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Club News Weekending 18.01.09

12th January 2009 By Munster Rugby

Club News Weekending 18.01.09

Read the latest news stories from clubs around the province

KILFEACLE & DISTRCT RFC
Denis Wade PRO

Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. win against Clonakilty in third round of Munster Junior Cup.
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 20
Clonakilty R.F.C. 0

After a run of excellent performances and results in the League, Kilfeacle and District RFC were drawn at home against Clonakilty RFC in the third round of the Munster Junior Cup. Although our form of late has been showing signs of improvement everyone, from players, selectors, coaches and supporters, knew that the Munster Junior Cup is a different beast to the league and if we were to take something from this game we would have to perform to the best of our ability as a team. So the 15 that took the pitch knew what they had to do, there was a resilient look about them and the same determined look in their eyes as they had for previous games. When you reach this stage of the season you tend to build up a head of steam to raise the tempo and momentum. Games are coming thick and fast and coaches need to keep their squads grounded, as we all know to our cost, one good performance does not win any competition especially not the Munster Junior Cup.
In Morrissey Park on Sunday the 11th of January the conditions were far from ideal for Rugby. To say the weather was inclement would be an understatement but both teams played in the same conditions and there is enough talent and skill within the squad to overcome such obstacles.
Kilfeacle won the toss and elected to play against the wind for the first half. Clonakilty started with the win and rain at their backs and their target was to build up a sizable lead, as against the wind in the second half would be a very difficult and exhausting task they never achieved their goal. The vast majority of the first half was played in the visitors’ half, only on rare occasions did Clonakilty break into the Kilfeacle 22 and when they did so they met a Kilfeacle defensive wall which they could not breach on the day. The home side were on top for the majority of the half but for all their possession and territorial advantage the home side found it very difficult to build up good phases of play and their endeavours were plagued with handling errors partially induced by the playing conditions. With 12 minutes played and the game scoreless a break by Shane Flavin set up an opportunity for Johan "Joey" Bourdal to score in the corner and as ever Joey seized the opportunity. Joey put in a fine display with some "memorable" kicking from hand. The subsequent conversion kick, from the touch line just outside the opponents 22 was into the wind and in treacherous conditions, was taken by Shane Looby but did find its target. Clonakilty defence was admirable and they kept forcing errors from the Kilfeacle team, who, as the half wore on became more and more anxious to score. In the 20th minute John Keehan attempted a drop goal to increase the lead to 8 points to 0 but the elements contrived to deny him. The following restart was to provide the first real scoring opportunity for Clonakilty. Clonakilty’s out half put up a monstrous kick which with the help of the swirling gale eluded everyone’s grasp to bounce just outside the Kilfeacle 22 in the ensuing exchanges Clonakilty were awarded a penalty from a very kickable position. However, to their dismay, they learnt, what Shane Looby already knew, that every kick at goal was a lottery in these conditions and they failed to convert the opportunity. The remainder of the half was played in the Clonakilty 22 but blighted with handling errors there were no further scores.
The half time break was short and neither side complained, as the conditions were not conducive to standing around. In that brief time both coaches communicated their message to their charges and could be heard doing so over the noise of the storm that was blowing. Kilfeacle started the second half well and used the wind to their advantage however they were still having the same difficulties, as they were in the first half. Handling errors, lost footing, misplaced passes and loose ball seem to be the menu for the day. After 8 minutes the Kilfeacle team had come to grips with the weather conditions and started to build good phases of play, some great work and breaks from Jack O’Sullivan, Damien Gavin, Shane Flavin and James Mullane put Kilfeacle in a scoreable position when they were awarded a penalty just outside their opponents 22 and left of the posts. However, to Shane Looby’s dismay, he found that kicking with this wind behind him was just as difficult as kicking into it as he watched his attempt blown just wide. However buoyed by inroads made the team started to build again, each time getting closer and closer to the visitors try line. On one occasion, after 12 minutes, the home side had 17 phases of play starting in their own 22. During this move some fine contributions by Ger Looby, Mark Hanley, and Diarmuid Carr set up a scoring opportunity for Davy Stapleton. A telling pass from Packie Bourke, who looked dangerous every time he got ball in hand, put Davy through under the posts to score Kilfeacle’s second try which Shane Looby converted to bring the score to 12 points to 0. Kilfeacle were now in the ascendancy and it seemed to be a case now of damage limitations for Clonakilty. It seemed only a matter of time now before Kilfeacle would score again and after some good play they earned themselves a penalty in a kickable position, which Shane Looby converted to bring the score to 15 points to 0. Alan O’Mahony and Stephen Flood have to be singled out for their tireless work in dismal conditions, they embodied everything that was good about Kilfeacle and District on the day. So when Tom Tierney kept the ball alive and an incisive pass from an impressive Mark Hanley found the on rushing Stephen Flood, justice was done. With the home support cheering him on and his team mates willing him on, he went over to score the final score of the game with a well taken try.
We would like to thank everyone who travelled on the day and all from Clonakilty RFC, thank them for a good game and wish the club the best for the rest of the season.
Our fist team is back in competitive action next week in the Munster Junior Cup fourth round at home to Dolphin RFC with kick off at 2.00pm on Sunday the 18th of January. Dolphin will be hot favourites for this one after disposing of Kinsale in the last round. The "little club on the hill" has had a long and colourful love affair with this competition but on Sunday we will need the help of our supporters if we are to progress, the team are delighted by the amount of support they receive and hope that their supporters will continue to come along and support the "Boys in Blue".

