Great Weekend for Clonakilty Rugby
Two finals reached in one weekend is a major plus for the West Cork club and particularly encouraging when it is the Under 19 and Development Squads that are the sides involved.
Clonakilty 17 - 3 Midleton
The Under 19s were first in the field when they took on Midleton in The Vale last Saturday. Although they made much of the early running, were very impressive in contact and won much ball on the ground, they fell behind to a penalty. Two superb penalty kicks from the visitors in rapid succession were despatched each time to give attacking lines-out to Midleton and a great field position where one too many penalties was conceded and this time it was converted. It was a tough game and that was to be the only score of the first half
It began to look as if it might be the only score of the game until man of the match Greg O'Mahony capped a superb period of pressure from the pack by picking and driving from 10 metres to score. Barry Hayes added the conversion and Clon were 7 - 3 up after 5 minutes of the second half. Clon grew in confidence and a great break from Shane Newman and a long pass to winger Sam Cronin looked destined to be try time until his searing run was ended by a superb try-saving tackle from the Midleton full back who also had genuine pace.
The Clon body language spoke volumes and they took control of the proceedings as a desperate Midleton defence struggled to keep their line intact. The pressure inevitably told and Hayes made it 10 - 3 with another penalty on 55 minutes. Clon continued to control the game and O'Mahony repeatedly forced vital turnovers in contact to frustrate the East Cork side. Another big forward to impress, Donal Dignan, made some telling runs and Josh Wilcox and Phil Hinchy started to influence proceedings with aggressive carries.
It was not all one way and Midleton tried hard to get back in the game but Clon were not going to let go of the bone and stout defence typified by a great try-saving tackle from Terry O'Donovan held firm despite great work from Midleton. Wilcox, Dignan and O'Mahony were immense in a move that worked the ball to the mercurial Cronin and he was not to be denied this time going in at the corner for a spectacular try to seal the game for Clon. Hayes' magnificent touchline conversion gave Clon the win and a place in the final of the South Munster League on a 17 - 3 score line.
The Squad was: Scott Sheehan, Rourke Courtney, Bill O'Flaherty, Shane Newman, Sam Cronin, Barry Hayes, Shane Deasy, Jack O'Driscoll, Philip Hinchy, Dean Hennessy, Ryan Chalkey, Martin O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Donovan, Greg O'Mahony, Donal Dignan, Josh Wilcox, Rory O'Mahony and Terry O'Donovan.
The Under 13s had a fine 27 - 9 win over Muskerry and the Under 15s shaded proceedings against the same opposition 12 - 7.
Clonakilty 20 - Cobh Pirates 0
The Development Squad lined out on Sunday against Cobh in the semi-final of The Mick Barry Cup. Cobh brought a big side and their physicality was a telling factor in keeping Clon pinned in their own half for 20 minutes. Indeed Clon did very well to keep their opponents scoreless in this period. That said, on occasions, the West Cork men showed glimpses of their capabilities in attack and this flair resulted in the first score of the game. Sam Dignan, Alan Harte and Kieran O'Donovan combined well to take play into the Cobh half and Padraig Kingston demonstrated great foot-balling skills, controlling the ball at his feet, to go 20 metres for a try. This was to be the only score of the half in which Cobh had dominated the first 20 and Clon the second.
Clon added to their lead five minutes into the second half after two incisive forays when Peter Deane stroked over a penalty. The result was sealed when Cian Clancy drove through the defence to touch down following great drives from the pack in a period in which Sam Dignan and Adrian Fleming were outstanding. David Healy again showed that he is one for the future as he is no respecter of size and stopped men twice his stature in their tracks. The icing was put on the cake when Paul O Donovan, who gets better with every game, made space with a clever step in a packed defence to draw the defenders and popped the ball to Kingston who went in for his second try. It was a hard earned 20 - 0 victory and a place in the final of The Mick Barry Cup.
The Squad was Richard Ellis, Pairic O'Leary, Sean Wycherley, Gavin Moore, Sam Dignan, Brian Blackwell, Adrian Fleming, Dave Healy, Paul O'Donovan, Alan Harte, Gareth Boohig, Peter Dean, James O'Driscoll, Kieran O'Donovan, Brian McSweeney, Mike Murphy, Cian Clancy, Richard Gaskin, Ryan O'Flynn, Cathal O'Regan, Padraig Kingston, John Collins, Brendan Canty, Mark O'Donovan, Tim Walsh and Donal Dignan.
There is massive and healthy competition for places in this squad and the opportunities are still there for players to break in to the starting line up. Clon were clearly under pressure in the tight where the obvious size advantage told but in the mauls, they were well-organised and made great ground with this ploy. The front row withstood the pounding of a much bigger and heavier pack but the lineout can be improved. The back line looks dangerous with ball in hand and the pack proved that they could play a tight game when needed.
