Clonakilty Under 13s Bring 2011-12 Curtain Down with Style
South Munster U-13 League Final: Skibbereen 7- Clonakilty 15
Clonakilty's Under 13s produced a superb display in Skibbereen on Friday last to clinch a hard-earned South Munster league title against a very talented Skibb side. It was a very tense affair that went right down to the wire with Clon scoring their third and last try in the dying moments to secure the league title.
The opening fifteen minutes were hotly contested by both sides with end to end play but it was the home side that opened the scoring with a well-taken try and the conversion gave them a 7 - 0 lead.
Clon's forwards responded well with some brilliant rucking and telling "pick and goes". Clon's number 8, John Hodnett and fullback, Shane Enright, were both very unlucky not to score on either flank as they were denied by some outstanding last-ditch tackles by the Skibbereen defence.
The closing stage of the half was a worrying period for the visitors as it was dominated by Skibbereen and Clon's defence was tested. However, against the run of play, Clon produced one magical moment when the backs moved the ball wide from a scrum near halfway and second centre JD O'Hea burst through the Skibb line to out run the covering defence to get the touchdown leaving the score Skibb 7- Clon 5 at half time.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with each side throwing everything into it but the defences held firm for the first twenty minutes or so. Clon frustrated their opposition with excellent counter-rucking, especially by the back row of Oisin Devoy, John Hodnett and Captain, Travis Coomey. The front five (plus two subs) of Jack Ryan, Christy Tuck, Daniel Murphy, Liam White, Micheal Murphy, Darren Keohane and Caimin Crowley were immense around the park but especially in the scrum where they took some vital strikes against the head.
It was from one of these Skibb feeds that Clon were able to make the decisive move. The excellent half backs, Niall O'Mahoney and Tristan Walsh, moved the ball wide through centre Moss Downey and wing Clement Cunningham to set up a ruck. Quick recycling by both forwards and backs worked the ball to the blind side with centre JD O'Hea again bursting through to score in the corner to leave Clon leading 10-7 with fifteen minutes to go.
Clon had to dig deep to protect the lead and managed to break up field with a searing run from Liam White ably supported by Nicolas Bakker. Although a knock on brought the move to an end the Clon scrum once again came to the rescue and they won the put-in against the head. The ball was moved wide through the backs featuring a great pick up by wing Sean Madden and Clon went through a couple of phases before Oisin Devoy sniped around a ruck to dive over the line to secure the victory for the team. The conversion was narrowly missed but that was the last action of the game resulting in joyous scenes from the whole squad and the large and boisterous travelling support.
It was a great achievement for the entire squad and a testament to its strength in depth was the manner in which the absence of injured key players Maurice Shanley and Colin Deane was not allowed to affect the team performance. They have had to play most of their games on the road and have been great ambassadors for the club and the game of rugby. They played an attacking style and even though only in their first year in the full fifteen man game, were very entertaining to watch and credit must go to the coaches, Derek Dillon, Barry McAdams and Maurice Shanley. Although not everyone got to play in the final, everyone played their part in the weekly league games and it was truly a squad achievement. They now move to under 14 next season and will expect to continue where they left off.
The squad was: Jack Ryan, Christy Tuck, Daniel Murphy, Liam White, Micheal Murphy, Travis Coomey, Oisin Devoy, John Hodnett, Niall O'Mahoney, Tristan Walsh, Moss Downey, J D O'Hea, Clement Cunningham, Shane Enright, Sean Madden, Darren Keohane, James Hegarty, Caimin Crowley, Fiachra Gibbons, Kieran Calnan, Sean O'Leary, Connor O'Farrell, Sean White, Sam Grisnell, Nicolas Bakker, Rory Cullinane, Micheal Whelton, Colin Deane and Maurice Shanley.
