End Of An Era For Clonakilty Rugby
There was no disguising the sadness and the depths of depression suffered by the players of Clonakilty RFC and their supporters when their last onslaught foundered and the final whistle blew last Saturday in The Vale. It was a final whistle in more ways than one as it signalled the end of 12 great years in senior rugby as they conceded their place in the All-Ireland League to Limericks Richmond by just three points on the scoreboard - one score. Three league points had also been the difference between survival and having to dispute this play-off. Enough has been said about the missed chances, the should haves, could haves, if onlys and the acceptance throughout the league that Clonakilty were far better than their league position.
The season had started out with a squad of players and finished with a very good team that would have had no difficulty surviving had their form been as consistent in the early part of the season. If they can stay together in the main and bring in emerging talent from the newly qualified players from the Under 19s they will give the Munster Junior League and Cups a good run. Clonakilty's most consistent performer, David Lombard, summed it up in a post-match interview when he said that the season had not been lost in this game but in the many games they had had for the taking but allowed them to slip. Tellingly he added that if the team stayed together and with a determined start to training in July they could work themselves into a position to come back.
Clon started confidently and dominated the first half with Chris Spearman finishing a fine move with blistering pace to score a try in the corner. The excellent conversion from James Deasy from the touchline gave Clon a seven point lead. Deasy added two penalties to put the home side out to 13 - 0 and apparently coasting. Richmond had had little chance to show why they were such a force in recent years (winning the Munster Junior League three out of the last four years) as Clon dominated possession and territory. However it quickly became clear when their impressive outside centre, Mike Kelleher, avoided three would be tacklers to score between the posts. It was a soft try from a Clonakilty perspective but brilliantly taken and with the conversion gave Richmond a belief that had almost evaporated prior to that. It was also just before half time and thus had a huge psychological effect on both sides. Clon missed two penalty chances to underline the nervousness creeping in as Richmond grew into the game.
Richmond reduced the gap to just three with a penalty but Deasy restored the advantage with one of his own. When Tony Illston finished off a great Clon maul with a touch down it looked as if normal service had been restored. Another soft try, from a Clon perspective, from a piece of skilful play from the Richmond backs saw Kelleher again dotting down after collecting a chip over the defence. The conversion left just a point between the sides and Richmond's tails were well up at this stage. Three penalties gave them a commanding eight point lead and the game apparently in the bag. However, typically, Clon raised their game and again took control of proceedings with Kieran Howlin scoring another try to give fleeting hope. Any score would have done then and from the restart Clon gave everything in search of it but with time running out any error would finish it and it did.
Jason Wycherley and Ciaran Calnan had probably their best games of the season and Mark Purcell was incredibly unlucky not to score a try after his brilliant block down when he was unable to control the ball over the Richmond line. Alfie Harte was also over only to be adjudged as held up. Ger McCarthy and Stephen Cotter also deserve mention but all players gave everything and justifiably can feel unlucky at the result. The missed chances, added to the curious rule that prevented Clon using their ever-present dual status players, Luke O'Shea, Joe Lee and Courtney Canning, gave an almost predetermined feel to the proceedings. Full credit must be given to Richmond. It is never easy to play away from home and The Vale can be an intimidating place to come to for such a vital game. To fall 13 points behind, come back to go eight ahead and then defend their final narrow three point lead showed huge character and in itself justifies their promotion.
For Clonakilty it may be the end of an era but when one ends another begins. Another group of players will now have the opportunity to do what the great teams of the late 90s and early 2000s did. For 12 years Clon have enjoyed the national stage and in the mid-2000s were taking huge scalps regularly as they won titles and created records. Prior to that, their last two years in the Junior ranks were incredibly memorable with Munster Junior League and Cups coming to The Vale. If everything is cyclical then a repeat is due as much as the fall was pre-ordained. The mood in the club is to make it sooner rather than later and the current players deserve it.
The squad was James Deasy, Chris Spearman, Jason Wycherley, David Lombard, Kieran Howlin, Ciaran Calnan, Mark Purcell, Derry O'Neill, Batt Duggan (Capt), Aidan Foley, Tomas Keogh, Mike Keohane, Ger McCarthy, Tony Illston, Alfie Harte, Stephen Cotter, Gary Shannon, Sean White, Ciaran O'Donovan and Paddy Ryan.
The future of the club is indeed in the hands of the players and the Under 17s certainly give great confidence to all as they continue in their hunt for silverware. They already have the South Munster League and The Munster League and this Saturday at 12 noon in PBC Sports Grounds Wilton they will attempt to add the South Munster Cup to their haul. The Under 15s have also decorated the club with trophies and with this kind of talent coming through the club will flourish again. Meanwhile down the road Bandon's Under 19s were also blazing a trail for West Cork Rugby with a fantastic win in the All Ireland series and the club would like towarmly congratulates them.
