5 Dec, 17:35
The Charity Cup Final between Cashel RFC and Cork Constitution FC will take place on Saturday, 14th December at Musgrave Park (kick-off 2pm).
Clonakilty Show Style
Clonakilty put a very plucky Clonmel side to the sword with some style last Saturday in the Munster Senior Cup. The Tipperary club had reached the senior competition as the Munster Junior Club’s Challenge Cup representatives from last season and as they are already semi-finalists in this season’s competition were a potential banana skin for Clonakilty in a rebuilding mode.
The West Cork side would have been favourites but there would have been some trepidation that the challenge would bring out a performance from the visitors that would upset a Clon side that once again fielded with different combinations in many key areas such as second row, half back, centre and full back.
Coach Dave O’Mahony fielded a squad missing seven of last week’s players and now with so many players holding up their hands in training and in games he will have a very difficult task in selecting his first AIL starting fifteen and bench for this Saturday against Old Crescent in Limerick. So far only 14 of last season’s 34 AIL players are in the frame for this coming campaign and the influx of so many new players was vital but it does take some settling in. It is a testament to the coach’s standing and indeed the West Cork club’s growing reputation that this has come about.
There was staleness in the performances in recent seasons as players got too used to each other and it has been noticeable that the new introductions have already brought the best out of the established players again.
Clon welcomed back Mike O’Hea to the second row after his year in exile and he capped a fine performance with a try. Clon had many AIL standard scrum halves last year in Dave Cookson, Joe Crowley, Eric Murphy, JD O’Mahony and Alex O’Mahony but when all failed to return to training this year there was cause for worry. However that was soon banished with the arrival of no less than three new nines.
First out was Mark Purcell who started the season in fine form but has shipped an injury which sidelines him for the moment. Aidan Rees took over and has had a brilliant few games. On Saturday local boy Myles O’Riordan, a school's star, stepped up to the plate in confident style and ran the line like a veteran. All three can also play in other positions and all will be needed as the season progresses.
A shuffle in the centre combinations in the absence of Dave Lombard saw an energised Darragh Lynch go to outside centre with Paul Dillon taking the inside role. John O’Donnell came in at full back to start the argument again among the supporters as to which is his best position, 14 or 15. On this performance he would grace either as he showed great pace and hunger and scored two fine tries.
Clon were in fine try scoring form recording eight in total. The first was as a result of great work from the pack. It also settled any nerves early on. A penalty award was kicked to touch after two minutes and from the attacking line out Clon mauled and a series of picks and go made valuable ground before impressive hooker, Wayne Falvey, barged over. Clonmel were galvanised by the early score against them and they took the game to Clon with waves of assaults on the home line but were unable to break down a dogged defence.
Clon broke out and after good work from O’Riordan and O’Donnell, Noel O’Sullivan added to his tally of tries with a scorching run into the corner. Clonmel again took the fight up field and were rewarded with a penalty to leave the score 10 – 3 at the end of the first quarter.
The visitors were giving Clon a good battle in the tight and indeed were shading that contest but as the game wore on Clon began to get a grip on that area as well. Alfie Harte ripped a great ball from the Tipp men and the Clon back-line showed what they can do with great hands, particularly from Lynch and winger, James Deasy, who jinked past the defenders to score the third. Paurini added his first conversion and Clon were 17 – 3 to the good after 23 minutes.
The match was beginning to take on a different perspective, as the eventual result became obvious, with the goal of the visitors changing from winning to that of scoring a try and the home side intent on preventing it. Clonmel were certainly worth a couple of tries as they engineered chances but Clon will be very pleased that their defence held out.
Paul Dillon used his formidable strength to burst through tackles to score Clon's fourth on 28 minutes which Paurini converted to bring the score to 24 – 3. Paurini with an outrageous dummy and side step scored a class try from 20 metres and converted again to leave it 31 – 3 at the break. Clonmel again had been cruelly denied a score by a great tackle in the corner from O’Donnell after they had had the best of the final three minutes of the half following the sin-binning of Ryan Purcell.
Mark Porpligia got Clon back scoring early in the second half with a powerful try converted by Paurini. Clon lost some of the intensity at this stage and it wasn’t until ten minutes from the end that they scored again with O’Donnell again showing his pace to touch down to bring the score to 43 – 3. The scoring wasn’t finished yet and an attempted chip from Clonmel’s full back under pressure was fielded by Mike O’Hea who sprinted the 40 metres for a popular score and a winning score line of 48 - 3. In O’Hea’s case a chip would need to be a full-blooded Garryowen to be sure of avoiding his hands as he almost did the same in the first half only to be called back for an infringement.
Although Clonmel will justifiably feel that they were worth a couple of tries at least Clon will also rue a number of missed chances where poor passing broke down promising moves. If they can get this basic right they will be a real threat with reasonable possession.
