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Club News Weekending 11th February 2007

5th February 2007 By Munster Rugby

Club news, views and reviews from around the province

KINSALE RFC
Maria O’ Mahony PRO

Kinsale RFC celebrates 25 years of Rugby since 1982

Kinsale RFC is gearing up for big celebrations on the 3rd March next as Supporters, Corporate Sponsors, Members and Players line out for a special evening at Actons Hotel. A unique photographic collection will be on display recalling great days and moments in time of Kinsale players and rugby action. The occasion will also be graced by the Heineken Cup, whose sponsors have a long association with the Club.

Kinsale RFC has much to be proud of …. from its record of Cup and League triumphs at all levels to coaching and facilitating up to 120 boys and girls playing rugby each week and hosting the finest Rugby Sevens Event of its type in Europe, in early May each year.

Mick Galwey, truly a Rugby Legend, is the Special International Guest Star.

More than 250 people will be attending this special evening. Dress Formal.

A limited no of tickets are still available at Kinsale Sports Store (021 4777430) priced €60 each.

CLONAKILTY RFC

Loosehead PRO

Clonakilty In Last Four

Terenure College RFC 22 Clonakilty RFC 31

Was this their finest hour? Debate raged on the import of the result of this AIB All Ireland Cup quarter final tie in Dublin for days afterwards. Many had memories of fine victories particularly over the last eight seasons but this was as impressive as any. It wasn’t the fact that it was a division one scalp. It wasn’t that it secured a semi final spot in the prestigious competition joining Belfast Harlequins, Shannon and Garryowen in the draw. It wasn’t because the squad was short many regulars that made it so satisfying. All of the above made it special but the overriding memory was the manner in which it was achieved. From start to finish Clon played the brand of rugby that has evolved in the club and makes it so entertaining to watch. The Irish Times Headline on Monday said it all "Clonakilty Join Rugby’s Top Table".

There were no nerves on show as Clon came out of the blocks with intent and after a number of phases with excellent recycling and ball protection the gap opened and Derek Dillon strolled through to ground between the posts. Alfie Harte converted and Clon were a surprising 7-0 ahead in less than five minutes. Terenure then showed why they are a top side with a great try in the corner following a quickly taken free kick at scrum time five minutes later. The good start looked as if it would be a consolation at the end for the Clon faithful but it was only the beginning. Terenure began to take control but superb defence particularly from Mike O’Hea and Alfie Harte kept them at bay. A Terenure line out on half way was stolen by Clon and great play by David Lombard, Harte and Mike Keohane had Clon on the attack. Danny Whelton and Felim O’Neill took play to within 10 metres of the line where Tadhg Wright, Eoin Scannell and Eoin Murphy were held short before the defence failed and Dan Spencer burst through for the try. Harte’s conversion put Clon out to 5 -14 after 30 minutes. A bit of David Cookson magic had Clon further ahead before the break. Fielding an angled kick he countered across the field before straightening and finding the ubiquitous Spencer. Wright was again on hand to take it on and a sublime flip out of the tackle to Colin Murphy provided the scrum half with the space to go in at the corner. Harte again converted to leave the score 5-21. The danger posed by the division one backline living off scraps was illustrated when ‘Nure went in for a try from their own half to signal a fightback. However it was Clon that finished the half the stronger with a forwards try from the impressive Eoin Murphy following good work from Scannell to leave the half time score an unbelievable 10-26 to the visitors.

Clon put the game out of sight early in the second half. A good run from Shay O’Donovan with Spencer and Lombard also carrying brought play into the Dubliners red zone and a superb inside break from O’Neill linked with Paul Dillon in the centre of the park. Dillon still had a lot of work to do but he made light of it brushing off the tackles on his way to the line. Although Terenure rallied and staged a commendable comeback with two tries and a conversion Clon weathered the storm and finished the stronger of the two sides in the end with the final score of 22-31 in their favour.