They will benefit from the coaching of Mel Long but must take on board his instructions if they are to progress, particularly against well-drilled, experienced sides like Cork Constitution, their opponents this Sunday in the J2 Cup. A city team always brings out the best in West Cork sides and it is an opportunity to turn around some early season results. Cork Constitution will be the toughest game played all season and it provides the chance to gauge properly the level the team is currently at but the players will have to be ready to face very experienced, skilled and organised opponents. Bring it on!
This Weekend's Fixtures:
Under 14s V Muskerry, The Vale, 10.30am
Under 15s V Old Christians, Cork, 11.30am
Under 17s V Carrigaline, Carrigaline, 11.00am
All Ireland League, Seniors V Seapoint, Killiney, Co. Dublin, 2.30pm
Development Squad V Cork Constitution, Cork,12 Noon
We often talk of dark clouds hanging over us when we speak of the death of someone close, but in the case of our club, those dark clouds seem to have settled on a quasi-permanent basis. Every family, every club, experiences the sadness of death, but thankfully, in most cases its sporadic enough to ensure the grieving process takes its natural course. Those dark clouds that we speak of have descended upon us once more, and we are once again in a state of shock at the passing of another of our great members at an age where he was just too young to leave us.
Last Thursday night he took his regular place at the weekly club lotto meeting. On Friday, he was at his place of work, but on Sunday evening, Jim Mc Nicholas took his last breath on this mortal coil on a hospital bed, surrounded by his loving family. The speed of his demise is where the ultimate shock lies. Jimmy had been in a battle, one that he took in his stride, without fuss or a commotion. Dignified and quite, that was Jimmy. It's just difficult to fathom and the sadness felt by everyone on the club, is without doubt the esteem that he was held in.
For over 30 years, this quintessential Mayo man was part of our club, and not just a part of, but one of the supporting pillars that we rely upon to keep Shannon on the go. That pillar has crumbled, like many before, and it's the responsibility of those us that stare into the pile of rubble to ensure that we honour men like Jimmy by guaranteeing we continue to keep their memory alive. That is an unquestioned given when we look back, remember and appreciate just what Jimmy Mc Nicholas has given our club from his introduction to the club in the early eighties right up to his filling the Lotto draw drum last Thursday evening. What went between these two events is a loyalty and dedication to Shannon that will set Jimmy apart from many. The sadness is exacerbated by the knowledge that he was just months away from taking up the mantle as our Club president, a role which he would have flourished in and represented our club with a style and dignity that we readily associate with the man. For us in the club, Jimmy will be most remembered for his assiduous work in the development of Coonagh, from the early tentative steps to our new ground in the mid nineties right through to his long held Chairmanship of the grounds committee. For the rugby fraternity attending AIL matches, he will be remembered as the longstanding man on the gates who unselfishly took the role that few wanted. It's just hard to believe that we will no longer have the pleasure of his company. Thankfully, he was honoured with the Presidency of a Rugby club, and that came in the guise of another passion of his, The Limerick leprechauns. His standing in the rugby community is without question with many kind words of tributes coming from clubs around the country. A regular at the away pre match lunches, Jimmy was always courteous, kind and respectful. He simply represented Shannon with pride. Almost everyone will have a few stories about Jim, all good and amusing mind, of one kind or another, but the recurring theme will be of a jolly, unpretentious and caring man who will be fondly remembered, but sadly missed. We have posted a more detailed remembrance of Jimmy on our website, but we again, extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Bridie, children Suzanne, Karen, Jimmy and Alan, his granddaughter Jessica and all his family and friends. He will be laid to rest in his native Balla, Co.Mayo on Friday, but thankfully, we'll get a chance to say our goodbyes locally as well. Our clubhouse will be open after his removal to the Holy Rosary on Wednesday evening (29th) where we will gather with his family and friends to share our stories and raise a glass or two in remembrance of our Jimmy. May you rest in peace our great friend.
The sadness, unfortunately doesn't end there. We once again mourn another of our members as he is laid to rest in his native Miltown Malbay. John Minouge was a great Shannon supporter and member for a very long time. He forged a lifelong love of the club as a player in the late eighties and it continued until his premature death, once again at a young age on the 17th of February. Even when he went to live in Brighton, he would coincide his travels back home with a Shannon match. John's unexpected death was an obvious shock to his family and friends and we again offer our sincere and deep sympathies to all those that grieve his passing.
