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Club News Weekending December 24th 2006
12 December 2006, 12:11 pm

CARRICK ON SUIR RFC
Dermot Keyes PRO

Resilient Carrick provide Clonmel with stern test

Garryowen Cup: Clonmel 22 Carrick 0

We travelled to Clonmel in expectation that we could provide our opponents with a stern test. And while we did that, we couldn't inflict some damage in terms of the scoreboard. But it certainly wasn't for a lack of effort on our behalf.

Against a team two divisions above us, we certainly didn't lie down and submit - nothing of the sort. This was a tough, highly physical encounter against a side that just had that little bit extra. Try as we did, coming particularly close on two occasions, we couldn't breach the Clonmel line.

And one wonders what a try would have done for our confidence. That extra gear is all the harder to find when chasing a lead. But again it's important to stress that it was through no lack of effort on Carrick's behalf.

Effort, commitment and pride are components that any team in any code has to require before setting foot on a pitch. If you don't have that, you have nothing. While we came away from Clonmel the defeated side, we certainly showed plenty of the aforementioned attributes during a bruising, yet fairly played encounter.

Carrick Starting XV: A Murray, J Walsh, J Heffernan; B Phelan, J Phelan; P Lanigan, B, Slattery, J O'Keeffe (c); E Lonergan, J Wallace; A Hunter, R Murphy; K Lanigan, B Dignam, S O'Keeffe.

Saint Stephen's Day action!

This year's Fancy Dress Rugby fixture on Saint Stephen's Day promises more festive fun and frolics - yet possesses a slightly different from recent editions.

Instead of the straightforward playing of a match with a variety of 'beauties' (and some ladies) on display, trying to play rugby and crack jokes at the same time, this year's festivities will be played off in a tag format.

In tag, there's no contact and the ball switches teams when a player, quite simply is 'tagged' by an opponent. The tag is usually a slip of fabric which has to be removed from a player in order for play to switch.

"This really is a fun day and there will be a keen emphasis on the fun element," said Carrick RFC's Sean Meade, who is also a member of the Munster Rugby Supporters Club (MRSC).

"By having tag rugby on the day, we want to encourage as many non-rugby players as possible to come along and get involved. Who knows, some of those who decide to take part in rugby for the first time might choose to take up the game, which would, obviously, be an added bonus.

"But this is all about fun, burning off some of those Christmas calories and raising funds for a worthy cause, which, this year, is the IRFU's Charitable Trust."

The Charitable Trust is a registered charity which was founded in 1978 to assist seriously injured players in their everyday lives, helping to restore confidence and independence.

The fund, which is administered by an IRFU subcommittee, is dependant upon grants from both the IRFU and revenue raised from regular fundraising events.

Sean, a lifelong rugby fan, is doing his bit for the trust's cause, and will take part in a charity walk in France during next year's Rugby World Cup.

Having already fronted up €4,000 to take part in the walk, Sean is now hopeful that he can raise at least another €10,000 between now and next autumn's World Cup.

"That's my minimum target," said Sean, who has already begun training for the big walk. "I've got a couple of fundraising ventures off the ground.

"There's the fancy dress tag rugby of course and there's a raffle in which I'm selling books of five tickets for €20. I've sold quite a few tickets already - some in Leicester when I travelled to Munster's Heineken Cup match and I sold more in Cardiff the weekend before last."

The draw for this raffle, which includes Six Nations tickets at Croke Park and a Fuji digital camera, will be held towards the end of January.

The proceeds of commemorative MRSC European Cup winning pins have also been donated to the Trust.

It's hoped that the Saint Stephen's Day event will attract approximately 20 teams of 10 players each, and each team must contain at least one female member. Proceedings are due to get underway at the grounds of Carrick on Suir RFC at 1.30pm on the day.

"You don't have to be a rugby player to take part and I can't emphasise that enough," said Sean.

"We've been very fortunate with the sponsors who have come in, such as Newbridge Silver, Heineken and Bulmers, whom I can't thank enough for helping us out."

And to those who don't want to dress up yet wish to play- take note; you'll have to stump up €50 for the honour of lining out.

So put your best frock on and enjoy the day, while still supporting a worthy cause. For costumed players or spectators, the charitable contribution for December 26th comes to €10 (Teams of 10: €100).

For further details call Sean Meade at 086 8471474 or Ken Murphy at 087 6807644.