NEVEN MAGUIRE - FOOD DEMONSTRATION
Clonakilty Rugby club is bringing TV personality and acclaimed chef Neven Maguire to Fernhill House Hotel on the 15th of May for one of his award winning Food Demonstrations. Renowned for his creativity, culinary skill and approachable nature, Neven Maguire has now become a household name in Ireland. He trained in some of the highest profile restaurants in the world including Roscoff, Belfast (Michelin Star winner), Grand Hotel Berlin (Michelin Star winner), The Lea Linster Luxembourg (where he cooked for Lady Diana and Tony Blair) and Arzak, San Sebastian. In 2001, Neven took over the family business, MacNean House, and turned a local restaurant into an internationally acclaimed eatery.
The evening begins at 7pm with a complimentary glass of wine and a food tasting from some of Irelands leading Artisan food producers. Neven Maguire Food Demonstration will begin at 8pm. Guests will also receive a valuable goody bag at the end of the evening with samples from some of the sponsors and food producers showcased on the night. Neven regularly sells out his Food Demonstrations around the country and because the Rugby club wishes to keep the event in Clonakilty tickets are limited due to local seating capacity restrictions.
Tickets are priced €30 each and are available in Clonakilty at Burke by Design, Fuchsia Footwear, and Scannell's Bar; in Bandon at Deasy's Pharmacy; in Skibbereen at Designs Gift Shop and in Kinsale at The Gallery. All proceeds will go to supporting the running of the Rugby club and its underage section.
Your support is greatly appreciated. Clonakilty Rugby Club would like to acknowledge our sponsors on the evening. Title Sponsors: Clonakilty Food Company and Shannon Vale Foods. Supporting Sponsors: Dubliner Irish Cheese, Clona Dairies, Scannell's Bar and An Sugan. For further information contact: email@example.com
Shares in the company that manufacture SILVO polish have rocketed this week as Shannon RFC have been seen to purchase large quantities to ensure their haul of silverware is kept gleaming over the next 12 months or so.
We jest of course, but such are the high spirits around the club at the moment after the last few days that we can't help but keep smiling and chuckling to ourselves.
If last week's notes reflected a great week despite the lack of silverware, than this week we find it very difficult to keep track of what we have won this week such was the veritable avalanche of successful finals over a very short space of time.
There's absolutely no doubt as to what our highlight was, not only of the week, but our entire season.
We've won Senior All Irelands, 2nds All Irelands, Ladies All Irelands and U/20 All Irelands in the past, and now we can add U/19's to that group of high achievers. Club history was created in Naas last Saturday and we can only stand and salute that monumental achievement from the boys of Shannon and St Marys. The story has been told repetitively as to how the merger began last season and how this group of players have boned to form a formidable outfit.
Had this group of players never won anything, they being would still be considered a success, but from the embers of dwindling U/19 squads from either club came a knight in Shining armour , Brendan Mc Namara and a trusted lieutenant in his son Barry to mould what are now the undisputed U/19 All Ireland champions. It's nothing short of a miracle what had been achieved and last Saturday in Naas, we bore witness to the fruits of their weekly slog since last September.
To a man, our players were heroic, and the pride that the large travelling support had in them, was at bursting point. There was always a feeling that we had a good side ever since they made ripples last season. Perhaps this accolade may have come back then had bureaucracy allowed them play their part in a Munster final, but that was then, and from that ultra disappointment, the seeds of determination were sown to prove their worth. A Munster title was their goal, an All Ireland, an aspiration. Brendan Mc stood in almost disbelief last Saturday on the Co. Kildare pitch. He never doubted his boys, but yet it was almost incredulous to him that they had come so far to claim the All Ireland title. Believe it Brendan, believe it.