The squad was: David Cookson, Shay O’Donovan, Paul Dillon, David Lombard, Felim O’Neill, Derek Dillon, Colin Murphy, Eoin Murphy, Alfie Harte, Dan Spencer, Dan Whelton, Mike O’Hea, Eoin Scannell (Capt), Tadhg Wright, Mike Keohane, Mel Shanley, Hugh O’Neill, John McCarthy and John Kingston. Terry Dillon, Barry McAdams, Jerry (Sawdust) O’Sullivan and Dave Williams were the management team. They will await with eagerness the semi final draw which will see them pitted against one of the giants of Irish rugby.

The Bulldogs continued their impressive season with another win. A strong Skibbereen combination went down by 24-6 in The Vale last Sunday to leave Clon targeting silverware at this level also. Adrian Fleming at inside centre was the star of the show with two first half trys but Gearoid O’Rourke also a try scorer and JD O’Mahony also caught the eye in the backs. In the forwards there were big games from all but in particular Stephen Lowney and Jonas Harte while the back row of Alan Harte, Brian Blackwell and John O’Regan were the key to the success. Joe Lee kicked one penalty and three conversions.

The Squad was: Gearoid O’Rourke, John Kingston, JD O’Mahony, Adrian Fleming, Felim O’Neill, Joe Lee, Eric Murphy, Mike Griffin, Cathal Kirby, Stephen Lowney, Bartle Murphy (Capt), Jonas Harte, Alan Harte, Brian Blackwell, John O’Regan, Mike Murphy, Shane Deane, Kenneth O’Regan, Stephen O’Regan, Tim Walsh, Danny Collins and Hugh O’Neill.

Elsewwhere the Under 16s lost by the narrow margin of a penalty in Extra time against Sunday’s Well in the semi-final of the league in Musgrave Park. The Under 14s kept spirits high with an impressive 24-16 victory over PBC in The Vale. The under 20s were disappointed as their game was called off but they received a boost ahead of their season defining clash with Midleton with the announcement of the Bluett’s Pharmacy sponsorship of the Academy for the next two years. See separate article.

This weekend’s fixtures:
Senior- AIL- Young Munster- Limerick- 2.30pm
U18’s- League- Highfield- Cork- 12 midday

Sponsorship of Clonakilty Under 20 Rugby Academy

Clonakilty Rugby Club is delighted to announce that Bluetts Pharmacy, Clonakilty will sponsor the under 20 player development Academy for the current season and also for the 2007/2008 season.

President Pat Hogan and Chairman of Rugby P.J. Hayes welcomed David Gibbons MPSI, owner of Bluetts, as sponsor of this very important development initiative in the club’s first season in Division 2 of the All Ireland League. The Club has identified that the development of players within West Cork to AIL level of competition is imperative to keep Clonakilty as a major player on the national stage.

The club has set up this under 20 Academy to ensure that players coming from the very successful under age section and within the region will be developed to the high standards of the current senior squad. The Academy operates under the direction of some of the club’s most experienced people. Ray O’Neill was Chairman of Rugby within the club during the rise from Junior Division 2 Rugby to Senior All Ireland League competition. He was active in establishing the under age section as one of the most successful units in club rugby in Ireland. The coaches attached to the Academy Maurice Downey, Brian Downey and Allan Rutherford have contributed enormously to Clonakilty at all levels of player development. Maurice Downey coached Under 16 and 18 teams to Munster success and the final stages of the All Ireland series. Brian Downey acted as Selector to the first team during its progression to Senior Rugby and worked with Maurice at Under 18 level. Allan Rutherford arrived in Ireland in 2001 and has had a highly successful tenure in schools rugby and coached a number of provincial players before joining Clonakilty for two successful seasons with the 1st XV. The club has also appointed Colin Murphy as fitness and strength coordinator operating with each player individually at the club’s modern Gym in The Vale.

President Pat Hogan complimented all those involved with this exciting initiative and paid a special tribute to David Gibbons MPSI of Bluett’s Pharmacy, himself a successful Rugby player and former Munster Schools Interprovincial, who had recently purchased the business, for his contribution to the club and wished him every success with his venture in Clonakilty.

OLD CRESCENT RFC
Michael Larkin

Last weekend while members were in West Clare, celebrating the President’s Night, playing golf for the President’s Prize and generally enjoying the good weather as well as making music (?) late into the night, the Under 20s were playing rugby. Travelling with only sixteen players due to a number of injuries and last minute cry-offs, they nevertheless had an excellent win against Thurles in the AIL U20 League.