Christmas greetings to one and all

Carrick-on-Suir wishes to thank the local newspapers in our area - The Munster Express, The Clonmel Nationalist and The Kilkenny People for providing continued coverage of our club's activities.

We would also like to thank Munster Rugby's Trish Drinan for posting our weekly ditties on www.munsterrugby.ie which recently received a new coat of 'virtual paint'.

The publicity that we have been afforded, both in print and online, is most welcome and has been an area that we have actively sought to improve in recent seasons.

Thanks to all and sundry who helped assemble as well as accommodate our notes during the year. And may we take this opportunity to wish members, players, coaches, supporters and the local press a peaceful Christmas and prosperous 2007. Carraig abú!

BALLINCOLLIG RUGBY CLUB
Linda Kennedy PRO

Team Sponsor Club Sponsor
Quish's Supervalu Quinn's Gala.

The bad weather of recent weeks has resulted in our two most recent league games being called off. The game in Tanner Park against Mallow fell foul of the weather and our away game in Castleisland met the same fate.

The game against Mallow has been rescheduled for Saturday December 31st at 2.30pm. Mallow who were promoted with us are flying at the moment and had a good win over Youghal in the Junior Cup on Sunday. This would be a very good one to win.

Work on the new dressing rooms is continuing - again the weather isn't helping. The will be a big asset to the club when they are finished.

A merry Christmas to one and all and hope to see you over the holiday period in our newly refurbished clubhouse bar.

UL BOHEMIAN RFC
Denis Ryan PRO

After a few games which just got away, UL Bohs are back, reasonably on track, following a hard-fought win over Belfast Harlequins in Annacotty. This was the first time the home side had beaten the Belfast team, and in giving their supporters the usual heart palpitations, they ensured that the game held everyone's full attention right to the final whistle. While UL Bohs had the benefit of the strong wind in the first half, Quins did most of the early attacking and but for a badly struck penalty right in front of the post, would have gone into a deserved lead. The home team gradually got to terms with the threat, but it was not until the end of the half that they finally unlocked the visiting defence, with Aidan O' Gorman crossing for a converted try after some clever interpassing. The second half was very closely contested, with 'Quins kicking a few penalties before Ben Martin put one over, and then Ian Hanley burst through for a well worked try. The last few minutes saw the visitors camped on the UL Bohs line, but a superb defensive scrum relieved the pressure, and when the ball was safely shepherded into touch, the UL Bohs squad and supporters could relax and enjoy the holiday season. Gary Walsh and Paul Rowley started in this AIL game, and another teenager, Ed Torrie, made his debut when he replaced the injured Mark Butler. Nineteen year old Tommy O' Donnell made his usual dynamic appearance, and with such a youthful side, the New Year looks promising, while the break should assist the recovery of casualties Brian Madigan, Chris Delooze and Ryan Hartigan. On Saturday the 1st XV play Young Munster in a friendly, while the next AIL game is away to St Mary's on 6th January.
Well done to Munster, and Barry Murphy, on taking another step on the route to retaining the European Cup.

The 3rd XV will travel to Kilrush on Saturday to play the Gleeson Cup semi-final, and by way of training took on Old Crescent in a friendly. Claiming they did not want to show their tactical moves, they went down by 6-8 in a game played in a very sporting spirit.

In the Women's All Ireland League a hat-trick from player of the match Jetty Feighrey, a brace from Louise Beamish and a try from Mairead Kelly along with 4 conversions from Nicole Fitzgerald gave UL Bohs a 38-0 win over Wegians which puts us back on top of the league table for Christmas. The score line does not reflect the fact that we played the last 20 minutes of the first half without the ball as the Galway side retained the ball well, but there was no way through our defence with excellent tackling led by Roisin McNulty and Gillian Bourke. Roisin along with Caroline Mahon were also immense in the lineout taking our entire lineout ball cleanly and most of Wegians ball. A special mention for the pack whose display of mauling was text book. This was started by a 35 yard maul from the first lineout and except for the intervention of the ref would have lead to more tries. We now have a break in the league till the end of the six nations but the cup matches will be starting in the New Year.

Round 1 of the North Munster under-14 League kicked off on Sunday 17th. UL Bohs have two teams in the League - EAGLES and HAWKS. Unfortunately the Hawks game away to Kilrush was called off while the Eagles played Bruff in Annacotty and won 15-05 (HT 05-05). Due to the bad weather conditions this was the squad's first get together in five weeks and at times the absence from active rugby showed in the game. Bruff deservedly took the lead after ten minutes with a well worked forwards try. UL Bohs replied within five minutes after a good back line move - left to right wing with Diarmuid O' Regan scoring in the corner. There were no further scores in the first half and the half time whistle sounded at 5 points a piece.

