Defending champions Shannon sent a clear message to pretenders to the title on Saturday when they notched up ten tries to defeat UCC 62-13 in the first round of the ODM Munster Senior Challenge Cup. Cashel, the only Junior club in the competition, progressed to the second round when they ended Sunday s Well title hopes with a 29-20 victory. At Musgrave Park, Dolphin saw off the challenge of Bruff with a 28-15 win. Midleton came through the first round with a 31-7 victory over Highfield at Towns Park. UL Bohemian defeated Thomond 18-12 and Young Munster ensured Nenagh Ormond s early exit with a 29-8 win.
Shannon are on course for their seventh title in a row after a convincing display at Coonagh, with visitors UCC unable to make much impact in a game where Shannon notched up ten tries. Mossy Lawlor opened the scoring after just two minutes, followed by Fionn McLoughlin. In the first half, Colm McMahon and Frank Roche both added tries for Shannon, with UCC picking up six points from two Dave O Leary penalties, leaving the score 20-6 at the break. Andrew Thompson converted all six of Shannon s tries in the second half, with Eoin Cahill touching down at 44 minutes. Both Mark Tuohy and John O Connor got two tries in the course of the half, with McLoughlin picking up his second in the dying minutes of the game. UCC s Timmy Ryan did pull one back for the visitors with five minutes to go, but with a number of players unavailable due to their involvement in the U21 Interprovincial Final, it was always going to be a hard task for the college. Shannon will travel to Midleton for their second round clash.
Perhaps one of the big rugby stories of the weekend was the success of Junior side Cashel in their first round game against Sunday s Well on a score line of 29-20 in Cashel. Cashel are competing in the Senior Challenge Cup for the first time, having earned their place by winning the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup last season. The home side opened the scoring in the first minute of the game with a try from out half Trevor Breen, however, Sunday s Well levelled shortly afterwards with a try from Eoin O Connell. One of the key figures in the side, Breen added a conversion to Diarmuid O Connor s try, and a penalty before half time, to give the home side a 15-5 lead at the break. In the second half, Sunday s Well came back with a try from Eddie Hogan O Connell, but Cashel pulled away once more with a try from Robert Tierney, with Breen once again converting. Well into the second half, Sunday s Well exerted considerable pressure on Cashel, with Joe Gillis and Victor Ball both crossing the line for the Cork side, with Hogan O Connell adding a conversion. However, it was to be Cashel s day, with Robert Tierney adding a second try to seal the victory. A meeting with Waterpark in the second round is what awaits the Tipperary side on October 8th.
UL Bohemian s ensured Thomond s early exit with an 18-12 win in Annacotty. Bohs opened the scoring after only 2 minutes with a pass from centre Martin McPhail setting up fullback Cathal Garvey to score in the corner. Although not converted, Garvey crossed the line again just 6 minutes later after some excellent handling by flanker Aidan O Gorman and centre Colman Finn. Receiving the ball on the Thomond 22, Garvey raced all the way to the line to score his second try. In between these scores Thomond put their first points on the board with a penalty, however the last score of the first half came on 38 minutes as Bohs outhalf Fergal Lawlor kicked a penalty to leave the score at 13 3 at the break. Within six minutes of the restart, Thomond fullback John Cusack had kicked two penalties, to leave the score 13 9. Minutes later, Boh s winger Aidan Rees crossed the line for a try. Cusack came back with a penalty for Thomond on 65 minutes, but UL Boh s 18-12 lead was to remain until the remainder of the game. In the second round, UL Boh s are due to meet the winners of Cork Constitution and Old Crescent who are due to play their first round game on Friday 30th September.
Young Munster s dashed the hopes of Tipperary side Nenagh Ormond with a 29-8 win at Clifford Park. Derek Corcoran scored two tries for Young Munster, with Mike Prendergast and Michael South also scoring. Mark Connolly converted all three tries, and added a penalty to his tally. For Nenagh Ormond, Denis Slattery kicked a penalty in the first half, with a consolation try late in the second half from Ian Ryan. Garryowen lie in wait for Young Munster in the second round.
Midleton booked a tie with Shannon in the second round after defeating Highfield 31-7, having led 17-0 at the break. Full back Jeff Hitchmough kicked seven penalties for the home side, with Christy Condon and Keith Cocking scoring a try each. Highfield s scores came late in the game with a try from Paul Cotter which was converted by Colin Mahony.
Dolphin had a 28-15 victory over Bruff at Musgrave Park, and will travel to play Clonakilty in the second round. Dave O Mahony, Mike Kingsbeer and John O Mahony scored tries for the winners, with Barry Keeshan kicking two conversions and three penalties. For Bruff, Iona Sing crossed the line twice, with Michael Carroll also scoring a try.
With the second round games of the ODM Munster Senior Challenge Cup due to be played on October 8th, competing teams will have an added incentive, as the results will determine the teams going forward to the All Ireland Cup.
ODM MUNSTER SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP
Saturday 24th September 2005
Cashel 29 Sunday s Well 20, Cashel
Dolphin 28 Bruff 15, Musgrave Park
Midleton 31 Highfield 7, Towns Park
Shannon 62 UCC 13, Coonagh
UL Bohemian 18 Thomond 12, Annacotty
Young Munster 29 Nenagh Ormond 8, Tom Clifford Park
BYES: Clonakilty, Waterpark, Garryowen
Cork Constitution v Old Crescent- due to be played Friday September 30th
Week Ending 8th October 2005
Clonakilty v Dolphin
Midleton v Shannon
UL Bohemian v Cork Constitution/Old Crescent
Waterpark v Cashel
Young Munster v Garryowen
Week Ending 12th November 2005 (1 Game)
Week Ending 26th November 2005
ALL IRELAND CUP
The All Ireland Cup has been introduced for teams competing in the AIL League. Seventeen teams in total will compete in the inaugural All Ireland Cup. Munster will have five teams, Leinster will have 6, four from Ulster and two from Connacht.
Round One is due to take place the week ending November 12th 2005
Round Two- w/e 17th December 2005
Quarter Finals- w/e 11th February 2005
Semi Finals- w/e 25th February 2005
All Ireland Cup Final- Saturday 8th April 2005
(Fixtures subject to change)