of Castleisland - Charleville 1/4 final. Further details of the O'Sullivan Cup Semi-Final, at the time of writing are not yet known. On Sunday 13th April sees the prospect of another battle royal (home fixture) - this time against Crosshaven - in the 1/4 final of the County Cup. K.O will be 2.30 pm and a very big crowd will be expected as this will be second cup fixture between the fellow seasiders.
Kinsale's 2nd XV will take on the winners of Fermoy / Mallow in the Semi - Final of the J3 Cup, probably next Sunday also. this will be an away fixture for Kinsale.
Finally, our U-18's are showing the way by beating a fancied Mitchelstown XV stormy (weather!) game on pitch 3, Saturday morning, winning 17-12 and now will meet Fermoy in the U-18 Development Cup Final very soon. The players are staying focused as they really want to win this trophy as usual when further details are available regarding Fixtures, members will be advised.