With the big news of the weekend being Nenagh Ormond s promotion to the AIL, elsewhere, there was plenty of other action to entertain rugby fans.
On Friday, Douglas kicked off the weekend with a thrilling 21-17 win over Crosshaven in the final of the Junior Two Dave Dineen Plate. At half time, Douglas led by a comfortable 14 points to nil, and with 15 minutes to go, Douglas led 21-3. A resurgent Crosshaven refused to give Douglas an easy victory, and came back with a huge effort late in the game. Douglas went ahead after four minutes with a try from No. 8 John Barry which was converted by Andrew Larkin. It signalled the beginning of a difficult game for Crosshaven, who struggled with the intensity of the Douglas pack in particular. Larkin had a magnificent game, with superb kicking keeping Crosshaven on the back foot throughout. Twin brother Joe Larkin got the next touch down, which was converted by his sibling, giving Douglas a 14-0 at half time. Crosshaven continued to scrap for possession, with substitute Paul Memory particularly effective. Ian Good landed Crosshaven s first points on the score board 15 minutes into the second half with an on target drop goal. At the half hour mark Douglas wing forward Ciaran Cleary added another five points, with Larkin scoring the conversion. However, Crosshaven came back in the dying minutes of the game with two tries by Conor Deane and Ian Good, putting them within range of Douglas. Douglas held out, and claimed the well deserved victory.
In the Kelly Cup final, Youghal claimed the victory with a 13-11 win over Bandon in Ballincollig. Youghal went ahead after 13 minutes with a penalty from Jonathon Ormonde. John White added a try for the East Cork side in the 21st minute after a great break by winger Colin Broderick. Ormonde converted to give Youghal a 10-0 lead. Bandon put their first points on the score board after 23 minutes with a penalty by Eoghan O Callaghan. Michael Bateman narrowed the gap again with a superb try shortly before half time, to leave the score 10-8 in Youghal s favour at half time. In the second half, Bandon regrouped and had the bulk of the possession; however, they were unable to convert this advantage to points on the board. Youghal added to their tally in the 55th minute with a penalty from Ormonde, with Bandon s O Callaghan replying shortly after. Despite a ferocious effort from Bandon, Youghal s tight defence held firm, and it was Youghal who claimed the victory. Youghal had a comprehensive 46-5 win over Bantry in their semi final, and knocked out Muskerry earlier in the year in the quarter final.
Crosshaven had cause for celebration on Sunday with a 24-0 over Charleville in Myrtleville in the final of the Fitzgerald Cup. Having had a 25-13 win over Muskerry in their quarter final, and defeating Clanwilliam 20-13 in the semi final, the home side took control of the game from early on, with the pack particularly effective in denying Charleville clean possession. Wingers Pierce O Brien and Danny Buckley both touched down, with Richard Daly converting. Just before half time, Philip Spillane added to the tally, giving Crosshaven a 19-0 lead at the break. Despite playing with the wind in the second half, Charleville were unable to come back into the game, with Crosshaven sealing their victory with a try from Rob Barry mid way through the second half.
In the O Sullivan Cup, Newcastlewest were awarded a walkover from Ballincollig, giving them a place in the semi finals. In the other quarter final, Presentation were unable to halt the progress of Mallow, who came out on top on a 32-15 win. At half time, Mallow led 12-0, after tries from John Singleton and Michael Lynch, with Jonathon Eather adding a conversion. In the second half, Presentation came back into the game, with Ollie Delaney having a huge influence by scoring a try, conversion and a penalty. For Mallow, John Singleton scored his second try of the day, with Padraig Ahern also touching down. Eather converted both tries and also added two penalties. Presentation completed the scoring with a try from Ken Greaney, but it wasn t enough to affect the outcome of the game.
Thomond had a 12-9 win over Shannon in the final of the North Munster Seconds League at Clifford Park. Tom Creegan kicked two first half penalties for Shannon to give his side a 6-0 interval lead. Jason Cronin replied with two penalties for Thomond to level the game, before Creegan and Cronin exchanged further penalties. In the final minute of injury time Cronin added a drop goal to give Thomond their first trophy at this level.
Cashel have had a very successful season, having won the Munster Junior Clubs Cup earlier this year, and winning the Munster Junior Plate last weekend. They added more silverware on Sunday when they collected the Mansergh Cup with a 12-10 win over Clanwilliam. Cashel did all their scoring in the first half, with four penalties from the boot of Trevor Breen. In the second half, Christy Nealon touched down, with Maguire converting to bring the home side back within range. Maguire added another penalty to reduce the deficit, but Clanwilliam were unable to take the victory, despite being awarded a number of penalties in the second half.
Musgrave Park hosted the final of the South Munster Junior 3 Cup, with Castleisland and Skibbereen contesting the title. Having won the League three weeks ago, Castleisland completed the double with a 24-10 win. Castleisland opened the scoring with a try from John Brosnan, which Brendan O Connor converted. Skibbereen answered with a try from Vincent Goggin minutes later, with Mark Kingston converting. Skibbereen went ahead with a penalty from Kingston, only to have O Connor reply close to the half hour mark. It was to be Castleisland s day however, adding two more tries from Shane Walsh and Declan Smith, with Seamus Riordan converting.
with thanks to Olan Allen