It was obvious that senior team playing experience in recent weeks by three of the U20 team greatly helped a fine display, Barry Lynch, Richard Leonard and Ian Guilfoyle – playing against his old club- all turned in excellent displays with Richard Leonard scoring 3 tries in only his first appearance for the U20 team this season. The long awaited return from injury of Richard, the team captain, begged the question of how much more successful the team might have been had he been available throughout the league campaign as his leadership and drive on the pitch was tremendous. Colm Keyes and cousin Stephen Keyes both also returning from long term injury gave excellent performances. The front row of Ian Guilfoyle, Richard Leonard and Eric Moylan were rock solid and gave the opposition scrum a hard time and won quite a few scrums against the head.

A number of good performances were also noted by a few of the team just out of school and now coming into their own, most notably Eoghan Doyle at full back and James Keating in the centre with an aggressive display from Cian Leahy on the wing. For the record the scorers were, Richard Leonard three tries, Barry Madden, Stephen Keyes, Barry Lynch try each and Corey Choat four conversions. The final score was Thurles 10; Old Crescent 38. Finally it was good to see David Dineen involved as coach for the day in the absence of regular coach Colin Forde who was unable to travel. David as incoming Under 20 Coach started on a bright note.

A very good night was had by all at President Frank Larkin’s night in the Falls Hotel Ennistymon on Saturday night. The hotel -as usual- provided an excellent meal and looked after us extremely well, then the band played very loudly until late- methinks bands could really help reverse climate change by reducing volume. The Jim Roche trophy for Clubman of the Year went to Jed O’Dwyer for all his work with the team over many years and The Terry Clancy President’s Prize for the golf competition was won by Terry Clancy.

This weekend the AIL campaign resumes and we travel to Barnhall on Saturday for what will be a very difficult match and we ask every supporter who can to make the effort and get to the game to support the team. When they are playing to their full potential this team is good enough to beat most teams in the division and your support can help motivate them, we need a result, we need you there.

All our hopes will be with Ireland on Sunday in a very historic event when they meet and hopefully will beat France in Croke Park. That magnificent stadium stands as a huge achievement by a voluntary organisation and the GAA’s genorosity in making it available is to be acknowledged.

UL BOHEMIANS RFC
Denis Ryan PRO

With no formal fixture for the International weekend, the First XV hosted Ordiza Rugby from the Basque region of Northern Spain. It proved a useful fixture allowing coaches Ian Costello and Christy Neilan to mix and match from their Senior squad. The 43-5 scoreline reflects the strength of the home team especially in the second half, however, the Spanish visitors were a mobile unit with good skills and certainly put on plenty of pressure in the first period. A converted try by Ben Martin from a nice move by Fergal Lawlor was all that separated the teams at half time. Some flair and adventurous play was demonstrated early in the second half, Ben Martin fielded a high kick ahead inside his own 22, jinked and twisted his way through heavy traffic in the middle of the field before being stopped on 5 metres. From the ruck, centre Tom Luke finished wide on the left. A 70 metre intercept by Mark Butler put distance between the sides. Ryan Hartigan got his name on the sheet a short while later, followed by a second for Tom Luke. A sustained bit of pressure followed from the Spanish visitors, Number 8, and Chabal lookalike, Oscar being held up in the right corner. This pressure finally paid off with hooker Johannes awarded the try from a series of pick and drives. The final score went to Mark Butler who finished a colourful spell of Bohs pressure.

The under 20’s continued their strong campaign in the AIL with an efficient win over Bruff at Annacotty on Sat afternoon. The selectors were able to call on a full squad with the exception of Tommie O’Donnell, who played for 70 minutes of the under 20 International win in Wales. UL Bohs started strongly and were on the board quickly with a try by Dave Moloney, followed almost immediately with another by Paul Grenell. Bruff’s Tony Cahill got 3 back with a penalty. This was followed by an Ed Torrie touchdown after a flowing move across the field. Myles O’Riordan converted. The sides turned over at 17-3. Some indiscipline before halftime had Tom Foley in the bin, however strong forward pressure had Pat Regan claiming the try. There were further tries from Mike Skelton, Ed Torrie and Barry Gibbons, for UL Bohs to run out at 39-3. There were strong performances from Brendan Dunphy and Ed Moloney, with Dave Foley securing the Man of the Match award. Next up is Garryowen on 17th Feb in Dooradoyle.