Young Seconds put on a brave display and win away to Waterpark.
Waterpark R.F.C. 5
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 18
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. travelled to Waterpark RFC in the first round of the Gleeson Memorial Cup on Sunday the 11th of January. The weather was inclement and praise must be extended to both teams for the quality of play in such hazardous playing conditions. The visitors played with the driving wind and rain in the first half and set about their task to try gain an unassailable lead before halftime. Drop goals by Michael Collins and Eddie Grace put Kilfeacle and District RFC 6 points to the good in conditions that were too wet for ducks. A well taken try by Aidan Long and converted by Michael Collins saw the scoreboard read 13 points to 0 at half time to the visitors but team coaches Pat Hueston and an injured Brendan Ferris were fearful that this might not be enough. Their fears were galvanised when after only 7 minutes of the second half the Waterpark no. 6 touched down to score an unconverted try. What followed was an impressive display of controlled defending by Kilfeacle which meant that Waterpark were to score no more. The icing on the cake for an excellent squad performance was when Tom Breen broke out of defence to dash 40 yards and score a brilliant try in the corner.
After the game Pat Hueston said, "We are delighted with the win and the performance against a very strong Waterpark team who we wish the very best for the rest of the season. I thought that the squad performed very well in trying conditions and as well as those already mentioned special praise must go to the Dundrum contingent, and John Ivors, Alan Kiely, Kevin Hourigan, Anthony Bowes, Shane Morrissey and Diarmuid O’Halloran. I cannot praise this bunch of lads enough and if we keep training and giving full commitment anything is possible."
Our Seconds team is back in competitive action next week in the second round Gleeson Memorial Cup at home to Cashel RFC with kick off at 12.00pm on Sunday the 18th of January. Local rivals Cashel will carry the mantle of favourites for this one.

Kilfeacle Under 18’s put in an impressive display to win!
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 17
Nenagh R.F.C. 7
On Sunday the 11th of January Kilfeacle and District RFC welcomed Nenagh RFC to Morrissey Park for a league encounter knowing that a victory would put them top of the league. The weather conditions were not conducive to playing rugby and both teams and their selectors and supporters were to be admired for their commitment to the game. The homeside knew that their foe would be formidable opponents and that a stout defence would be essential to create a platform to build on. Kilfeacle started the game well and immediately pushed Nenagh back into their own 22. This was to be a marker for the entire game as Kilfeacle pressed there home advantage and held their opponents to very few scoring opportunities. From the start, Kilfeacle immediately took the game to Nenagh who seemed unable to come to grips with the weather conditions to gain any territorial advantage. The home side defended well and attacked even better and it seemed inevitable that Nenagh would see their defensive wall breached. Kilfeacle and District sliced through the Nenagh rearguard and scored two trys after some excellent team play. The try scorers were Ed Meehan in the first half and Sean O’Connor in the second half. The scoring was finished off by a conversion and a penalty by Roggie Peters.
After the game John Dwyer said, "We are delighted with the win, but Nenagh made us work for it! I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nenagh for a hard fought but sporting match and wish the club the very best in the future. I thought that the team played well as a unit in these conditions and special mention must go to Darren Lowry, Jerry O’Brien who gave a great captain’s display, Joey McEniry for his Man of the Match performance, Michael Hayes and Ricky Barry. The performance was worthy of the effort put in but there is still room for improvement, so a full attendance at training is vital!"


