Silverware for Clonakilty
Clonakilty 20 Highfield 14
Renditions of "Clon Boys" have been few and far between in recent times but there was no denying the gusto in which the refrain was belted out last Monday when the Mick Barry Cup was won in a tough but highly entertaining game. Highfield provided the opposition and typical of such derbies there was little room for error. There were many errors but as large a crowd as has graced The Vale slope this season were kept on edge as the lead see-sawed for three-quarters of the game as each side capitalised on the others errors.
The Highfield pack was the visitors main weapon while the Clonakilty backline was the West Cork's side's cutting edge. In the end, it was youth and pace that won over experience and organisation. In wingers Ciarán O'Donovan and James O'Driscoll and centre Padraig Kingston, Clon have a strike force capable of turning defence into tries given a half chance. For all their obvious experience and structured play, Highfield did not take the lesson on board; that kicking speculatively for position was a liability with these guys on the prowl.
Highfield started well and their pressure yielded two penalties, which were superbly executed to give the visitors a 0 - 6 lead after ten minutes. However, Clon had looked very dangerous with ball in hand and this was underlined when good play from Paul O'Donovan put Padraig Kingston away and, with a great pass, he found James O'Driscoll who scorched in for an excellent try. Kieran O'Donovan converted to give Clon a 7 - 6 lead on 15 minutes.
Clon's pack, although with some outstanding performers on the day, were not working as a unit and allowed Highfield more possession than they would have expected. Seven minutes later 'Field regained the lead with a try which was down to poor tackling in the main. 7 - 11, to the city men but they added a penalty shortly after as the penalty count against Clon was hurting to give them the momentum at 7 - 14
An inspired raft of substitutions was made by the management of Brian Blackwell, Jimmy Kingston and Mel Long at a crucial moment in the game. As the 'Field pack looked to take control, Gavin Moore, Terry Phair and Richie Gaskin were introduced and they added a physicality that more than matched the visitors. A penalty to Clon was despatched by Shane Newman, who had been getting great length in his kicks, to the five-metre mark for the attacking lineout. The ball was moved first from left to right and when stopped at the touchline was moved back again where James O'Driscoll went in for his second try in the left corner.
There was only two points in it now at 12 - 14 and five minutes of the half remaining. A good run from Sam Dignan and great support from Greg O'Mahony, David Healy and Terry Phair allowed Padraig Kingston to show his abilities and he won a penalty, which Kieran O'Donovan converted to give 15 - 14 lead to the home side at half time.
A try saving tackle by Mike Murphy was a defining point in the game as Highfield showed that they were not relying only on a pack. Clon were living dangerously as three missed penalties were worrying in such a close contest. However, as sweet a try, at any level, was engineered from a restart from the last of those missed kicks. Gavin Moore caught the ball cleanly and off-loaded immediately to running prop, Richie Gaskin who showed wonderfully soft hands with a perfect pass to Kieran O'Donovan who touched down in the corner and Clon were a healthy 22 - 14 up - a lead they held to the end despite a barnstorming finish by Highfield.
Squad: 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, Donal Dignan,Terry Phair, Mike O'Neill, Timmy O'Regan, Shane Newman, Greg O'Mahony, Pa Noonan and Mike Griffin.
Seapoint 35 Clonakilty 15
The seniors will be hard-pressed to get anything out of the visit of Dublin University to The Vale this Saturday. The students are currently in top position and will not be looking to go to Division One in style as a bonus point win this weekend confirms that status.
Last time out Clon travelled to second placed Seapoint in Dublin and returned pointless. Seapoint are a club similar in lots of ways to Clonakilty. A community based club that came through the junior ranks courtesy of an exceptional group of players that came through their underage system. They are at present at the height of their form while Clonakilty are in a rebuilding process.