Courtesy of:- Siofra Scanlan, PRO
Our Senior team played with true Shannon spirit and heart last Saturday in Coonagh against AIL league champions Lansdowne. The final score 38-19 to Shannon. It was close on points towards the end as news filtered in from Cork,but we are in the Play-off against UCD which will be on May 4.
Events and News
Dates for the Diary
Jim McNicholas Memorial Match April 21st
Shannon President Vinny Ryan and all of Shannon RFC would like to thank everyone who participated and supported this event last Sunday. It was a great game with a good few laughs. We would sincerely like to thank the McNicholas family for the beautiful trophy. There are a few pics of the day on our facebook page.
Golf Classic: Friday June 21st. Shannon RFC Golf Classic at Shannon Golf Club.
Full details for these events will be available soon.
We Need Your Support
We appreciate and thank everyone who came out to cheer on the lads last weekend in Coonagh, We hope that everyone will be able to rally again and support the Senior team in two weeks time as we face UCD in the play off on May 4th.
Shannon RFC AGM
Shannon RFC will be hosting their AGM on the 15th of May at 8pm sharp in Shannon RFC Clubhouse. Any submissions in relation to this AGM are to be logged with Tadhg Crowe, Club Secretary, no later than close of business on the 1st May. Please contact Tadhg Crowe directly at email@example.com or 087-6524958
All at Shannon RFC would like to thank everyone for their support for all events for 2012 and would urge anyone interested in helping out at the club in 2013 to contact any of the committee members. All contact details are on our website www.shannonrfc.com
Lotto Results 18th April
No Jackpot Winner!
Numbers Drawn: 21, 25, 28, 29
€50 Consolation Prize Winners
1.KATE QUINN_______________C/O MIKEY TOBIN
2.GER BRODERICK____________C/O CLUB
3. DYLAN O DWYER___________C/O NIALL MULCAHY
NEXT WEEKS DRAW 25TH APRIL @ THE GERALDINE BAR
Next Weeks Jackpot: €8,750
*DON'T FORGET TO SUPPORT YOUR CLUB WITH SHANNON RFC CLUB CALENDERS AVAILABLE NOW.*
Please keep in mind the Shannon RFC clubhouse for any event, birthdays celebrations or office parties. All contact details can be found at
Please find the Senior fixtures and Youth Training as follows:
Saturday May 4th
AIL- Senior XV- Shannon V UCD
Firstly Congratulations to U13 Conference team who won Pat Lawler Shield on Saturday beating ULBohs in the final. There are some pictures of the day on our facebook page.
A word from League (beaten in quarters) and Conference team (who won the Shield).
Pat Lawler Tournament: Shannon RFC sent 2 teams (36 players) to this years U13 Pat Lawler Tournament in Annacotty. Both teams had a good run in the morning games. The league side began their Pat Lawlor campaign against recent winners Wexford Wanderers and after a very tight affair were beaten by a try in the last play of the game. Realizing they needed to score heavily in their remaining games to qualify for the quarter finals they upped their performance considerably thereafter. Bonus points victories against Bruff and Presenation followed and secured a quarter final against Sligo.They put up a battling display against a far bigger and well drilled opposition but were defeated in the end. This was no disgrace as Sligo went on to win the tournament unbeaten in their 6 games.
The conference team qualified for the plate and went all the way to finals where they beat the hosts UL Bohs in a close but very enjoyable game. Well done to all the boys who represented Shannon RFC last Saturday.
Sunday 28 April
All Pitches are available for any fun activities Medals will be given to all minis by Marcus Horan,
U15s v Saudrune (France) @ 11.00am Well Field
U13s Train @ 11.30 Training Pitch
U19 Open Cup Semi Final
Shannon V Bruff or UL Bohs 12 noon Coonagh Main Pitch
Final to be played on Wednesday 1st May at 7 pm in St Mary's, Corbally (subject to agreement being obtained to extend the season past 30th April)
U17 Open Cup semi final
Old Crescent or UL Bohs v Shannon/St Mary's will be played on either Sunday or Monday next.
Final to be played at 7 pm on 3rd May - venue to be confirmed (subject to agreement being obtained to extend the season past 30thApril)
Boots - Blades.
Note: We (Underage) at Shannon RFC are putting into place a complete ban on boots with blades. The injury to a young u15 player early this season at the club has focused the mind on the horrific injury he had to suffer. He has had a long period of recovery and we want to make sure that no other player suffers a similar injury. It is important that parents are advised at this point as lots of kids will be looking to get new boots for Christmas. When checking boots, Referees will be paying particular attention to 'blades' and if they are in any way damaged/rough then they will not allow them.
Thought For The Week
Courage and perseverance have a magical power, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
Please keep in mind for Birthdays and special occasions we have a great selection of Shannon RFC clubware available from the club shop.
Now in Stock:
Windbreakers, Club Gearbags and small size club jerseys and shorts.
The shop is open in Coonagh every Sunday from 10am to 12pm.
Anyone who wishes to order any items please contact Audry Yeoman on firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 6293002