The home side dominated the second half and scored a further ten points- a try from Mike Dooley and a penalty and conversion from Dan Morrissey. Players that stood out for UL Bohs were Colm Doyle, Andrew Minihan, James O' Sullivan and not least Mike Dooley.

The U-16s suffered a narrow defeat to Garryowen, while the U-18s found the loss of their 22 school tied players too large a handicap to overcome, and also went down narrowly.

UL Bohemians wish Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all our members, supporters and sponsors.

CARRIGALINE RFC
Stuart Donaldson PRO

Carrig back in the winning groove

J2 League Section C match

Carrigaline RFC 20 Shandon RFC 5

Carrigaline were back in the winning groove Sunday last after a prolonged absence. In what has been a largely disappointing league campaign, after a promising start, Carrigaline registered their second win from 5 games. A much needed boost was received winning on tour last weekend and this seemed to spur the Carrig team on. It was a slow start to proceedings with both teams perhaps suffering from festive cheer. The pitch was quagmire-like to say the least after the recent bad weather and there was a cold bite to the air however both teams looked to play rugby and despite a few niggles the game was a largely entertaining fare.

The opening exchanges were tense with neither team gaining a foothold. Midway through the first half the Carrigaline forwards burst to life, spurred on by coach Eddie McGarry. They produced six quick phases of picking and driving before prop Aaron O'Meara crashed over on the right. Conditions underfoot were treacherous and this made kicking almost impossible so Donncha Kiely was unable to add the extras.

To be fair Shandon bounced straight back and scored an opportune try with Carrig perhaps still savouring their own score. Shandon were also unable to convert which left the score at 5-5. Neither team produced any productive momentum for the remaining period of the first half. Half time proved to be a catalyst for Carrigaline with the introduction of Kieran Kelleher and Roy Murphy. Within minutes of the restart Ray O'Donoghue had got over the whitewash. With Carrigs backs back to usual form after a disappointing last outing, Donncha Kiely, Dave Donoghue and Alan Bowes were starting to find the gaps. After one such break by Alan Bowes on a pre planned back line move he was held up over the line. From the resultant scrum, No 8 Ray O'Donoghue steam-rollered over thee Shandon players to score on the left. Advantage Carrigaline. Shandon never seemed to threaten in the second half but still held firm. Carrig by now had a solid platform in the lineout with Kelleher's accurate throwing to the fore.

The game was copper fastened in the closing ten minutes. First after breaks by Stuart Donaldson and Gary Murphy down the middle, Carrig forwards recycled quickly. John Tait broke from the base of the scrum and ran a wide arc to the right corner flag outpacing three defenders as he did to dive over. 15-5 Carrig. Carrig, however, weren't done yet. Seconds after the restart after an excellent catch from Dave Egan resulted in a driving maul making nearly thirty metres. Donncha Kiely broke right and put Alan Bowes into space and with an audacious dummy he sent the cover defence the wrong way to score in the corner. Just seconds after the restart final whistle went.

A good end to the year for Carrigaline. Hopefully this can be carried into the New Year particularly for the cup competitions. Best on the day for Carrig were Patrick O'Neill before he went off injured, Ray O'Donghue and Donncha Kiely.

Team:
15. D. Donoghue, 14. C. Forde, 13. S. Donaldson, 12. A. Bowes, 11. A. Duggan, 10. D. Kiely (c), 9. J. Tait, 8. R. O' Donoghue, 7. P. O'Neill, 6. G. Murphy, 5. B. Kelly, 4. D. Egan, 3. A. O' Meara, 2. D. McPhilbin, 1. R. Bantry-White
Subs: 16. R. Murphy, 17. K. Kelleher, 18. C. Smith

SHANNON RFC

Andrew McNamara PRO

The hearts were probably beyond skipping a beat last Sunday with 3 minutes remaining with little likelihood of gaining any points out of our AIB league encounter with Cork Con. However, no one should give up on this side, and for the second game in succession an almost miraculous revival saw the lads take valuable points from an away venue from a seemingly precarious situation. A draw was the coveted reward for a suburb final 10 minutes from the lads. Despite the comments reported by the press in the aftermath from Cork Constitution, it wasn't the refereeing decisions, correct decisions I might add, that resulted in our claiming a share of the spoils, but a desire by our boys not to let themselves down. Con were justifiably ahead and their almost domination of possession, especially in the opening half and well into the second saw us score a single penalty thanks to Tadgh Bennett. It wasn't until they scored two quick tries that the panic buttons were being sought, not by the team of course but the sizable support that travelled. The game could just as easily have slipped away but perseverance and persistence will almost certainly always reap rewards.