The Women beat Roscrea by 21-5 in the Cup, but the victory was marred by the injury suffered by Tina Fitzgerald. We wish her a speedy recovery from her broken leg.

The 3rds had a friendly against Young Munster, and just won a close fought game by 12-11. Try scorers for UL Bohs were Conor O’Beirne and Arthur Hilton, with a conversion by Sean Wallace.

The U-14 league game between UL Bohs Eagles and Richmond was called off, but the game between the Hawks and Shannon went ahead, with the strong visitors’ side coming out on top by 15-0. This was a fiercely contested match in Annacotty. Territorially Shannon dominated but in the exchanges our lads showed terrific fighting spirit. The first half was played mainly between the two 22’s and a try in the final minutes of the first half left Shannon ahead 5-0 at the break. The second half was mainly a rear guard action but there were many fine performances in the pack especially from Gavin Doherty and Tadg O’Sullivan. In the back line Enda Carroll put in a battling performance. Shannon scored two late tries to leave the score at 15-0. On Sunday the Hawks meet Ennis in Annacotty, and a win will keep them in contention for the playoffs. Meanwhile the unbeaten Eagles travel to Dooradoyle to play Garryowen who have a similar record, so these are vitally important games.

Carrick-on-Suir RFC
Dermot Keyes PRO

Munster Junior Cup: Cobh Pirates 54 Carrick 0

You’d look at the scoreline and think this was a completely one-sided match, which doesn’t tell the tale of Saturday last’s trip to face a Cobh side packed with attacking talent.

Upfront, our lads put in a magnificent effort and in terms of a pack to pack contest, Carrick proved Cobh’s equal. It was in the back division where the problems arose, particularly as Cobh’s superior fitness and backline ability extended the host’s margin of victory.

With a couple of Munster juniors in their squad, Cobh’s superior backline ability completely outdid us in the final quarter when we were out on our feet.

But it’s important to stress the positive from this particular performance. The pack were outstanding and slogged it out superbly against an equally hard-working Cobh pack. Thanks to their efforts, we had buckets of possession but we could not translate that possession into points.

We have been drawn to face Kinsale in the Munster Plate on February 18th and we’ll be hoping for better weather than what he had when we travelled to the Cork venue in our league encounter earlier this season.

Carrick XV: K Lanigan, P Phelan, E O’Donnell; A Hunter, N Phelan; E Lonergan, J Wallace; J Heffernan, W Stokes, A Murray; B Phelan, J Phelan; B Slattery, J O’Keeffe (c), P Lanigan. Replacements used: D Howard, P Downey.

Snippets
We held a juvenile blitz at Tybroughney on Sunday last which featured Waterpark, Cashel and Fethard and we inflicted a first defeat of the season on Waterpark. Well done to all involved. Our annual Cheltenham draw will be running again this year and we will carry details on the draw in forthcoming club notes.

Email the column
For any comments or contributions please email Carrick Rugby at carrickrfc@yahoo.ie. We’d love to hear from you!