We've reported fully on the game, which can be seen on the website, but in brief, we thoroughly deserved victory of an excellent Malone side, but by God, we were in a state of near pandemonium in the closing stages. The Twitter feed went silent due to fiddly fingers shaking, that and forgetfulness due to the tension. We lead 21-6; we looked comfortable with injury time looming, but an Alex McNamara yellow card signalled an almost epic revival from Malone. The considerable loss of our mid field colossus gave Malone space for exploitation and that they did, with two tries to bring is to 21-16 and injury time progressing almost 7 minutes beyond the 35 minutes allocated for the half. The hatches were battened, bolted and welded shut for the short time that remained and the heavy hits just kept coming from our lads until finally, on the far side of the pitch a dogged combo dragged a Malone lad into touch. The ref looked hesitant to blow, but perhaps our "gentle" verbal persuasion on that far side assisted him, and all hell broke loose. Good hell though! It took almost five minutes for the cyber followers to hear the news; such was the excitement, so apologies to tweeps and face bookers
For the record, Craig Mc Callum, and Dave Evans scored tries, while an almost flawless kicking display from Conor Burns added the remaining 11 points. (He missed one, but we'll let him off).
The trophy presentation reflected the unity of the team. Simon Gallagher from Saints in his blue and white hoops, and team captain Gearoid Heelan lifted the impressive statute, and then we had the singing. The, ahem, reluctant Vinnie Ryan lashed out the Isle, Brendan Mc , St Marys anthem and we just lapped it up. History, Glory and Pride; that's the story of the day and these young men brought all three to their respective clubs.
We could go on and on in respect to the qualities of this team, but we have more good news to preach and it involves the U/19 squad also.
While we were in Nass, some of our seniors were representing us in the Munster 7's in Bruff. In truth, few knew we were entering a team so imagine our surprise when the news filtered through that we actually won the competition. The hasty and late entry was the brainchild of Alan Bennie and he managed to muster seven hardy souls to take part. Expectations weren't what could be described as high, and that's coming from the participants themselves. It was all a bit of crack and fun, until they suddenly realised that they were winning and had the chance to do well. Attitudes changed and supremeo Eoin Cahill began that tactical games and it all worked out. Isn't it great when we get nice surprises , so well done to the magnificent 7 , Alan Bennie, Mike Darcy, Dan Heffernan, Richie and Leonard Mullane, Paul Curtiss and John Deegan and the Vince Lombardi of sevens rugby Eoin Cahill.
It's now onto the All Ireland series next week in Athlone, and with an Amsterdam trip on offer for the winners, it's going to be a serious expedition from the off. News of the progress and the potential rewards seems to have tweaked the interest of a few of the other lads and there seems to be a bandwagon beginning to assemble, (present writer included and a recent retiree...DQ) looking for the glory. We may have missed the boat though, but in all seriousness, it was a great achievement and let's hope we can go one better.
Sunday saw the open cup finals and we had another presence in both the U/19 and U/17. Although it was the same Shannon/St Marys on top of the team sheet for the U/19 game, it was practically a whole new side with a few replacements from the previous day. All our schools players were out in force for the game, which was just as well looking at the state of all Ireland revellers (all deserved) in the canal Bank.
Old Crescent were equally stacked and we were treated to a rip-roaring contest. The pace of the first half in particular was spectacular and we had a seven-try thriller over the course of the game. The wind was considerable and we had its advantage in the first half, but initially it made no difference as Crescent took the lead. The pace was intense, the handling skills were exquisite, and it didn't take long for us to respond when Clongowes Jack (McDermott) dashed over. Ronan McKenna's added a penalty before Ciaran Power barged his way over for a superb try.
It was Crescents turn to cross for an unconverted try and then it was our turn. That was the jist of it really, such was the ding dong nature of the game .Prop Conor Glynn, who looked extremely impressive increased our lead at the break by showing a clean pair of heals for a try that Ronan McKenna converted.
The pace of the game understandably dropped, but still we were taking the initiative. Jack Dineen was a thundering powerhouse though out and his continuous go forward ball gave us the opportunity to spread it wide in the face of the wind. It took a serious defence effort to keep Old Crescent of the second half score sheet, and it was our own Tom O'Neill that extended our lead to an unassailable 27-10. A late flurry from Old Crescent saw them cross for a converted try, but it was too little too late and we celebrated s second U/19 trophy in as many days.