The penalty try could have come a couple of plays sooner such was the strength of our pack, albeit against 7 forwards, and Dave Quinlan's fantastic burst from defence into attack eventually paved the way for Sean Cronin to power his way over with a little help from the lads. The conversion to draw was not straight forward and the palpitations on the sidelines were evident, but none have needed worry. Andrew Thompson has been in more stressful scenarios and he calmly struck over the equaliser. The final whistle came as the ball sailed between the posts and again we left a team wondering where it all went wrong. There's no one suggesting that we should celebrate this unlikely draw with anything like the zest and zeal of a victory, but the manner in which it was achieved was remarkable and for that alone the players and indeed the management should be applauded. There's no doubt that we cannot afford to sneak results as we have done in the past two games if we are to retain our title. The New Year will bring an enormous challenge and the lads are only too aware of that fact. They have a friendly game with Buccaneers on the 30th in Coonagh at 1pm in advance of the resumption of the AIB league on the 6th January when leaders Clontarf travel to Thomond Park. On that day we will again be hosting our regular pre match lunch for our members and friends. These functions have proved one of the biggest successes off the field this year and the consensus amongst those that attend is that it's an excellent day out. An enormous amount of credit must go to Ger Mc Closkey and Tadgh Crowe for their efforts in organising and promoting these. Bookings for the Clontarf Pre match are now being taken by Ger on 0872745926.

On Saturday the U/20's claimed a fantastic victory over Young Munster in St Munchin's college despite playing only in patches. Our hosts were always going to be a sticky side and it took a big effort to claim the points which maintains top spot in the AIL South western conference. It looked as if it could be plain sailing in the opening 5 minute when Johnny Paradise scorched down the left and touchline to score the opening try of the game. If any notions of an easy win were in the air, they were soon dispelled by Young Munster. They played a hard tenacious game and although our far superior pack was dominant, we were starved of possession for lengthy periods. We turned around at the break just 2 points ahead, but that lead was short lived when a block down resulted in a Young Munster try. Our advantage in the scrums was negated when uncontested scrums were announced, a surprising development from a club that prides themselves on their forward play, but nonetheless our lads made the best of an unusual situation. They reclaimed the lead when Eamon Lane blocked down a kick and deftly and skilfully dribbled the ball over the line and soon after Richie Mullane scored an absolutely cracking try to put the result beyond doubt and deny the host side a losing bonus point. Captain Paul Loughnane is proving a most capable leader and on Saturday his leadership qualities steered his side to victory , but he wasn't the only one to shine in a solid, if below par team performance. This side don't resume competitive action until the middle of January.

Young Munster did have success against Shannon at the weekend, albeit in a friendly against our several depleted thirds side. Depleted to the extent that even coach Pat Mc Loughlin was forced to lineout, a record as the oldest player around no doubt. The result was disappointing for sure, but nothing much can be read into it apart form the fact that we are the team to beat at thirds level in the city backed up by a rendition of Beautiful Munster's at the end. The main focus will return to competitive action when after Christmas, on the 30th the lads will play their semi-final of the Gleeson league. Cashel come to Coonagh and a very tough game is guaranteed. Kick off is at 2pm and I would urge everyone to come out and give their support as
the visitors will surely bring a big travelling contingent.

Once again the underage programme was severally curtailed due to pitch conditions, but the U/14's did play their opening league game against Young Munster in Derryknockane. We got off to a great start when we scored a try which roved the only score of the opening half. Mark Leonard increased the lead with a penalty soon after the break. Young Munster put the squeeze on and came close to scoring, however good defence kept them at bay. From defence to attack and centre Alex McNamara scored a try to secure the win.

Underage have a break until the New Year.

Finally on behalf of the Executive Committee I'd like wish all of our members, supporters and players a peaceful and happy Christmas and a New Year when hopefully our successes of 2006 can be replicated.

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