Breath taking performance sees Under 16’s impressive win.
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 15
Nenagh R.F.C. 12

In Morrissey Park on the morning of Sunday the 11th of January in weather conditions that were miserable Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. Under 16’s team welcomed Nenagh for a league encounter. Their campaign continued with a very impressive win over local rivals Nenagh RFC in a hard fought game. With the aid of the wind Kilfeacle led by 15 points to 0 at half time. A penalty kicked by Gavin Hueston in the dying seconds of the half was to prove to be vital as Nenagh put in a sterling performance in the second half. It was another all round strong squad display with players such as Cathal Donovan, Ivan Mullins, Sean McGrath, Fintan Ryan, and Gavin Hueston impressing on the day for Kilfeacle.
Denis Kenneally team coach said he was delighted with the result and looked forward eagerly to the rest of the season. He said that the season so far has been fulfilling for everyone and the team has progressed in leaps and bounds. They thanked Nenagh for an enormously entertaining game played in only the best spirit.

Kilfeacle Under 14s lose in the East Munster under 14 Cup Final

Kilfeacle under 14’s traveled to Clonmel on Sunday to take on Waterpark in the East Munster under 14 cup final. Dreadful playing conditions were the order of the day resulting in a battle of the forwards. The Waterpark lads were considerably bigger but the boys from the hill still managed to score first with a fine try by Bryan Roche. Unfortunately, Waterpark leveled just before half time and scored again in the dying minutes of the game. Kilfeacle can however hold their heads very high after a spirited display and will, on this performance be back challenging once again for honours.

Important Notice – Kilfeacle Mini Rugby:
U8, U10 & U12 Rugby Training resumes on Friday 16th January 2009 at 19.00hrs.
All coaches are looking forward to seeing all the young players back at the hill this Friday night for training ahead of some important upcoming matches.

SHANNON RFC

AIB All Ireland Cup
Ballynahinch dethrone Shannon
Shannon 14 Ballynahinch 15

The English FA cup has always had the romantic ideal of the underdogs upsetting the established sides and such ideals proved the inspiration for Ballynahinch as they unceremoniously dumped defending champions Shannon out of the AIB cup last Saturday. It was the shear drama of their highly unlikely win that will send reverberations throughout the second division of which they are flying high in, and beyond. They played the considerable elements to a tee and even when it appeared in the final few minutes of injury time that they would return home empty handed, they never relinquished their desire to win and forced a kickable penalty. As it was four times previous, Ballynahinch’s only scorer Ryan Bambry kicked the ball over the bar and before it hit the ground the final whistle blew.
Just two minutes earlier Shannon appeared to have matters in hand as they were camped inside Ballynahinch’s ’22 attempting to add to their 14-12 lead.
Their victory is probably all the more remarkable as at one stage early in the second half they were reduced to 13 men for a period after Rob Dewy was sin binned just before the break and he was then followed almost immediately after the resumption of play by Garrett Rourke.
At this point Shannon had the advantage of the very strong wind and went about chasing ‘Hinches 12 point half time lead.
The first half saw Shannon rarely venture into their oppositions 22, but given the wind it was somewhat understandable and Ballynahinch and more accurately, outhalf Ryan Bambry punished the home side with four successful kicks at goal. An indication of the strength of the wind saw Bambry land two from the half way line and beyond.
Ballynahinch utilised their strong forward unit to retain possession for lengthy spells and it was that retention throughout the game that seemed to give them confidence. Not to be outdone by their bulkier colleagues, their backline cut some nice lines and handled with equal dexterity. Shannon did defend these tactics well and ‘Hinch rarely threatened the try line.
Shannon’s first opportunity at a score of any sort came in the 42nd minute after Rourke was binned, but Bennett’s effort drifted wide. However the outhalf made up for the miss when he set in motion the move that would see John O’Connor burst over the line in the 44th minute. The simple conversion was added and Shannon appeared to regain control of the game. This was further emphasised when, just six minutes later Fiach O’Loughlin darted over after a sweet inside pass from David O’Donovan cleared the way and with Bennett’s second conversion, Shannon took the lead for the first time.
Instead of curling up into a shell and taking whatever Shannon threw at them, Ballynahinch battled hard and continued their earlier tactics of using big hitters to break the gain line and then set their backs in motion, but again Shannon looked comfortable in defence and for all their possession, all the visitors had in scoring opportunities was a blocked down drop goal.
The final three minutes of normal time and the extra five that was added decided the outcome and it could and possibly should have been Shannon that were celebrating passage to the quarter finals. Bennett failed to land a drop goal in the 78th minute after a big Shannon charge and then a minute later Ritchie Mullane appeared to have the result wrapped up when he darted into the far corner, but the touch judge rather tentatively raised his flag and awarded a lineout to Ballynahinch. Still though, Shannon appeared in full control and scarcely reckoned on Ballynahinch’s final battling flurry. Aided by three quick penalties in succession, ‘Hinch motored their way into Shannon’s half and the final penalty came when Fionn Mc Loughlin was adjudged to have committed a dangerous tackle. He was given a yellow and Bambry a shot at making himself a hero. The outhalf held his nerve and landed the not too easy kick and then began well deserved celebrations for his side.
Shannon.
D. O’Donovan R.Mullane, J.Manual (J. Clogan) F.Mc Loughlin, M.O’Driscoll T. Bennett, F. O’Loughlin K. O’Neill (G.McNamara), M.Essex, K.Griffin P.O’Brien (P.Loughnane), F. Walsh, E. Grace J. O’Connor (E.O’Loughlin) D. Quinlan.
Ballynahinch
A.Craig,J.Cullen,D.Harris,R.Dewey,S.Morrow,R.Bambry,D.Drake(H.McAleese),C.Stevenson(P.McAllister)N.Hanna(M.Nelson),G.Cronin,C.Napier,G.Rourke,M.Graham,R.Greer,S.Lamb
Referee Dave Keane

