11 Dec, 09:28
It is Junior rugby that dominates the weekend's action with a full program of games in the Munster Junior League.
Shannon 9 - Waterpark 15
Shannon were first on the scoresheet after 3 minutes when outhalf Ronan McKenna slotted a 25 metre penalty after Waterpark were deemed to have been offside by referee James Hayes.
McKenna added to this on 7 minutes with a sweetly struck drop goal after some fantastic approach work by the Shannon pack. Somewhat against the run of play, Waterpark scored an unconverted try on 23 minutes taking a quick tap penalty inside their own half and working the ball down the left touchline to score in the corner. The first half, which had been dominated by the Shannon pack ended with McKenna scoring another penalty to leave the Parishmen 9 points to 5 to the good at the break.
It was out of the starting blocks again for Shannon early in the second half when a lovely backs move from halfway saw the ball going out wide on the right hand side to fullback Ronan Hunt who was held up just 2 metres short of the tryline.
Hunt popped a most beautiful ball up for winger Edward Timmins to get on the scoresheet only to be denied by a Waterpark player who got his knee to the ball forcing it back about 3 metres behind the Shannon winger. That move seemed to signal a wake-up call for the Waterford side who then scored another unconverted try 8 minutes into the second half.
Back came Shannon though, and after the forwards gained some very valuable territory inside the Waterpark half another infringement by a Waterpark player resulted in another penalty to Shannon.
Unfortunately Ronan McKenna was inches to the right of the posts on this occasion, and the scoreline remained 10-9 to the visitors.
The Munster Under 17 Cup was sealed for Waterpark 20 minutes into the second half when another move resulted in them scoring another unconverted try.
Final score then 15 points to 9 to the visitors, but the Shannon players to a man can be very proud of their achievements both on and off the pitch.
One wonders what might have been if even some of the so-called panelled schools cup players had been available to us during this campaign, but there is no doubt that this is a fine squad of players and we can expect to see many of them don the black and blue jersey for their club over the coming years.
Shannon RFC: 15 Ronan Hunt, 14 Edward Timmins, 13 Robert Whyte, 12 Conor Glynn, 11 James Clancy, 10 Ronan McKenna, 9 Ryan Tsang; 1 Tony Cusack, 2 Tim Sheahan (Rep 58 min Alan Casey), 3 Kevin Dillon (Rep 60 min Craig Power), 4 Evan Tierney, 5 Patrick Kearns (Captain), 6 Shane Houlihan, 7 Liam Cronin, 8 Michael Foley. Replacements – Alan Casey, Craig Power, Patrick Murphy, Coarie O’Keeffe, Danny O’Shaugnessy, Scott Cusack, Andrew Cusack.