The result was not inevitable, indeed Clon looked good in the early stages when rousing carries from the kick off by Ryan Purcell and Mike Keohane had the home side on the back foot. Mark Purcell and David Lombard featured in a great move that Matt Kirby rounded off with a fine try. The conversion by Denis McCarthy gave the visitors a 7 - 0 lead after five minutes. Seán Dignan was sinbinned after 15 minutes as Seapoint applied the pressure and from the resultant penalty lineout, poor tackling allowed "point" back into the game with a try when three Clon players failed to stop their man. The conversion levelled the scores after 17 minutes.
Matt Kirby, who had shown that he had the capability to break the Seapoint line seemingly at will, did so again and great work brought him into the opposition 22 where his intended pass was slapped back. A grateful "point" seized the chance and caught the Clon line completely disorganised for the counter and the converted try put the Dubliners ahead 14 - 7 after 28 minutes. A technical spear tackle, no malice intended, on Matt Kirby was rewarded with a red card and McCarthy added three points to narrow the gap to 14 - 10 after 31 minutes.
Tremendous work from Ryan Purcell had Clon attacking again and David Lombard took it on before Kirby combined well with Mark Purcell and the latter put the leagues top try scorer, Noel O'Sullivan into space with a superb pass. The winger responded with a try to give Clon the lead again at 14 - 15 on 35 minutes. This was short-lived, unfortunately, as the trend of the season again surfaced with Clon attacking and turning over possession and unable to deal with the counter and a number of missed tackles later Seapoint regained the lead with a try - 21 - 15 following the conversion on the stroke of half time.
Clon were confined to attacking from their 22 for most of the second half and bravely as they did they had no answer to genuine pace when the ball was turned over and they conceded two more trys both superbly converted from the touchline to leave the final score a 35 - 15.
Squad: Denis McCarthy, Kieran Howlin, Darragh Lynch, David Lombard, Noel O'Sullivan, Matt Kirby, Mark Purcell, Gary Shannon, Batt Duggan, Ryan Purcell, Sean Dignan, Mike Keohane (Capt), Tomas Keogh, Ger McCarthy, Paddy Ryan, Stephen Cotter, Fiachra Keane, Jake Ball, Sam Dignan and Ciarán O'Donovan.
The Underage section is having a marvellous season and this time it was the turn of the Under 13s to take the spotlight. They produced another impressive victory against a gritty Cobh side to remain unbeaten in the league. Classy centre JD O'Hea scored four tries with Colin Deane, Sean Madden, Oisin Devoy, Daniel Murphy and Shane Enright all getting one touchdown each. Clon set the pace from the kick-off and were three tries to the good after fifteen minutes with their halfbacks, Tristan Walsh and Maurice Shanley ably running the show. Clon's pack had a battle on their hands against a large and physical Cobh front eight but the front row was in control of both the scrum and the tight exchanges. The back five forwards were outstanding in the loose, creating havoc with and without the ball.
Clon's backs scoring some scintillating tries through JD O'Hea, Sean Madden and Shane Enright. The latter scoring probably the best team try of the year so far when Clon counter attacked from deep in their own '22 . Cobh were pressing when the ball was turned over and Clon quickly moved it through many hands and through multiple phases with some classy off-loads culminating with Shane getting the touchdown under the posts.
The second half continued in much the same fashion with the entire bench playing a very valuable part in the victory. Clon produced four more tries with Oisin Devoy, Daniel Murphy , Colin Deane and JD O'Hea each scoring one try with Maurice Shanley scoring eight conversions from eight attempts. Clon's defence on the day was equally as impressive as its attack and they conceded only one try as Cobh tested them to the limit. Brilliant and brave last-ditch tackles put in on Cobh's best ball carriers by all but in particular Niall O'Mahoney, Travis Coomey, Liam White and Colin Deane kept a game Cobh at bay.
Squad: Shane Enright, Sean Madden, JD O'Hea, Colin Deane, Niall O'Mahony, Maurice Shanley, Tristan Walsh, Travis Coomey, Oisin Devoy, Caimin Crowley, Michael Murphy, Liam White, Jack Ryan, Darren Keohane, Daniel Murphy, Conor O'Farrell, Fiachra Gibbons, Sean O'Leary, Aaron Knowles, Ciaran Calnan, Sean White , Sam Grisnell, Moss Downey and Rory Cullinane.