SHANNON RFC

Andrew McNamara PRO

With a heavy weekend of cup action just past it’s great to be in a position to boast about a 100% record and add in the U/20’s win in their final AIL league game than it was a fantastic weekend across the board. The AIB cup is a trophy that the seniors have serious ambitions for and despite a dodgy enough first half we managed to once again turn UCD over. Played on a sunny spring day in Belfield, we lined out with quite a number of changes from the league game the previous week and included was Alan Quinlan who played a significant role in the win. Quinlan was delighted to get the chance to line out with Shannon again and hopefully before too long he’ll be back in the international squad. The game was a real ding dong affair and from the start our pack were more than a match for the students, however trailing by 21-10 at the break there was a few anxious individuals watching on. Andrew Thompson opened our account with a penalty, but the students are a gamely bunch and hit us for a try soon after. As it was with their 3 first half tries, it game from an unforced error, but nonetheless the showed tremendous ability to score. Another try from UCD came before David Quinlan scored the first of his brace, but again the students hit back quickly to leave us trailing significantly at the break. Panic is not a trait that this team displays to often and patience was the key word at halftime. The second half was a much more competent performance with three more excellent tries scored on our way to the 24-34 victory. Stephen Kelly’s was a beauty with Mossy Lawlor setting it up and when Sean Cronin burst over the lead was secured and with everyone stepping up a gear, it was a lead we would maintain. The draw for the semi final takes place next week with the games scheduled to take place in March. The line up on Saturday was marked by the presence of no less than 5 players from Tipperary with two more on the bench, a fact pointed out by one of the posse so we’ll have to acknowledge the contribution from the premier county (or fear retribution for a while to come). This week the lads take a well deserved break but next Saturday its crunch time in the AIB league with the visit of Dungannon to Thomond Park. A pre match lunch will take place for our members and friends and as usual Ger McCloskey can be contacted for bookings on 087 2745926.

The Seconds had a fantastic win over Thomond in the Munster Junior cup by 23 -9 As expected Thomond, provided the sternest of tests and can count themselves unfortunate that the final scoreline of 23-9 bears little resemblance to their efforts, but credit has to go to our lads who dug in when necessary and when they did have the opportunity attacked with vigour. The first half seemed likely to end scoreless but a fine try by Mark Tuohy broke the deadlock. Thomond’s response was swift and scored a penalty on the stroke of half time. A quick penalty after the restart meant we were chasing the game a little, but slowly Shannon began to take an advantage even if it was slight and when Barry Molloy was bundled into touch inches from the line it seemed that passage of play instilled a growing confidence. A penalty from Richie Mullane on 54 minutes gave us the lead again and front that point Thomond rarely ventured into our danger zone. The screw was turning and another revolution came when Mullane landed his second penalty in the 70th. The fight had all but gone from Thomond when he struck again and it was game set and match when Mark Tuohy crossed for his second try it put a comprehensive look to the final score. It was a great start to the campaign and on the evidence of that game the lads have the ability to have a good run this season. It won’t be easy as we have been paired away to Youghal in the next round.

Elsewhere our Thirds progressed to the next round of the Webb Cup after they were forced to withstand a second half onslaught by Abbeyfeale. We lead by 22 points to nil at the break and appeared to be coasting, but the home side brought in some very useful replacements and clawed their way back into the game.

It was a below par performance from a the lads side who have already progressed to the final of the Gleeson league and the semi final of the McInerny Cup, but despite that they can be more than happy to come away from a notoriously difficult venue with a win.

Two first half tries from Diarmuid Fitzgerald brought his personnel try count to 16 for the season and another from Ger Ryan gave Shannon a hefty lead. Captain Tony Hall converted two of the tries and added a penalty to give his side an insurmountable looking lead at the break, but a little complacency set in and Shannon afforded the home side a glimmer of hope. It was however eventually dashed when Tony Hall added a final try in the last 10 minutes of the game to leave the final score 27-17 in his sides favour. This Saturday at 12pm we play Garryowen in the semi final of the Gleeson league in Dooradoyle.

The U/20’s finished off their league section of the AIL with a win over Garryowen in Coonagh; however their ultimate fate is out of their hands as they must await fixtures elsewhere. The likelihood is that they will finish second or third which means they play a further to see who advances to the knockout stages. Along with the other teams at the top end of the table they lost only one game, but it does on bonus point gained which will decide the final placing. Saturday’s game was not one of their better performances and the lads are only too aware that much improvement will be necessary in the coming weeks if they are to retain the All Ireland title.

The underage did their bit in the clubs winning weekend when the U/16’s and U/14’s won their league games. The 16’s had a tough game against Garryowen and tenaciously eked out a 3-0 win. It was a game that was tantamount to a playoff in the competition and the result means that the league title is within their grasp. Thomond are their next challenge on Sunday. Kick-off in Woodview is at 11.30 we’ll. The U/14’s continued their superb run when they had a 15-0 win over UL/Bohs and will be looking to advance their cause further when they play St Mary’s at 11.30 in Coonagh. Other fixture this Sunday sees the 18’s play away to St Mary’s in heals field and the U/11’s play in a blitz.

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