Club News: Week Ending 19.04.15
16th April 2015 By Munster Rugby
This week’s Club News comes from Kilfeacle, Waterford City, Thurles and Bruff.
This week’s Club News comes from Kilfeacle, Waterford City, Thurles and Bruff.
Courtesy of:- Jamie Keaty, Club PRO
On Sunday last Shannon RFC welcomed Kilfeacle RFC to Coonagh. Both teams vying for the opportunity to reach the final of this year's Munster Junior Cup Final. These teams met in the same competition the previous year with the junior club prevailing. This year however, both sides had strengthened their panel of players and this was always going to be a tight affair. The weather conditions were perfect for fast, open rugby, with the sun shining and little breeze to contend with. Hunger was never going to be an issue with these two teams as they both knew what was at stake and this was reflected in the physicality displayed in the opening encounters.
Indiscipline, early in the game, from the away team gave Shannon a 6 point lead after just 12 minutes. These two well taken kicks came as a result of Kilfeacle showing some naivety at the breakdown against a senior side. Kilfeacle were dealt another blow and lost their captain and outhalf Darren Lowry to injury after just 20 minutes. After displaying some early nerves though, Kilfeacle started to settle into the game. Both sides traded a penalty a piece to leave the score 9-3, and this remained the score at half time. The first half was not one of the classic displays of enterprising rugby and if Kilfeacle were to progress further in the competition, they knew they would need to employ some different tactics in the second half.
The second half couldn't have started worse for the away side with Shannon scoring an un-converted try, against the run of play after just 9 minutes, leaving the scoreline 14-3. At this point, Kilfeacle put all shoulders to the wheel and upped the intensity of the game by implementing a direct running and offloading game. These tactics came to fruition just 7 minutes later with Ciaran Lowry crossing the line. Good recycling skills allowed clean ball for the backline to capitalise on a dishevelled defence. James Hogan converted to leave the score 14-10. Hogan kicked another 3 pointer after 18 minutes to the joy of the travelling supporters and set up an exhilarating end to the game. The remainder of the game ebbed and flowed, but it was Shannon that capitalized on some questionable decisions and found themselves crossing the whitewash with only minutes left on the clock.
The conversion was missed, meaning the tie wasn't quite over just yet, leaving Shannon with a 6 point lead. However, it wasn't to be on this day for a young, brave and determined Kilfeacle team with the final whistle coming too soon. It was evident to strong travelling support, that every single player left nothing out on the field.
From all at Kilfeacle RFC, we would like to sincerely thank the players, managers and support staff that dedicate so much of their time to the club.
Courtesy of:- Fintan Purcell, Club PRO
Garryowen Cup Semi Final: Clanwilliam 23 – 24 Waterford City
Clanwilliam went through their Division 2 season unbeaten this year and earned a well-deserved promotion. The Tipp town outfit are a strong side from 1-15 and with home advantage for this cup match would have been fully confident of reaching the final. Any thoughts of an easy win however were immediately quashed by a City team which started at a fantastic pace. Right from the kick off, City attacked deep into the Clan half and Aaron Foskin slotted a drop goal to lead 3-0. Shortly after the opening score, a jinking run from Darren 'Chicky' Walsh had City on the front foot again and Clanwilliam conceded a penalty which man of the match Michael Hayes made look routine despite the difficult angle. City were in control and led 6-0 after 10 minutes but Clanwilliam don't have an impressive home record for no reason, the ability in their side was clear to see when they responded by matching City for intensity and strong carries up the middle had City under pressure. A loose ball out the side of a ruck, saw the Clanwilliam blind winger in for an easy score and City led 6-5 after 20 minutes.