Prior to that match we had a much more tense and close game when both clubs once again battled it out in the U/17 open cup decider. This game only produced one try throughout, but we didn't really care because it was our own Will Leonard that scored just before the break. Again, the wind was a factor and Old Crescent failed to utilise its advantage in the opening half, but we had a similar issue after the break. Scoring chances were at a premium, thanks mainly to the strong defensive efforts from both sides. Although we had a dearth of possession in the second half, Old Crescent found getting out of their own half a great difficulty mainly due to the back row prowess of the Shannon unit.
Kelvin Brown , Dathai Collins, Conan Humphries were on hand to stop Old Crescents progress, but neither they or their teammates could stop Old Crescents momentum to get up to our 22 for the final 6 or 7 minutes. A swift breakout saw Crescent camped in our 22 for the closing heart stopping final few minutes and they were managing to get the decisions at scrum time, but the wind didn't allow shots at goal. They relayed on a pick and dive, but they were held at bay and our boys held on valiantly for another great cup success.
Great credit has to go to Padraic O'Brien, coach to the lads who came in late and managed to get them to their cup triumph through his well-known work ethic from his playing days. Another former senior player Frances Broderick and Martin Power gave a huge hand and he too can share the plaudits. They have the makings of a good coaching team looking to next season. So again, we offer our congratulations to the U/17's on another notch of success at the weekend.
Amidst the euphoria, we did have disappointment, but no shortage of pride. Our U/14's were the first of the final teams in Friday evening and they were up against arch nemeses UL/Bohs. Already the Red Robbins beat them in the league final, so the odds were stacked against our lads, but they battled 'till the end and can stand proud in their 19-10 defeat. They gave UL/Bohs an early 12-point lead and against any side, it's a huge claw back, but UL/Bohs are a fine side and the task was enormous.
However, the lads fought back and perhaps one incident defined how the game finished. Ian Browne looked odds on to score a try in the second half. He had cut through the swarm of bodies and headed towards the line. One man to beat, but he was dragged down by a high tackle. Penalty try was the shout and not unwarranted, but just a penalty and no card for the perpetrator. Had Ian scored momentum was with who knows, and us but that's rugby. Decisions go with you and against you and you take the good with the bad. It was a pity for the U/14's, but I have no doubt their day will come, sooner rather than later.
Tuesday evening brought another final, but this U/15 game against Young Munster didn't come to a conclusion because of an injury to one of their players. We were leading prior to the hold up by 12-5, but in such instances of serious looking injury, caution is always the name of the game. An ambulance was called, for what we hope was a mere precaution and we send our best wishes to the young man. The rescheduled final will now take place on Friday evening in Coonagh at 7pm.
The drive for five titles for the U/19's came down like the house of cards on Tuesday evening when Garryowen managed to beat them in the closed cup semi final by 15-3. Although the lads were well up for the game, it was always going to be a very difficult task for mind and body after last Saturday and Sunday's exploits. The very short turnaround was always going to be a tough task, but with the ultimate prize already in the cabinet, it was no surprise that the performance was a little flat. That said, Garryowen could only play what was in front of them and they were deserving of their final place. We had the first half wind, but only managed a 3 pointer and the light blues soon added a try and penalty after the break. At 8-3 down, we were still in reach and we tried hard to get the vital scores, but in the attempts, we spilled the ball and Garryowen hacked ahead and managed to win the race to the line. The conversion was added and the whistle blew immediately to bring a disappointing result but an outstanding season for the u/19's to a conclusion.
After all that, we remind our members of the AGM, which takes place on Wednesday 23rd of May in the clubhouse at 8pm. The usual nomination and motion submission procedure applies (i.e. no later than two weeks prior to the AGM)
Last Game of the Season (get out and support the lads)
Friday 4th May
Under 15 Cup Final - Shannon V Young Munsters 7pm Coonagh
J2 Cup Final
Waterpark 7- 37 Old Christians
Waterpark were well beaten by Old Christians in the J2 South Munster Cup final last Sunday in Musgrave Park. In fairness to the Cork side they played with a good structure with their forward pack very well drilled and an outhalf who controlled the game.