The squad was John O’Donnell, James Deasy, Darragh Lynch, Paul Dillon, Noel O’Sullivan, Dave Paurini, Myles O’Riordan, Tom Ryan (Capt), Wayne Falvey, Ryan Purcell, Tom Keogh, Mike O’Hea, Paddy Ryan, Mark Porpligia, Alfie Harte, Joe Knowles, Stephen Collins, Sean Young, Fiachra Keane and Matt Mahon.
The results of the club’s weekly lotto draw for Saturday the 25th of Sept., for a Jackpot of €2,400, was as follows; Numbers drawn were 7,12,14 and 23. There was no winner. Lucky Dip winners; P.J. Hayes, David Houlihan, Kieran Hegarty, Jerry O’Sullivan and Ian Murphy. Next draw for a Jackpot of €2,500.00 will be held this Saturday in Scannell's Bar at 10.00pm.
Old Crescent RFC Notes by Frank Larkin
Another Old Crescent season is well and truely underway with all four senior teams in action last weekend. Our First’s played Middleton in the Munster Senior Cup, and our Second’s, Third’s and Under 21’s, had friendlies against Clanwilliam, UL Bohemians, and Nenagh, respectively.
Our Cup match against Midleton opened badly when a defensive lapse let Midleton in for a try and a convert in the first minute of the game. However, Crescent knuckled down after this initial setback and took the game to Middleton. The two sides then exchanged penalties, with our new number 10, Fergal Lawlor, slotting the Old Crescent penalty.
Midway through the first half, Middleton scored another try and converted it, putting them 14 points ahead and giving Old Crescent supporters early season nerves. However, Old Crescent came back strongly, and with half an hour gone, Lemeki Viapula made a great individual charge to touch down beside the posts, making it an easy convert for Lawlor. After further Crescent pressure, Fergal Lawlor landed a beautiful drop-goal, and followed it with a converted penalty to leave Crescent just one point behind. Then, deep into first half injury time, Rob O’Neill finished off a brilliant piece of opportunistic following-up by Billy Leahy to go over for a try, making the half time score Old Crescent 21 Midleton 17.
After the splendid ending to the first half, hopes were high at the restart, and Crescent immediately went further ahead with a penalty converted by Fergal Lawlor. Unfortunately, that was to be the last Crescent score of the game. Midleton quickly retrieved their lead with a converted try five minutes into the second half. Despite Midleton having a player yellow carded in each half, Crescent could not break down the Middleton defence even when we were camped on the Midleton line for over ten minutes in the second half.
Midleton finished strongly with two late tries, one of which was converted, to leave the final score, Old Crescent 24 Midleton 36, ending our Munster Senior Cup challenge for this year. However, overall, Crescent put up a positive performance which augers well for the coming season. It was a game we could have won were it not for one or two defensive lapses.
Our Seconds played Clanwilliam in a friendly in Rosbrien last Sunday. While we were beaten by a well organised side, it was good to see a strong squad of second’s players turn out who will improve as they get more game time. Similarly, our Third’s played UL Bohemians in a friendly in which we introduced a number of new players who looked promising and will improve as the squad knits together over the coming weeks.
Our Under 21s had their first match of the season two weeks ago against UL Bohs in the North Munster League. It was a very entertaining game with both sides playing a free flowing style of rugby. At half time the score was Crescent 13 UL Bohs 7. However, with some very tough decisions going against us, we couldn’t quite come away with the win, going down 24 to 21. There were good performances in the pack from Peter Power, Kevin Doyle, Paudie Monaghan, Keith Hodkinson, and Luke Malone. In the backs, JJ O'Toole, Sean Cunningham, and Luke McNamara showed good early season form.
Last Saturday, Our Under 21’s played Nenagh in a friendly in Nenagh. It was a tough match, as you would expect from a Nenagh team, with a half time score of 7 nil to Old Crescent. John O'Dwyer crossing the line after a well worked move started on the halfway which say the ball go through 4 phases.
At the start of the second half we got a lineout 10mts out and the pack pushed over for the try. With a two try cushion, we than began to move the ball a little better around the pitch between forwards and backs. Paudie Monaghan, Ronan O'Connor, Robert Roach and Peter Coffee all crossed the line with Kevin Meade converted 5 out of 6 on the day.
It was Nenagh’s first match of the season and they battled all the way and got a well deserved late try leaving the final score 40 - 7. Good performances on the day from Darragh Yelverton, Mike Cunningham, and John Liston, to mention a few.
Our Under 21’s take on Shannon in the next round of the North Munster League next Saturday. This will be their last match before they start their campaign in the Under 21 Division 1 AIL League after gaining promotion last season. The squad is in high spirits and looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
Next weekend, our Senior Team play their first AIL game of the season against Clonakilty RFC. The game kicks off at 2.30pm at home in Rosbrien, and we urge all Old Crescent members and supporters to come out to Rosbrien next Saturday afternoon to support our team. Our Seconds play Nenagh at 2.30pm next Sunday in Rosbrien in the North Munster Seconds League, and our Thirds play Bruff in the Gleeson League at home next Saturday in Rosbrien at 1.00pm, and our Under 21’s also play at home next Saturday at 4.30pm against Shannon in the North Munster League. Come to Rosbrien next Saturday for a feast of rugby from 1.00pm to 6.00pm!
