CARRICK ON SUIR RFC
Dermot Keyes PRO
Division Three: Fermoy 26 Carrick 8
A well-drilled Fermoy side maintained their promotion push on Sunday last when they saw off our First XV after a highly physical encounter in East Cork.
On a wet, windy, muddy day, our lads knew they faced a stern test and that's exactly what they got from a side who are currently level with Newcastle West at the head of affairs on 28 points.
That we're the only team who hasn't lost to the Limerick club makes our tally at this stage of the campaign all the more difficult to stomach.
But it's important to stress that on Sunday last, no one in Carrick colours was found wanting. There are days when you simply come up against a superior side, and that was the case with Fermoy.
Despite the victory being secured well before the game entered its final quarter, Carrick did not play with lowered heads at any stage of the fixture. A James Wallace penalty and Jamie Walsh try was the very least that the team deserved for their efforts in the second half.
That effort and commitment will be called upon again next Sunday when we make the trip to Clonmel for a Garryowen Cup fixture scheduled for a 2.30 pm kick-off.
What we need this week are two well-attended training sessions and a determination to go out next weekend and embark on a cup run like we did in the O'Sullivan campaign last year.
For what's left of this season, should we wish to get into cup winning contention, we need good turn-outs at training, something we haven't had enough of over the past six weeks.
Our fourth league defeat of the season leaves us in seventh place with 13 points. Above us, Waterford City (16 points) and Galbally (18) have played a game less, which makes us finishing any higher than sixth a pretty difficult task.
As for who'll win the division? It looks like a straightforward fight between Newcastle West and Fermoy while Kinsale sit seven points adrift in third place. But all that matters for this week is the trip to Clonmel for a game we would dearly love to win. Best of luck to all involved.
Carrick XV: K Lanigan, D Kiersey, B Dignam; R Murphy, A Hunter; J Wallace, S O'Keeffe;
A Murray, J Walsh, J Heffernan; B Phelan, J Phelan; B Slattery, P Lanigan, J O'Keeffe (c).
Replacements: A O'Sullivan for A Murray, W Stokes for B Slattery and L Phelan for P Lanigan.
Evans Cup: Carrick 0 Waterpark 43
That we finished this game with only 13 players is owed to the fact that (a) we were let down by a couple of guys who didn't turn up and (b) four of our starting squad for the season have been elevated to the Firsts.
It's a source of enormous frustration to players when team mates don't turn up, making score lines like the above unfortunate but just about inevitable. One only had to look at the faces of our players before the match to see how annoyed some of them were.
That some of our players have moved onto the First ranks is disappointing from the perspective of the Second XV due to what the team has lost in terms of character and ability. But it was enormously pleasing to see Aaron, Larry, Kevin and David feature in Fermoy. It underlines the importance of having a Seconds team, who played their seventh game of the season last Sunday in Tybroughney.
We were never really in this fixture in a potential match-winning sense - the third time we've lost to Park this season - but it was not because of a lack of effort on anyone's behalf. We tackled very well on occasion but didn't support our ball carriers well enough when attempting to get over the gain line. But the attitude of our players before and after the game was exemplary.
Despite losing all three meetings, we have enjoyed the jousts with our city neighbours this season. The matches have been played in an excellent, sporting manner and plenty of friendly jibing between both sets of players was shared during Sunday's mudfest.
Despite the many free 'Tybroughney facials' both teams were treated to on Sunday last, the pitch held up very well despite the overnight deluge - a credit to our groundsman Mick Hickey. And it was also great to have the returning Ronan Costello (from 'out foreign') and Mick Carroll (from plaster paris!) back in Carrick colours. Heads up for the next outing, boys.
Due to an injury pile up, our scheduled fixture with Clonmel for Sunday next has been postponed.
Carrick XV: W Lonergan, J Hennessy, J Hogan; R Costello, W Lambe; E Lonergan, D Clery; B Woods, D Keyes (c), C Bartley; R Gough, S Hickey; D Harrison, J Quinlan, M Carroll.
Replacement: G Grant for B Woods.
UL Bohemian RFC
Denis Ryan PRO
Another week and another tale of what might have been as Dungannon left Thomond Park victorious on a 22-21 scoreboard, courtesy of a late try. In perfect weather UL Bohs went in at the break leading by 18-10, having scored two excellent tries. Ian Hanley crossed for the first, dancing along the touchline after some good passing, while Ben Martin made a trademark break from the 22 touching down between the posts without a hand being laid on him. Ben Martin also added a conversion and two penalties. In the second half, both sides seemed to settle for the status quo, although UL Bohs lost an excellent scoring opportunity when a despairing hand dislodged the ball from Martin McPhail's grasp as he jinked over the line. This seemed to stir the visitors, and Dungannon broke through for a fine try when some untypical missed tackles allowed the right winger score between the posts. The conversion left the minimum between the sides, but a Ben Martin penalty appeared sufficient to ease UL Bohs home. However, once again Dungannon dug deep, and in injury time forced a maul over the line with the ref signalling the winning score. This is the 3rd defeat on the trot for UL Bohs by the narrowest of margins, and they will be anxious to resume winning ways when Belfast Harlequins visit on Saturday. This game will be in Annacotty at 2pm because of the Munster and Cardiff game in Thomond Park later in the afternoon.