This Weekend's Fixtures
Under 15s v Muskerry, Sth Munster Cup, Ballyanley, 11.00am
Under 17s v Old Christians, Sth Munster Cup, Rathcooney, 11.00am
Seniors v Dublin University, All Ireland League, The Vale, 2.30pm
Development Squad V Kenmare, J2 Plate, The Vale, 2.30
Short notes this week for a variety of reasons, but mainly because we had little in the line of rugby action over the weekend past.
The U/21's were our only adult team to take to the pitch and unfortunately it was not a success. Their interest in this season's South western conference came to an end in Annacotty last Saturday when home side UL/Bohs turned on the style to win by 27-9. Concentration levels were not as they should have been at the start of the game which allowed UL/Bohs gain an early advantage when they went over for a try, and in truth after that we were struggling to play catch up. The loss of a few key players during the first half through injury certainly didn't help our cause but those that remained played with typical commitment, but unfortunately in these playoff games it's quite often not enough.
Despite their abrupt halt to their AIL campaign, the lads can look back with a certain amount of pride in their achievement in making it to a playoff place. In circumstances that has seen upwards of 10 players involved with the senior team on a regular basis the consistency that's required at this level was always going to be difficult to achieve. Who knows how far they could have went if all their panel had been at their sole disposal, but as it has been for a long number of years, the U/21's serve as a feeder to the seniors and this season they have certainly produced some quality players that made and continue to make the grade at the higher level. It's not the end of the season for the 21's and they have a cup campaign to look forward to.
The only other game of the weekend saw the U/13's bow out of their cup competition in Coonagh on Monday, despite a good performance.
Unlike last weekend, we have a full fixture list to look forward to this weekend, with games of huge significance across the board.
Our U/19 Shannon/St Mary's side head to Musgrave park on Saturday looking for Munster glory when they play Bandon in the Pan Munster Final at 1.30. It's a date with destiny for the combined U/19 team from Shannon and St Mary's on Saturday as they aim to secure a Pan Munster title. It's been a long road to this final for the men from the parish, and not just since the start of this season. After being ejected from the competition last season after a minor technical infringement at the same stage, the majority of that team remain intact and certainly have a point to prove when they face Bandon in CIT on Saturday.
The disappointment and frustration of not being allowed a place in last season's final was certainly a motivating factor for the team this season, but it wasn't merely a grudge that ensured their final place this season. This amalgamation of two clubs whose past has always been inextricably linked at U/19 level has been an enormous success over the last couple of years and the rewards of winning a Munster final would be thoroughly justified. However, endeavour, commitment and an exemplary work ethic may be the basis for success, but it's down to what happens on the field of play is what ultimately counts . Bandon will be a very tough assignment and the Co. Cork side will have the advantage of playing close to home. Their progress to the final has been equally impressive and their semi final win over a highly fancied Garryowen side has ensured Shannon/St Mary's will enter this game on full alert.
Already this season, Silverware has been foisted upon Shannon/St Mary's in the guise of the North Munster league, but this competition has always been their focus.
They managed to pull through their group stages with displays that coach Brendan McNamara would describe as patchy and then they had two very difficult knock our games against Waterpark and Highfield. Both games were tight affairs with the Coonagh quarter final against Waterpark probably the more difficult of the two. In both these games the Shannon/St Mary's lads had to show tremendous character in the face of being deemed underdogs.
The fruitful amalgamation began last year when both clubs struggled to field sides at U/19 level with large numbers of players tied to schools. Indeed, even with the combination, its of enormous credit to Coach Brendan McNamara and his son Barry , that they continue to produce a team of such a high standard given that upwards of their 20 players were either with St Munchin's or Ard Scoil Ris Season.
Shannon have their injury worries heading into this game with a couple of their key players looking extremely doubtful. Promising No.8 Cronan Gleeson has been sidelined for almost three weeks and his ability to play a part in the game will be assessed hours before kickoff. Likewise, for speedster Alex McNamara his starting place looks doubtful, but again he will be given every opportunity.