The City pack were dominant in the scrum and won a penalty at scrum time in the Clan half, Hayes whose kicking was faultless all day split the uprights from distance to put City 9-5 ahead. The Waterford team then turned over possession in midfield and countered to drive the home team back into their half, Hayes dropped into the pocket and from all of 40 metres fired over an incredible drop goal to put City 12-5 ahead. Clan though came straight back at City and scored their second try from a rolling maul from close range to leave the score 12-10 at the break, City were happy to be up by two but in defence were missing too many tackles.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw the teams trade penalties to keep City 15-13 ahead, Clanwilliam were throwing everything at City and the away team were having to make numerous tackles, especially the back row of Foskin, Whelan and Bowe who were excellent all game. A yellow card was the last thing City needed but the pressure was starting to tell, they saw a man go to the bin and Clanwilliam crossed for another try when City ran out of defenders. 20-15 down to quality opposition, weaker teams would have crumbled but City dug deep and hung in to get back to 15 men before winning a penalty from a rolling maul. Hayes again split the uprights, this time from wide on the left to leave City 20-18 behind. With 10 minutes to play City kept driving the home team back and from 30 metres out Aaron Foskin came up with a bit of magic, he lined up the drop goal which looked like it would be blocked down so checked inside and fired home a brilliant strike with his weaker left foot.
City led 21-20 approaching final 5 minutes but Clanwilliam again came right back and scored a penalty to lead 23-21. City hadn't much left in the tank but managed to mount another attack and their scrum forced another penalty, the angle was difficult and distance against him but Hayes showed nerves of steel, a sweet strike saw the ball creep over the cross bar for the winning score. City had to defend the final couple of minutes but held on for a great win. Michael Hayes was outstanding and a deserved man of the match but the front row of Reade, Condron and O'Connor were in contention with and excellent performance.
Courtesy of:- Brian Scanlon, Club PRO
Thurles RFC defeat mighty Cork Con in Munster Plate Semi Final
Cork Constitution RFC 15 – 35 Thurles RFC Munster Junior Plate Semi-Final
On Sunday last, The Thurles First XV travelled to Temple Hill in Cork to take on Cork Constitution in the Semi Final of the Munster Junior Plate. Thurles knew they had to on top on their game to take another senior scalp this year, having already taken the scalp of Richmond in the earlier rounds.
Cork Con, who were captained by Thurles native Sonny Dwyer, started the game brightly, looking go wide at every opportunity, but to Thurles' credit, they kept them at bay, with the likes of Colm Skehan, Shane Moloney & Paddy Phelan putting in some great hits. Having found great resistance from a wall of black and white, Con were eventually given a reward for their early attacks, as they got a penalty in front of the posts for hands in the ruck, which their centre slotted over for a 3-0 lead to the Cork men.
Straight from the re-start, Thurles competed well and won the kick-off, and set up an attack of their own. Some great play in the pack from Captain Brian Lyons, Conor Cooney and David O'Dwyer brought play well inside the Con 22. After a number of phases, Nicky Irwin was at his best once again as he powered through the home defence having feigned to pass wide. Minutes later Thurles were moving the figures on the scoreboard again, a great scrum from the front row of McCormack, Skehan & O'Dwyer (a trend which continued throughout the game), set up perfect ball for Irwin, who sent Eoghan O'Dwyer on his way to increase Thurles' lead further with both tries being converted by Aidan Dwyer, 3-14.
Thurles continued to take the game to the Cork men, another great break from scrum half Irwin saw him beat a number of defenders to touchdown in the corner to increase their lead to 3-19. Thurles were flying at this stage of the game, with Ollie Geoghan, Peter Kinane & Shane Lanigan-Ryan playing some great rugby. Just before half time Thurles were on the move again, this performance was resembling the clinical nature of the League performances that we had become accustomed to earlier in the season, some good runs from the centre pairing of Shane Moloney & Aidan Dwyer moved Thurles out of their own half, some more great work from the pack saw Thurles move further up the field before John Coman got his hands on the ball out wide, a race for the line ensued before Coman got stopped short before excellently offloading to Phil Kelly who was in support, he acrobatically managed to touch down in the corner before being bundled into touch, 3-24.
There was time for one last attack before the referee blew the final whistle, some great movement and play saw the Con out half find a rare hole in the Thurles defence to reduce the deficit with an unconverted try before half time, 8-24.
Thurles restarted the second half and managed to regain possession from the kick-off once again, Thurles looking to increase the score line saw the right wing wide open but the attempted kick to the corner was blocked down by the Cork Con centre, who picked up the loose ball to run in under the posts for a converted try, 15-24.