Also on Saturday, the 3rd XV maintained their interest in the Gleeson League with a fine 20-7 win over Shannon. With Coonagh unplayable, Shannon sportingly agreed to move the fixture to Annacotty, but UL Bohs showed little Christmas spirit when running in three tries from Tom Ryan, Alan Ryan and Liam O'Connell. Mike Reddan contributed a penalty and a conversion. The side will now play Kilrush in the semi-final.
In the Senior Seconds League UL Bohs travelled to Cork for the game against Dolphin which had been hit by the weather the previous week. In keeping with their fine form to date, the side returned home winners by 59-0.
Shannon RFC Notes
Andrew McNamara PRO
We may have been celebrating at the final whistle last Saturday in the breezy suburb of Dublin, Terenure, but with four minutes to go celebrations were the furthest thing from our minds. Trailing in our latest outing in the AIB league by 13-6 it appeared that our rather inept performance would be punished accordingly, but credit where credit is due, the lads' sprit shone through in the failing light. Three lightening quick tries gave us an unlikely 27-13 victory and with it a consolidation of our place in the top four. Mossy's wonderful try began the revival and then Stephen Kelly demonstrated his deadly pace to score two quick tries in injury time to seal the win. It must have been devastating for Terenure, but victories such as this can make our break a season. Our usual pit stop on our journeys, The Final Furlong saw all the lads join in the celebrations, not only for the win but for the Birthday of one of our best supporters Clare Hurley. It's all hands on deck again this Sunday when our exit in the senior cup will surely remembered as we take on our victors that day, Cork Constitution. Temple Hill is not our most productive of venues in that recent past and the lads will be under no illusions about the difficult task facing them. Kick off on Sunday in Cork is at 2.30.
On Sunday, the seconds were in fine form as they brushed aside the challenge of Thomond in the second's league. The final score of 32- 10 gives an accurate picture of events and despite the difficult conditions the lads put in a good performance. With the seniors playing on Sunday the seconds have no game this week.
Surprisingly the thirds lost their fantastic unbeaten run when UL/Bohs beat them in the final Gleeson league game. Although the result had no consequence on the outcome of our league position, it was a disappointing result from a side who have not known defeat since the start of the season. UL/Bohs had it all to play for and their win sees them join us in the next phase of the competition. Missing almost half the regular line up Locky's side was battling from the start and our only score in the 20-7 defeat came when Paul Ryan came off the bench to score a try. The knockout stages of the competition sees Cashel travel to Coonagh at a date to be fixed.
On Saturday the U/20's were in sparkling form as they completely dominated Buccaneers in Coonagh in the AIL. It was pretty much one way traffic as they easily secured the bonus point by half time and went on to rack up another fistful of tries before the final whistle. This Saturday will surely be a much more difficult task when the rescheduled game against Young Munster takes place in the unusual setting of St Munchin's College in Corbally. Kick off is at 1pm.
This Sunday our U/13's play away to Ennis in St Flannan's while the U/14's travel to Derryknockane to play Young Munster. On Saturday the U/16's play the Munster development side in Coonagh at 11.30.
John Cole has asked me to put a call out to anyone interested in Refereeing that a course will take place in the Mallow Park Hotel on Sunday 7th January 2007 at 10am .Any one interested in doing the course should contact John Cole at 086 8441870.
Finally and unfortunately we bid a farewell to one of our most dedicated and committed members over the last number of years, Rohan West, who heads to London to take up a new job. Rohan has been the driving force behind our Women's rugby sides since he joined the club many years ago. He began as the senior coach to the Shannon Women's team and his talent soon spread to representative rugby and then became one of our appointed referees to the Munster association of referees. In recent times he took a step back from the senior side and concentrated on women's youth development within the club, a role which he again displayed his prodigious talents. He will be sorely missed not only by the women's rugby, but by everyone throughout the club. I've no doubt he'll keep a close eye on proceedings regarding Shannon from London. We wish him the very best for the future.
Old Crescent RFC Notes
Last weekend the Seniors took on Bective Rangers in Rosbrien in the AIL and once again we lost a game that on League form we would have been expected to win. It was another of those so-called games of two halves and we lost the first half despite an exciting early try set up by a great run by Lorcan Bourke. We won the second half but not by enough to win the game although there were chances to do so. The final score was Bective 28, Old Crescent 21 which at least gave us a bonus point. Unfortunately an injury to Alan McMahon will keep him out of the game for some weeks and we wish him an early recovery.