After last season’s scare near the bottom of Division Two, this year, Old Crescent RFC, ably led by our President Don O’Malley, is determined to finish in the upper echelons of Division Two this season. Our rugby backroom team, headed up by Chairman of Rugby, Eugene O’Riordain, Head Coach, Mick Lynch, and Captain Eugene McGovern, have worked extremely hard over the summer to prepare for the coming season, and we have every confidence that their efforts will bear fruit. Now is the time for all Old Crescent members and supporters to get behind the Club and support our teams in their endeavours over the coming season.
Shannon RFC Notes By Andrew McNamara
Weekending October 2nd 2010 - Kilballyowen Park in Bruff has always been a hospitable venue to visit over the years with jovial banter and cordial relations on the sideline, but on the field you were met with ferocious effort and major endeavor. However, more often than not, at senior level anyway, we would come away victorious after a tough encounter.
Last Saturday in the Munster senior cup, the only item that we didn’t tick from the above was the victory. Major disappointment is pretty much the conclusion from all quarters and with the AIL starting next week it was hardly a confidence boast for the lads. In our charity cup final defeat we could certainly pick the bones of a spirited and encouraging performance, but in Bruff it would be fair to say that those particular bones were few and far between. It may well be the fact that the lads had one eye on the AIL league, but unfortunately it was the home side that certainly had their focus entirely on the game at hand.
After suffering their late defeat in an earlier round of the Charity cup at our hands, Bruff were more than keen on atonement and set out their stall early and more or less maintained their eagerness throughout the game. It did however look promising for us early on when young Dan Heffernan burst over for a try after a tap and go from Paul Rowley just before the 10 minute mark.
The optimism was certainly apparent at that stage, but our optimism was more than matched by Bruff’s determination and the rallied and began to assert a certain amount of control in some aspects of the game. They were rewarded for their endeavors with a try after 17 minutes, but that could very easily have been avoided had we found touch with a relieving penalty as Bruff were pushing hard on our line. It was hardly catastrophic at that stage and we did take the lead again when newly installed captain Fergal Walsh barged over for a converted try. A very effective maul was the key to that try which was one of the bright lights of the day, but in truth that was probably as good as it got form our point of view.
Bruff’s energetic and committed display for the remainder of the game ensured that they were to be our last points of the day and home side punished us for a number of deficiencies in our game on the day. A penalty, and a try before the break swung the lead in their favor and they more or less didn’t look back from that point. Keeping is scoreless, as they did would have been enough, but a further penalty and try heaped ensured beyond doubt the result. There’s absolutely no doubt that Bruff deserved their victory and they’ll certainly leave their mark on Division 1 b of the AIL, especially on their home turf and we wish them well for the remainder of the long season ahead.
From our perspective we’ll have to regroup, which has certainly happened in training this week and the focus on the impending league. It’s not going to be an easy ride, but every club in 1A is going to find it difficult. Our goals have been set and the squad is fully aware of what is expected of them. It’s a long campaign and we’ll certainly have a few set backs on the way, but our proud record in the league is still unmatched and our lads have their sights set high on marinating that standard. We wish them all the very best in the AIL.
Our first game, as with all of the games in 1 A, is a difficult assignment away to Dolphin and kickoff is at 2.30. There’ll be plenty of time to get back home after the game to sit in front of the box and watch Munster and Leinster, so let’s try and get to Cork and give the lads the boost.
The thirds didn’t fare much better against Bruff in the Mc Inerney cup and were defeated by 24 points to 17. As with the seniors this was an intense game and despite a good showing from our lads we just couldn’t match the Bruff XV. Tries from Shane Arthur and Tony Flynn converted by Paddy Reidy were added to by a penalty from the returning Andrew Thompson (after Injury) was not enough on this occasion. This Saturday in Coonagh they play Young Munster in the opening Gleeson league encounter at 1pm.
The U/21’s are also in action when they play Old Crescent in the North Munster league at 4.30 in Rosbrien.
The senior seconds begin the North Munster league with an away game to Garryowen. This game may well set the trend for future seconds games as its being played under lights in Dooradoyle on Monday evening at 7.30.
Our women’s side began their AIL campaign on a hugely positive note with a resounding victory over Portlaoise in Coonagh last Sunday. Newly elected captain Katie McCloskey had her charges highly motivated and they responded in kind with a 55-10 win. With tries from Amanda Greensmith, Claire O’Shea, Claire Ryan and Aoife Crowley with additional points kicked by Nicole Cronin this was an outstanding way to begin their competitive season. This Sunday they head to Galbally.
Underage fixtures this week are the following
Under 13s League: UL Bohs -v- Shannon, Annacotty 11.00
Under 14s Friendly: Shannon -v- Presentation, Coonagh 11.00 Under 15s League: Shannon -v- St. Senans, Coonagh 11.30 Under 19s Munster League: Shannon-St.Marys -v- Richmond Coonagh 4.30 pm