Thurles, not to have their confidence dented, went back up the field and within a 10 minute period, they had earned 2 penalties at either side of the field, which Aidan Dwyer excellently slotted over to push the game out to a 3 score game, 15-30. With 10 minutes to go, Nicky Irwin capped off another man of match performance by completing his hatrick with a try that resembled that of Peter Stringers in the 2006 Heinken Cup Final to increase the score to 15-35. Thurles had emptied the bench throughout the second half, with those introduced looking to now stake a claim for a starting spot in the final, Luke Kelly, Damien Dunne, Larry O'Gorman, Colin Feeley and Ollie Delaney all added their own contribution to the game when they got their chance. As Larry O'Gorman picked from the back of a scrum and kicked to touch, the final whistle was met with great celebrations from the players, management and those who had made the trip to Temple Hill, this was an Historic win for the Thurles men and this now sets up a repeat of the 2009 Munster Junior Plate Final against Skibbereen, which Thurles won on that occasion.
We would ask all Thurles supporters to make the trip to the Final which will be played in the next couple of weeks, most likely at Musgrave Park in Cork. Thurles have a great chance in bringing home silver ware this year so all support would be greatly appreciated by the players and management. Please keep an eye on the Clubs Facebook page for an update on Date, Time and Venue for the Munster Final.
Scorers vs. Cork Con: Nicky Irwin (3 Tries), Eoghan O'Dwyer, Phil Kelly (1 Try Each), Aidan Dwyer (2 Conversions, 2 Penalties).
Team vs. Cork Con: 1. Ger McCormack 2. Colm Skehan 3. David O'Dwyer 4. Phil Kelly 5. Brian Lyons (c) 6. Conor Cooney 7. Paddy Phelan 8. Peter Kinane 9. Nicky Irwin 10. Ollie Geoghan 11. John Coman 12. Shane Moloney 13. Aidan Dwyer 14 Shane Lanigan-Ryan 15. Eoghan O'Dwyer 16. Damien Dunne 17. Colin Feeley 18. Luke Kelly 19. Ollie Delaney 20. Larry O'Gorman, Eoin Long, Tommy Connolly, James Ryan, Peter Coman.
Thurles RFC Senior Women edged out in epic battle
Women's Munster Cup Semi Final: Abbeyfeale v Thurles
After a tremendous weekend away in Gent, Brussels at a rugby tournament, Thurles women headed for Abbeyfeale to compete in the second semi final of the year. The heartbreak of the loss in the league final two weeks ago still prominent. And the women were out to rectify this. However it wasn't to be their day.
Thurles got off to a great start, winning the ball back from the kick off, and putting pressure on immediately. The forwards including Jean Ryan, Maria Woodlock and Helena Birmingham carried well. Sucking in the abbeyfeale defense, who were down to 14 after continuous infringement. This allowed quick ball to the backs, and after a few phases and great hands by Niamh Coman and Maria Whelan, it created space for Aimee Crowe to touch down after 15 minutes and Thurles looked like they were on a roll.
However, Abbeyfeale had other plans. A knock on by Thurles gave abbeyfeale some field position and they created an overlap, 5-5 after 20 minutes. Thurles defended well after this, with big hits coming in from Joanne Harrison and Linda Ryan. They began to play their style of rugby, but unfortunately half time came too early. 10- 5 to Abbeyfeale at the break.
Abbeyfeale were in possession early in the second half but Thurles looked incredibly strong in their defence. An Abbeyfeale lineout was almost secured by Claire Mochler and the ball was loose. Both sides scrambled for possession with Abbeyfeale eventually conceding the scrum. Megan Callanan, Maria Whelan and Ruth Purcell were all magnificent in the passage of play but they eventually ran out of options and Abbeyfeale were once again in control of an attack.
Miriam Harrison and Niamh Coman putting in some vital hits in the ensuing passage of play. Thurles were awarded a scrum. Rebecca Byrne exhibited real skill and speed and made some great ground for Thurles. A wonderful offload to Aisling O'Hagan kept the ball alive for Thurles. Abbeyfeale emerging with the possession and although both Aisling Byrne and Linda Ryan put in some wonderful tackles it wasn't enough to stop the Abbeyfeale attack. They scored their third try, with the conversion missed.