When you see teams we have defeated listed in the top four of the League Table it is disappointing that the two games we have lost so far in the league were to teams that lie well below us in the table and hopefully what seems to be a somewhat casual approach to some games will be replaced by a more focussed approach for upcoming matches to move us back up the table.
Our Under 20s travelled to Nenagh on Saturday where they lost by six points.
Because of the big Munster game in Thomond Park on Saturday our AIL game this weekend is fixed for Sunday at 2.30 when we travel to Young Munster in Greenfields. Munsters' have two wins, a draw and two losses to our three wins, a draw, and two losses, and both sides are targeting this game for a win so this local derby will provide an exciting game and all the support we can muster will be needed. Be there!
On the Under-Age front all games were called off last weekend except for a friendly against Newcastle West which was won 29 to 14. The U14 league starts on Sunday next with a home game against Newport.
A Coffee morning fundraiser will be held on Sunday morning in the Clubhouse in aid of the Under 12's trip to the Malone Invitational, next Easter.
An Underage Christmas party will also take place after training on Sunday morning and club gear will be for sale in the clubhouse - an opportunity to pick up a nice Christmas present for somebody.
We again send our congratulations to Munster on their performance in the Heineken European Cup campaign and like all supporters at the match on Saturday against Cardiff Blues in Thomond Park will be urging them on to a bonus point win.
Garryowen FC Notes
Christopher Barry PRO
Any thoughts of a Dooradoyle version of the Mexican Wave last Saturday never materialised. One could have been duped into thinking the "grounds full" sign was up as the traffic crawled ominously towards the shopping centre. Those brave souls on the inside witnessed a Houdini style comeback as we somehow rescued an AIL victory from the jaws of defeat by beating a brave Lansdowne team 16-15. Seldom will a win be greeted with such relief and we go into our final game away to Buccaneers on Saturday in the knowledge that our performance needs to be more consistent if we are to come home with the spoils. The first half was a mixed bag with our pack holding the edge up front early on. Conor Kilroy kicked a penalty and we appeared comfortable until we conceded a converted try to the visitors following a defensive error. Stunned into action we laid siege on the Lansdowne line and it was Frederico Quaglia who bagged his first try for the club when driven over near the post. We seemed to go flat after that and a number of missed gilt edged penalty opportunities left us vulnerable to the counter attack. Sure enough that's what happened when Robbie Dolan was given far too much space to scamper over in the corner. Captain Paul Neville incurred a head injury while attempting a last ditch tackle and his departure had an unsettling effect on our boys for a while. Donal Sheehan was introduced into the second row and his succession of line-out takes provided quality ball for his half-backs. Eoghan Hickey tried to change the pattern of his three quarters when he replaced Conan Doyle, but it was Alan Kingsley who got us back in with a chance when he somehow dropped a goal following a messy feed from a ruck inside the Lansdowne 22. 13-15 and two minutes to go. Could we still do it? Accustomed to "late-late shows" going against us, no-one could begrudge our right to the points when we pinched a line-out and the rolling maul pressurised at least two defenders into the inevitable penalty concession. Eoghan Hickey gleefully accepted the offer near the posts and our unbeaten AIL run at home this year was maintained. John Staunton and Mark Melbourne had big games in the pack and Donal Sheehan on his introduction wasn't far behind. Frederico Quaglia was always in the thick of the action and Alan Kingsley showed some lovely touches when pressed into duty late in the game. Earlier on the back pitch, our U20's had too much power for Cork Con when scoring five tries in their 35-7 win. Willie Staunton at outhalf was always in command of the situation and Diarmuid Waters linked nicely inside. This was our second win on the trot in the AIL and the team will have been encouraged by their improvement in form on their previous outing. The lion-hearted Sean Hogan and James Carroll both helped themselves to two tries and full back Shane Moloney also touched down. Willie Staunton kicked a full set of points and Diarmuid Waters landed a conversion. Conditions for the MSL v Cork Con in Temple Hill were particularly bleak last Sunday. An early try by the home side didn't seem enough but we just couldn't peg back the deficit. Both teams had their chances and while we always looked capable of a break-through, the Con defence held out until the end to win 5-0. A trip to Scariff on Sunday will determine the outcome of the NM U13 League. Our boys are still unbeaten after their 22-5 win over a valiant St. Mary's side. Despite the aid of a strong wind we turned over leading narrowly 12-5. The pep talk during the break obviously worked and we added two more tries in the second period. Our forwards again set an excellent platform and the backs have been able to impress with the quality ball. Michael Horgan (2), David Butler and Alex Fitzgerald were the try scorers and Andrew O'Byrne kicked a conversion. This Saturday, Limerick Fire Brigade Service will be demonstrating the work carried out at the scene of a serious motor accident. The event is being run by Headcare Ireland who champion the cause of the many ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) victims in this country. Our own Kevin O' Riordan, a member of Limerick Fire Brigade Service, has been actively involved in ensuring our members support this worthy cause.