Last week we had another great member buried , Jimmy O'Brien(remembrance on the website) and only just a few short weeks ago the great Colm Tucker was laid to rest, which begs the question will this sad chapter in our club ever end. Even though the importance of rugby becomes minor when family and friends enter the grieving process for their loved ones, it is perhaps rugby that will offer relief during the dark times. After all , that's how all our paths converged .
We will play rugby this weekend, and in doing so will keep the memory of these men and what our club meant to them well and truly alive.
And we do have some really big games to take our minds off the sadness. Friday night light return to Thomond Park when we play the first of our consecutive two matches with Garryowen. The reason for two successive games against the light blues is that the deferred game from six weeks ago due to Colm Tuckers removal will be played on Friday the 9th of March.
On Saturday the U/19's have to travel to Cork for their pan Munster semi final with Highfield which should be a great game. They will travel with trepidation, but also with a certain amount of confidence given their performances so far. We wish them all the very best.
Last weekend we had a narrow loss for the U/21's in the Southwestern conference at the hands of Dolphin and the seconds recorded a bonus point win in the Munster league.
Seniors AIL V Garryowen, Thomond Pk, 7.30pm
3rds Friendly V UNI, Coonagh, 1.30pm
SecondsMSS. Lg V Nenagh, Nenagh, 1pm
Women's Cup V Coonagh, 1pm
U/19 Pan Mun Semi Shannon/St Marys V Highfield, Woodleigh Pk, 11.15am
U/11 Willow Park Festival, Dublin
U/16 Lg Shannon/St Mary's V Kilrush, Kilrush, 12.30am
Young Munster RFC
Ulster Bank League game 14 this weekend v Old Belvedere away
Young Munster take on Old Belvedere this Saturday March 3rd in Dublin. We are currently in third position of the Ulster Bank League, just two points off the top, with the three teams at the top of the table all to meet over the remaining games of the league so it's still all to play for.
This is a big game for the boys and travelling support will be greatly appreciated. A bus to Old Belvedere is being organised by John Browne to take supporters to the game. It will leave the from the Limerick Leader office, O'Connell Street at 10am. For full details and booking contact John Brown at 086-1756901.
Only 4 games to go after this weekend…
YM UBL GAME 15 - Clontarf at home 24/03/12 [*book now for this Pre-Match Lunch]
YM UBL GAME 16 -Lansdowne away 31/03/12
YM UBL GAME 17 - Dolphin at home 14/04/12 [*book now for this Pre-Match Lunch]
YM UBL GAME 18 -St. Mary's away 21/04/12
* to reserve your place at the Pre-Match Lunches for Clontarf and Dolphin at home, contact Brendan Collopy at 086-6062606 or Fergal Deegan 086-2265692. €25 includes admission, 2-course lunch with wine and match programme. All are welcome.
Young Munster bow out of Junior Cup
Our Junior Cup run came to an end in Temple Hill last Sunday when we were beaten by a
good Cork Cons side. We started very brightly and on two occasions in the first 10 minutes we opened up the Cons defence and would have got the perfect start but for the final pass failing to find its target.
These let offs gave Cons the confidence that this might be their day and gradually got on top in both the scrum and line-out, and would have gone ahead only for great defence by Declan Brown, Jake Considine and Co who stopped Cons from getting the first try.
We weathered the storm and got the first points of the day through a penalty from the half way line from the impressive Shane O'Leary to put us 3-0 up after 23 minutes. Cons levelled the score after 30 minutes with a penalty straight in front of the posts but we went back in front in the 36th minute with a fine penalty from Brian Haugh to put us ahead by 3.
With the last play of the first half we did cross the try line through Mark Mulvaney after a great back line move only for the ref to call us back for a forward pass to leave the half time score 6-3 in our favour.
Cons started the second half like we started the first and only our never-say-die attitude by the whole team prevented Cons from getting on the score board. With 9 minutes left on the clock we were still ahead by the 3 points, but our luck ran out when Cons got an over lap on the right to score a fine try in the corner and to add salt to the wound they kicked the conversion from the touch line to put Cons ahead 10-6 with 8 minutes left to play. We came storming back knowing that only a try would save us but after a back line move broke down inside the Cons 22 their left wing gathered up the loose ball to sprint the length of the field to score a fine individual try, and again they kicked the conversion from the touch line to leave the final score 17-6 in Cons favour.
We were disappointed in our performance, as we know we can play a lot better, but on the day the better team won. We now turn our focus to both the League and Transfield Cup and we know coaches Gearoid Prendergast and Mark Hayes will be doing everything to make sure we get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
The management and team would like to thank the large following of supporters that travelled to support us in Cork last Sunday.