Thurles pushed on after this, and started to play their brand of rugby. A great run by Maria Whelan and Niamh Coman showed what the girls were capable of doing. However, Abbeyfeale seemed to force errors in the Thurles attack. Aisling O'Hagan showed real strength and speed and made some great yards for Thurles. A wonderful offload to Maria Whelan kept the ball alive. The forwards got going again, and after a few carries by Jean Ryan, Ruth Purcell and Claire Mochler, a quick ball out the backs gave Aisling O Hagan space right under the post and Thurles were back in the running, 12- 20 with the conversion from Megan. Aoife Healy came on for Aimee Crowe and showed real determination trying to break down the Abbeyfeale defence, and was very unlucky not to do so. More fresh legs in Michelle Ryan helped the Thurles drive for success.
However,Abbeyfeale came on the attack one more time, and once again ran hard lines and created that dreaded overlap, with the conversion attempt successful. 27-12. More heartbreak for Thurles Women.
After an unbeaten League campaign, the only team to do so, the season has ended without the silverware they deserve. This is the womens second competitive game to lose this year- a massive achievement, for any team. The Thurles side has gone from strength to strength all season and boast an extensive panel of skilful and dedicated players that can be incredibly proud of their achievements all season. Thanks to all the faithful supporters for your support all year.
Team: Aisling O'Hagan, Maria Whelan, Rebecca Byrne, Aimee Crowee, Ashling Byrne, Niamh Coman, Miriam Harrison(C), Jean Ryan, Megan Callanan, Helena Birmingham, Maria Woodlock, Linda Ryan, Claire Mochler, Joanne Harrison, Ruth Purcell. Replacements: Michelle Ryan (71), Susan Max, Elaine Molumby, Aoife Healy, (47) Stephanie Moore, Shelley Loughnane, Ashling Scanlon, Ciara Quinn, (injuried) Ciara Dwyer
Gleeson Cup 1/4 Final: Thurles Seconds 49 – 5 Galbally RFC
Thurles played in the quarter final of the Gleeson Cup Friday night against Galbaly in Thurles. The home team were far superior in every aspect of the game running in seven tries. Best for Thurles were Andrew Halloran scoring 2 super tries with his dancing feet and superb handling skills ,Kieran Ryan was his center partner who also scored a great try from the half way line. His defence was excellent throughout the game. The return of the big man Jamie Barrett orchestrated the back line with superb kicking and handling skills and even scored a try.
He fed Rory O Sullivan a super pass to let the big winger in on the corner for a great try. Galbaly had no answer to Rory's running power and strong frame. On the other wing Tommy Connoly kicked conversions from all over the field and was a threat when ever had ball in hand .James "Rhino" Ryan was superb in his silken skills throughout the match in tackling and orchestrating attacks .The front row of Charles, Davy and Jacko were a force to be reckoned with their power and tackling throughout. Big David Walsh and other collosis Luke Kelly were super in going forward and defence.
The backrow of O Gorman, Kelly and O Grady were at the heart of every breakdown with all scoring tries. Replacements that came on were superb Eoin Long who's handling skills were top drawer when he came on. Among the other substitutes on the day were Richie Holohan, Tom Gleeson, Shaun Fitzgerald, Enda Callanan, Will Finane, Ian Molloy. This thurles team can be as good as the seconds team in the glory years if they stay playing with the will to win attitude and never say die spirit to achieve their just rewards in the remainder of the coveted Gleeson Cup
Thurles RFC AGM on Friday 8th May in the club house at 8pm. Any notice of motion must be with the club secretary by Friday 24th April.
Courtesy of:- Seamus Sheahan, Club PRO
U-18s lose out in 7 try thriller
There was disappointment for the Bruff U-18s as they were beaten 20-22 in the final of the Pan Munster league by Newcastle West/Estuary.
Bruff started brightly and had a try on the board after just 3 minutes of play. It was a good team try with backs and forwards combining to set up the opportunity for Jack O Grady to touch down to the right of the posts at the road end of Thomand park. NCW hit back quickly and kicked a penalty to make it 5-3 with 10 minutes gone. The next score of the game came after 18 minutes when NCW added a converted try to make it 10-5 to the West Limerick combined side.