KILLORGLIN RFC
Aidan Clifford PRO

Killorglin Rugby Club are hosting their annual Table Quiz on Thursday 5th February. More details to follow in coming weeks.
Killorglin were due to play Killarney RFC in the Munster Junior Plate last Sunday, but due to adverse weather conditions, the game was postponed.
The Club’s under 18 played Abbeyfeale on Saturday. They lost 32-10, picking up two tries scored by Mikey Griffin and David O’Sullivan. They put up a brave performance against a team far bigger than them and managed to unearth a new talent in wing Maurice O’Dwyer. The Caherciveen man was making his debut on Saturday and played like a veteran.
The Under 16 team travelled to Killarney on Saturday also. In similar fashion to the under 18 team, they were conceding weight to their opposition and subsequently lost 25-0. One performance of note though was that of Kevin Courtney. The fullback was drafted up from the under 14s and held his nerve very well. With safe hands under high ball and running at much bigger players, his performance was virtually flawless.
Senior Team Training continues every Tuesday & Friday at the Intermediate School at 7:00pm. New players are most welcome and our coaches are happy to introduce novice players to the game. Killorglin RFC Underage training continues. Under-age training continues every Saturday at the Intermediate School. It is not too late to join us as coaches will be happy to coach novices to the game. All are welcome. Under 10, 12, & 13 & 14 teams will train on the Dragon’s Den All weather pitch at the Intermediate School at 11am. The Under 16 & 18 teams will train at 1pm. For information on any age grade issues, contact Youth Officer John Costello on 0863558185 or P.R.O Aidan Clifford on 0879065927.
Membership for Killorglin Rugby Club is still open for the 2008-2009 season. Family membership costs €50, a single membership costs €30, while a juvenile membership costs €10. The above numbers can be contacted also for more information.
There is also a couple of places left on the Killorglin Rugby Club tour to Edinburgh on the weekend of March 13th, 14th, 15th to see Ireland take on Scotland in the Six Nations Championship. It is an ideal opportunity for a genuine rugby fan. Contact PRO Aidan Clifford on the above number for more information.

Carrick-on-Suir RFC by PRO Dermot Keyes

"Being in the middle of things on the field of play is the best sporting drug I can think of. There’s simply no substitute for playing"

The Carrick-on-Suir dressing room was a quiet one last Saturday night in the appropriately windswept Ardgeeha grounds, the impressive home of Clonmel RFC. Having just gone down by 36 points in this Gleeson Cup outing, the initial sound of silence was understandable. Taking the gear off and preparing for the trip home is always a weightier task after a defeat and morale was, initially, low among the Carrick group, containing a slew of youngsters.

As a coach and, as a player, silence is a sound that oddly comforts you in the aftermath of a reversal. It demonstrates that losing hurts, that pulling on your club colours does count for something; that you’re not just out there purely for the fun of it. The muddied team jerseys lay on the dressing room floor alongside the kitbag as the players digested what had gone wrong, having trailed by just a converted try at the break.

A slick Clonmel team, whose handling skills on so blustery a night were quite outstanding, had punished virtually every error Carrick made during the 80 minutes. And one senses such thoughts were running through quite a few vanquished minds in the immediate aftermath of a hard-hitting fixture. Sensing that something needed to be said, prop forward Eddie Barry, the senior player in the group, took to his feet to address his team mates. "It’s never nice losing, lads," he began, prompting a few sets of shoulders to broaden. "But all any of us can ask of each other is honesty, effort and commitment out there, and we got that today."