Shannon/St Mary's have been served well by a number of players throughout their campaign with prop David Wallace leading the charge on numerous occasions. St Mary's man Simon Gallagher has been a towering figure in the pack while the industrious Dave Evans poses a constant threat in the No.9 jersey.
Outhalf Connor Burns has proved his mettle on numerous occasions and in Niall Fitzgerald, Shannon/St Mary's have a potent strike man from any position on the pitch. It's hard to access the merits of Bandon, but there's no doubting that they will be a formidable outfit and Shannon/St Mary's will earn every point they score. The task for Shannon/St Mary's will be enormous, but they can head to Cork with the knowledge that they go with the undiluted backing of both clubs who are urging them to fulfill their potential. We wish them the very best of Luck.
Coaches: Brendan McNamara, Barry McNamara
Squad: Ronan Hunt, Shane Ryan, Tim Tobin, Alex McNamara, Mel Corbett, Conor Burns, David Evans, Cronan Gleeson, Eoin McCabe, Ryan Meaney, Simon Gallagher, Niall Fitzgerald ,David Wallace,Graham Britchfield, Gearoid Heelan, Damien Joy, Danny O'Shaughnessy, Craig McCallum, Piaras O'Flynn, Devlin Price, Conor Rafferty, Ben Coady, Eduardo Timmins, Brian McBride, Graham O'Connor, Scott Cusack, Lorenzo Mazzuchelli
The only downside of their final on Saturday is the clash it has with the senior game in Limerick, which will deny many of us the opportunity to lend our support . While we may not be there in body, we will certainly be there in spirit and we will be urging and willing this tremendous group of players to glory. We wish them all the very best and hopefully we can join in some celebrations later in the evening.
It's back to Coonagh for our next Ulster Bank League game on Saturday when Cork Con pay us a visit. Buoyed by, not so much the drawn result, but the manner in which it was a achieved in our last game with Garryowen , we will be hoping for a precious win which may alleviate the pangs of anxiety we get from time to time when we look at the table. As usual Cons will be a tough game , and although it would appear that their chances of success in this season's competition is beyond them, they will come to Coonagh looking to atone for our early season victory in Templehill. Kick off in Coonagh is at 2.30.
On Sunday the seconds head to Cork for a league playoff against Dolphin and again will find themselves up against it. They play in Musgrave Park at 2.30.
A reminder to those wishing to purchase Munster Ticket packages for next season that the closing date for applications is March 26th. Further details can be got on the website under the CLUB section(click here if reading online)
St Patrick's day brought the usual razzmatazz to the Streets of Limerick and there to share it was our minis who marched in great numbers. We were represented by all the sides from 8's to 12's and all enjoyed the walk down O' Connell Street. Well done to Brian Dillion, U11 coach and Richie Ryan for ensuring that we were well represented . Pictures are up on the website and our Facebook page.
Seniors AIL V Cork Con, Coonagh, 2.30pm
U/19 Pan Munster Cup Final V Bandon, Musgrave Park, 1.30pm
Seconds Mun. Playoff V Dolphin, Musgrave Pk, 2.30pm
U/9 Blitz in Woodview ,10.00am
U/12 Blacks Blitz in Coonagh, 10.30am
U/12 Blues Blitz in Ballina/Killaloe, 10.30am
U/14 Cup V Ennis Coonagh, 11.30am
U/15 Cup V Ennis Coonagh, 12.30pm
U/17 Open Cup V Ballina/Killaloe, Coonagh, 10.30am
Young Munster RFC
Clontarf game could be decider for Young Munster in Ulster Bank League
It's over five months since our last game v Clontarf - it was our second game in this year's league and our first away fixture. We've had a lot of tight games this season, and lady luck has made an appearance more than once in recent weeks, but there was no sign of her that day in Castle Avenue. Everyone felt we left that game behind us, it was certainly one that got away where we could have taken the points, but it wasn't to be.
Now we find ourselves at the other end of the season, with Clontarf leading the Ulster Bank League table by a single point ahead of St.Mary's College (who we will play in our final game on April 21st) and we are the only other team still in the running for the title, at just three points adrift.