Bruff then took control of the game and on 33 minutes they were awarded a penalty for dangerous play under the West Stand, which they kicked to the corner. It turned out to be the correct decision as the Bruff pack asserted dominance and mauled the ball over the white wash for Bruffs 2nd try to make it 10-10 at the break.
NCW who got the opening score of the 2nd half with a converted try with only minutes gone on the clock. Bruff hit back 10 minutes later when Mattew O'Dea touched down on the far right wing, finishing a move off the back of a scrum.
Scrum half Niall Burns with the telling pass which put the flying winger away. With the score now at 15-17 to NCW it still looked like a game that could go either way. When winger O'Dea added a 4th Bruff try with only a few minutes to go it looked like Bruff might push on and finish the job. But NCW weren't done yet and scored another 5 pointer with the clock in the red. There was time for 1 last restart but Bruff could not regain the ball and West saw out the game to win by 22 points to 20.
Bruff Squad- Kevin McManus, Dean O'Shea, Odhran Ring, Thomas Breen, Darren Kennedy, Matthew Lockhart O'Dea, Tadgh Leddin, Brady Day, Thomas Quigley, Darragh Moore, Cian Mulqueen, Fearghal Cooke, Gareth Cooke, Conor Fitzpatrick, Simon Divilly, Jack Fitzgerald, Brian Bulfin, David Crofton Young, David Moloney, Cian Clifford, John Bulfin, Jack O'Grady, Dylan Reeves- Wasik, Niall Byrne , Sean Hartigan ,Adam Sheehy ,Cormac Daly ,Aaron Daly ,Lorcan Hayes
The Seniors finished off their UBL campaign with a 12-27 home defeat to Boyne. Bruff got off to an ideal starting scoring a try after just 6 minutes. Captain Dave Horan crossed the line for the 5 pointer after a good spell of Bruff play which started in the Bruff 22 with Jonnie Clery winning a penalty at the break down. Bruff kicked to touch and moved the ball wide from the resulting lineout. The ball was moved through the hands again and Horan was on hand to receive and try scoring pass from Andy White.
Boyne who were still not safe from relegation picked up the pace and kicked a penalty on 15 minutes to make it 5-3. Bruff were forced into a number of substitutions which seemed to upset the flow of the Bruff game. Then a 10 minute blitz saw Boyne race into a 5-22 lead scoring tries on 33, 40 & 43 minutes.
Bruff got a 2nd try on 65 minutes from winger Mark Cosgrove which was converted by out-half Paul Downes but that was to be it as Boyne added another try on 67 minutes to claim the bonus point win. We ended the season in 7th place having won 7 games 2 draws and 6 loses. 3 of the 6 loses produced losing bonus points and we also picked up 3 try scoring bonus points.
The game was followed by an end of season breakup the highlight of which was the presentation of a cheque for over €6500 to Milford hospice in the memory of our late friend and past club member Alfie Laffan. Alfie who was a member of Bruff's Bateman cup team of 2011 passed away in September aged 33 years of age after a battle with cancer. A large number of past players and members attended the presentation which was done by Alfie's family and club delegates.
Club president Pat Dunne acknowledged the work of Mike O'Connor and Ger Malone for organising the fundraiser. He also thanked milford hospice for the care they gave to Alfie in his short stay there and said a few word to Alfies family about Alfie a young man who'll always be remembered fondly by everyone at Bruff RFC.Members of Bruff RFC and the family of the late Alfie Laffan presenting a cheque for €6,515 to Milford hospice from a recent fundraiser organised by Bruff RFC
Kilmallock Rugby supporters club were also represented at the function by Eamon Dowling where he unveiled the Alfie Laffan player of the year award. The award will be presented to Bruffs young player of the year annually at the end of each season. This year's presentation will take place on Saturday the 18th of April in Lynches bar Kilmallock from 9pm. Everyone is welcome to the annual event which is always a good night and gives people a chance to reflect on the season and recognise the achievements of individuals throughout the year.