Final score: Cork Constitution 17 - 6 Young Munster
Young Munster Under 14's
Last Sunday, we hosted Bruff RFC in a friendly fixture at Derryknockane. With the first round of the Under 14 Cup just around the corner, this match, played over three 20 minute periods, proved to be ideal preparation for the upcoming cup campaign.
We welcomed back Aaron McNamara and Calvin McDonagh after long term injuries, with both participating in the full sixty minutes and thankfully suffering no adverse affects.
Bruff started in lively form, and a well-worked move by their pack saw them cross for the first try after 3 minutes. They scored again 5 minutes later when a speculative kick ahead by their out-half bounced fortuitously into the hands of their left wing, who crossed for their second try.
We gradually worked our way back into the match, and a superb individual effort by Aaron McNamara got us on the scoreboard. Dean Garvey converted from under the posts. Our pack had a battle on their hands against a bigger Bruff eight, but with the scrum well anchored by Jack Finucane and Calvin McDonagh, we achieved parity in the scrum, and with pin-point accuracy from hooker Emmett Connolly, we did well out of touch through Brendan Kelly and Shane O'Connell. We introduced Jordan McKnight and the ever improving Jake Bennis, with both playing very well.
Second row Eoghan Carey began to impose his physicality on proceedings and carried with menace, particularly in the third period. Eoghan deservedly got his first try for the club after a terrific break from halfway. Further breaks from Eoghan resulted in David Benn crossing for 2 tries in the final period. Dean Garvey converted three out of the four tries, and varied his play well. Scrum-half Anthony Shaw did well at the base of the scrum, and was ably assisted by flankers, Jake Fitzgerald and Damien Benson. Sterling defensive work from Tadhg Enright at full-back and wingers Kelvin Brosnahan and Alex O'Callaghan kept our line intact, with Bruff laying siege for the final few minutes.
Final Score: Young Munster 26 - 19 Bruff
Thanks to Bruff for the fixture, and we wish them well in their cup campaign.
Team: Tadhg Enright, Alex O'Callaghan, David Benn, Kelvin Brosnahan, Aaron McNamara; Dean Garvey, Anthony Shaw; Jack Finucane, Emmett Connolly, Calvin McDonagh; Eoghan Carey, Shane O'Connell; Jake Fitzgerald, Damien Benson, Brendan Kelly (Captain). Subs: Jake Bennis, Jordan McKnight (both used)
All wins for U9s at weekend blitz
Our U9's squad went to Old Crescent last Sunday for a blitz and played great rugby winning all their games.
In our first match we played Newcastle West, we started this match playing good open rugby and we were rewarded early when a passing move involving Ben Murphy and Scott Sheehan was finished off when Darragh Long scored in the corner.
We continued to run the ball wide at every opportunity and after good play by Josh Crawford we got over for another try by Donnacha O Callaghan. Newcastle West came back at us and only for strong tackling by Darragh O Sullivan and Liam Kelly they would have scored. We added on another try when Cian Casey took a pass at speed and beat four defenders to score a great try. Luke Moloney was playing fantastic and scored a great try bursting through five tackles for our fourth try.
Final Score: Young Munster 4 tries - 0 NCW
Our next match was against Copsewood Gaels and they gave us a very good match. Again we started brightly and took the lead early when Darragh long scored again. They came back at us strong but only for good play by Killian Higgins, Sean Farrell and CJ Carey we stopped them from scoring. We continued to push on and scored again when Josh Crawford drove over the line. We fell asleep for a while and let Copsewood in for two soft tries. We dusted ourselves down and came back strong with Cayden Malone and Patrick O'Donnell making strong runs and we scored another two tries.
Final Score: Young Munster 5 tries - 2 tries Copsewood Gaels
In our last match we played Richmond. We had great performances from Conor Kerley, Ben Dillon and Adam Keating in this match. We proved too strong for a smaller Richmond team, Glen Carey made some strong runs in this match and he is making great progress so far this season. It was great to see Scott Sheehan linking up with Donnacha O'Callaghan at half back to send Cian Casey over for a great team try. Ben Murphy made a great break and gave a super pass for Ben Dillon to score.
Final Score: Young Munster 10 tries - 0 Richmond
We also went to the Munster match against Cardiff in Thomond Park last Friday night and everyone had a great night. (see group photo from Thomond Park)
Saturday 4th March
AIL DIV 1A Old Belvedere V Young Munster, Anglsea Road, 2.30pm
U21 SW CONFERENCE UCC V Young Munster ,Curraheen Cork, 12.00am
J2 Friendly Young Munster V Richmond, Tom Clifford Park, Time TBC
Sunday 5th March
WOMEN'S BOWL COMPETITION Thurles V Young Munster, Thurles, 1.00pm