This game could be the defining match of our season. Our players will remember the defeat in Dublin and know that allowing the same thing to happen here could end our title hopes. They need the home support to come out in force on Saturday to make sure the Dubliners get a real Clifford Park 16th man/woman welcome! Grab your black and amber and make your way to Greenfields for 2.30pm kick-off this Saturday, March 24th.
If you would like to make a real day out of it, there are still some places available for the Pre-Match Lunch, 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.
Remaining league games:
YM UBL GAME 15 - Clontarf at home 24/03/12
YM UBL GAME 16 -Lansdowne away 31/03/12
YM UBL GAME 17 - Dolphin at home 14/04/12
* to reserve your place at this Pre-Match Lunch, contact Brendan Collopy at 086-6062606 or Fergal Deegan 086-2265692.
YM UBL GAME 18 -St. Mary's away 21/04/12
Ireland Clubs side falls short v England Counties
The Ireland Club side fell short against the England Counties last weekend, following the successful meeting with their Scotland counterparts the previous week.
Young Munster are proud to have had five players involved in the England match, the largest representative contingent from any of the Irish clubs. Ger Slattery, Mike Kelliher and Liam Og Murphy were in the starting lineup with Hugh McGrath and Neville Melbourne replacements. The result might not have gone our way on the night but we are proud of our players who were selected to pull on the green jersey with the honour of representing our country.
IRELAND CLUB XV: R McBurney (Ballymena); C Aherne (Lansdowne), K Lett (Clontarf), M Kelliher (Young Munster), C Quinn (Cork Con); C Ronaldson (Lansdowne), G Hurley (Cork Con, capt); B Barclay (Clontarf), G Slattery (Young Munster), C Condon (Dolphin), P Donnellan (Cork Con), F Walsh (Shannon), L Og Murphy (Young Munster), B O'Mahony (Clontarf), F Cogan (Clontarf).
Replacements: H McGrath (Young Munster), R Byrne (UCD), D Hall (St. Mary's), N Melbourne (Young Munster), B Slater (UCC), B Keeshan (Dolphin), J Thompson (Ballynahinch).
Membership of Young Munster RFC
Members who have not already paid their annual membership fee are reminded that the annual membership must be paid before March 31st. Members must be fully paid in order to be eligible to vote, or to be nominated for a position on the club committee. Please send any outstanding fees to John Mc Loughlin, Assistant Treasurer, 20 Cherry Avenue, Caherdavin Lawn, Limerick. Membership is €80. New members always welcome.
Notice of Special Meeting re: Club Development
A special meeting will be held in the Club on Thursday 22nd March at 8pm. The purpose of this meeting is to outline and discuss plans for improvement of club facilities. All members and supporters are invited to attend.
Saturday 24th March
AIL DIV 1A - YOUNG MUNSTER V CLONTARF, Tom Clifford Park, 2.30pm
Saturday 24th march
O'CARROLL PLATE SEMI FINAL - NCW V YOUNG MUNSTER, Newcastlewest, 2.30pm
Sunday 25th March
MSL QUARTER FINAL - YOUNG MUNSTER V UCC, Tom Clifford Park, 2.30pm
Young Munster at St Patrick's Day Parade
This year saw our biggest group of players and coaches walking down Limerick's famous streets. For all the 130 mini players that marched in club colours, this was a special day and thankfully the weather stayed dry. To all coaches thanks for your time and efforts and to all players you were a credit to the club and your teams. Training for all is next Sunday again and we look forward to seeing you all there.
Friday 23rd March
Under 15s Cup UL/Bohs Vs Young Munster, Annacotty at 7.30pm
Sunday 25th March
Under 19s Cup Garryowen Vs Young Munster, Dooradoyle 12.30
Sunday 25th March
Under 17s Open Cup Young Munster Vs UL/Bohs, Derryknockane at 11.30
Sunday 25th March
Under 14s Cup UL/Bohs Eagles Vs Young Munster, Annacotty at 11.30am