Cork County Cup Final
13th May 2005 By Munster Rugby
PIRATES CLAIM COUNTY CUP TO FINISH ON A HIGH
Cobh Pirates 11 Crosshaven 5
Despite being finalists in the Munster Junior League Division One, it came down to ther last game of the season for Cobh Pirates to claim silverware, seeing off an intense challenge by Crosshaven in the highly entertaining final of the Cork County Cup in Musgrave Park.
It was predicted to be a very close game, and this certainly was the case, with the teams scoreless at half time. The first half was a high tempo affair, with opposite packs testing each other in the early exchanges. Crosshaven were unable to get over the line, despite holding much of the possession and creating more scoring opportunities. In the centres, Sean Conway and Ross O Connell made some excellent breaks, but came up against a wall of defence, with some great work by Cobh s Mick Frahill and Dave Barry. Crosshaven had two opportunities to go ahead from penalties, but out half Ritchie Daly was unable to convert in both the 32nd and 40th minutes, leaving the score 0-0 at half time.
Cobh made a strong start to the second half, immediately putting pressure on the Crosshaven defence. A drop goal attempt by Brendan Ronan three minutes into the half didn t hit its mark, but 9 minutes later he had a successful penalty attempt, giving Pirates a three point lead. Ronan added another three points after 59 minutes to stretch their lead to 6-0. Crosshaven continued to fight for possession, with players such as winger Danny Buckley particularly impressing. A great break by Buckley in the 62nd minute brought Crosshaven to the Cobh try line, and three minutes later flanker Peter Morrissy grounded the ball, bringing them within a point of Pirates at 6-5. Pirates centre Colm McCoitir had a failed drop goal attempt in the 67th minute, but Cobh got the decisive score 7 minutes later with a magnificent try from winger Roddy Jefferson. Jefferson and Crosshaven full back Dave Walsh both chased a cross field kick, with Jefferson just managing to get his hands on the ball before shaking off Walsh s tackle to score in the corner. With Cobh leading 11-5 and five minutes of normal time remaining, Crosshaven needed a converted try to win the game. Pirates dug deep, defended well and survived a fantastic late attack from Crosshaven to win the game.
Crosshaven put up a tremendous fight and will be disappointed at not converting good possession in the first half into scores. There were moments of sheer class from the side, with a second row acrobatic catch by second row Michael Buckley standing out. Rob Barry at No. 8 put in another stellar performance, while Dave Walsh at full back was excellent all over the field. For Pirates, Niall Walley at full back was solid in his clearing kicks throughout the game, while flanker Ian Dunne and scrum half Noel Dunne looked particularly sharp. Special mention to Pirates Andrew McCarthy who came on as a replacement prop at half time, and had a tremendous second half, in what was his last game. Last year s beaten finalists, Crosshaven, will be disappointed with the loss, but will take some consolation in winning the Fitzgerald Cup recently.
Crosshaven: 15. Dave Walsh, 14. Danny Buckley, 13. Ross O Connell, 12. Sean Conway, 11. Pierce O Brien, 10. Ritchie Daly, 9. Philip Spillane, 1. Tony Barry, 2. Rory Hofler, 3. Moss Barry, 4. Paul Memory, 5. Michael Buckley, 6. Andrew Harrington, 7. Peter Morrissy, 8. Rob Barry. Replacements: Eamon Ring for Harrington, Peter McMahon for Pierce O Brien, Conor Deane for Philip Spillane
Cobh Pirates: 15. Niall Walley, 14. Rob Donovan, 13. Colin Cronin, 12. Colm MacCoitir, 11. Roddy Jefferson, 10. Brendan Ronan, 9. Noel Dunne, 1. Peter Ahern, 2. Dave Barry, 3. Dion McKeown, 4. James Frahill, 5. John O Malley, 6. Karl Keating, 7. Ian Dunne, 8. Mick Frahill Replacements: Jim Cotter for Cronin, Andrew McCarthy for McKeown, Mick Keating for O Malley, Gavin Owens for Dave Barry
Referee: John Sheehan, MAR