Waterpark lost the toss and played with a very strong wind at their backs in the first half. The plan was to used the elements to pin Old Christians in their half but this never materialised. Waterpark let the occasion get the better of them and played in to the hands of the opposition with a number of the players making solo breaks when using the boot to gain field position would have been better advised.
The first try of the game came from a neat back move from the Christians backline that allowed their winger Brefni O'Callaghan to score, they repeated the same move shortly after and this time their full back Paudie Sheehan scored to give them a 12 point lead playing into the wind. Waterpark never settled and continued to make individual errors but finally created a penalty opportunity that went wide from outhalf Richard Halley. To rub salt into the wounds Old Christians crashed over for another try from James Caples on the stroke of half time to give them a 17-point lead.
Form the restart Waterpark were under pressure which lead to another 3 points, this time from outhalf David Scannell who dropped a goal, 20 points to nil. Wing forward Dave Lattimre finally scored a try for Waterpark about 20mins into the second half, but that was as good as it got. Old Christians scoring another 17 points from Stephen Twohig, Darragh Daly and Gavin Tobin to seal the Cup win.
A very disappointing day when every thing that could go wrong did. This team played some great rugby in the earlier rounds of this competition and taking some notable scalps on the way but the final was a game too far. Dave Lattimre, Darragh Joyce, Ben Cross and Tom Keisery were best for Waterpark.
The squad for the day was: Paddy Queally, Ben Cross, PJ Kinsella, Collie Walsh, Darragh Joyce, Mick McCarthy, Damien O'Dwyer, Andrew Moore, Vinny Molloy, Richard Halley, Dave Fitzgerald, Jerry Millar, Dave Hughes, Irvine Lane, Tom Kersey, Nick Murphy, Dave Lattimre, Conor McCarthy, Geoff Deegan, Ivan Kersey, Jeff Power and Joe Widger.
Congratulations to the Munster Junior team and Waterpark's Murray Kinsella on their victory over Leinster last weekend. First time in ten years this side has beaten Leinster away, hopefully they can maintain their run this weekend against Ulster in Kanturk next Saturday.
Munster Under 20's
Congratulations to Tom Keisery and Jack O'Donoghue on their selection for the Munster under 20's squad for 2012/2013. A great achievement for the players who will begin their training programmes in June. Both players were part of the Waterpark under 17 team that won the All Ireland in 2009/2010.
Munster Under 19's
Congratulations to Tom O'Hare and Adam Walsh on their inclusion in the extended Munster 19 panel for 2012/2013. Both players were part of the Munster youth team this season. Again their training programmes commence in June.
Last weekend the Munster youths played the Munster schools in two trial matches in Limerick. Gareth Molloy, Darragh Power, Callum McElligot and Conal Dodds from Waterpark's under17s squad were involved in these matches.
East Munster Competitions
This season has been a historic one for Waterpark's youth section with the under 13s/15s/17s and 19's winning their respective league title.
Added to that the under 13s/17s and 19s also won the East Munster Cup at each age grade. While the under 15s took the East Munster under 15 plate competitions.
Waterpark Under 19s East Munster League and Cup Champions 2011/2012
Waterpark Under 17's East Munster League and Cup Champions 2011/2012
Waterpark Under 15's East Munster League and Plate Champions 2011/2012
Waterpark Under 13's East Munster League and Cup Champions 2011/2012
A superb achievement for all the players, coaches and parents at all levels both on and off the field within the club. Hopefully the club can continue to build on this success in the future. The trick now is for the club to try and retain these players and aim to help them reach the highest standard they can while with the club.
Check out "Waterpark Tag "on Facebook for more information on when the competitions commences and the social events which will be held injunction with the Tag.