The words were timely, words which can only be genuinely uttered by somebody who has stood in a huddle for several tough, often difficult campaigns. Eddie has been there and done just that. A young player gains nothing from having someone with a few more rings on the bark going off on one after a match. That’s not to say that players don’t occasionally benefit from a good old-fashioned dose of the ‘hairdryer’. Certain times demand certain words, and the Carrick man chose his words wisely as the wind howled outside and the shower water nearby already began to run cold.

"Sure, there were things we didn’t do as well as we should have. We did make mistakes out there, but the most important thing is that everybody in here kept going out there until the final whistle. That gives us something to work on. And that’s where training comes into it, lads." He concluded: "So what do we do from here? We work on those things we need to get right at training, we learn from the mistakes we’ve made and we’ll try to move it up a level for the next match. So we keep our heads up, lads, and we’ll take it from there." Eddie’s words were, justly, met with applause. Some of the other, more experienced players in the group, also took time to have a quiet, encouraging word with many of the younger players. The spirit among the team is a credit to manager Jamie Walsh, and as a clubman, I took great pride while listening to those words being spoken. It’s what sport is all about.

The game itself was largely played in good spirit, with humour aplenty emitting from sheltered spectators as the tornado-like wind sweeping around the paddock made the game something of a lottery. For the first time in my life, I saw a ball kicked to touch by a player actually lead to his team losing ground, the strong gale sending the oval 10 metres backwards. Clearly this was not a night for kicking; indeed the wind was so strong that a few clearances from inside the Carrick 22 careered over the Clonmel dead ball line during the first half. As the game wore on and Clonmel’s greater offensive quality became evident, keeping the spirits up in Carrick colours didn’t, notably, prove too difficult. Enthusiasm is an important ingredient in any group, and the significant number of players in their late teens and early 20s also brought the best out of their older colleagues.

Up front, Carrick competed when getting to the breakdown promptly – but a few of the team – myself included, needed to get through the gears a little quicker in the contact zone. The scrum held up quite well; bar my failure to hook the ball back just minutes after entering the fray which eventually led to a Clonmel try. I held my hands up immediately. I’d little option since the try was, undoubtedly, my fault. There’s no buttering up some boo-boos. But, in keeping with the attitude exemplified on the night, there was little to be gained by feeling sorry for myself. So, like the rest of the lads, I put my mouthguard back in and just got on with it.

Despite trailing, the match finished with Carrick on the attack after a couple of quickly tapped penalties had seen us move upfield and firmly on the front foot. But the second try (our only try being scored and excellently converted by Ross Clery) which our efforts surely deserved was destined not to come our way. And that was that, leaving us with wounds to nurse but spirits to lift as we accepted Clonmel’s three cheers, which we duly reciprocated.

"The only safe ship in a storm is leadership," according to American humanist Faye Littleton, and that’s exactly what Eddie Barry offered his young team mates thanks to his post match comments.

Reflecting upon the events of Saturday night, the words of an American songstress also sprung to mind. Stevie Nicks hit the nail on the head when putting the lyrics "players only love you when they’re playing" to sheet music. Sure what else, while the body so permits, would you want to be doing?

* Full credit must be extended to Clonmel RFC for the superb facilities which they have developed in recent years. Their superbly finished patrons’ stand puts them at a high rank amongst many of the All-Ireland League club facilities and gives you some idea as to where the club intends to position itself looking towards the future. Always accommodating hosts, I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Ardgeeha.

** On Sunday next, Carrick-on-Suir’s Under 14s host Fethard at Tybroughney while the Under 16s welcome Waterpark to their neck of the rugby-playing woods.

UL Bohemian RFC by PRO Denis Ryan

The 1st XV travelled to Athlone to meet Buccaneers in the All Ireland Cup, and once again, it was a game of two completely different halves. Playing against the wind in the first period, UL Bohs were reasonably satisfied to turn around only 14-13 in arrears, with the elements to assist for the final 40 minutes. Tom O’Donnell crossed for a try, with Aidan McNulty adding the rest from kicks. The old saying that ‘the wind never won a game’ was proven right yet again when the home side, with their much more dominant pack, refused to give UL Bohs the ball during that second half. The lack of possession, and a general reluctance to commit to the tackle, resulted in Buccs having it all their own way as they strolled home by 31-13, UL Bohs failing to disturb the scoreboard for the rest of the game. This Saturday, in the AIL, we take on Dungannon in Annacotty, and Coach Ian Costello is expecting a much more focussed performance from the side. The Munster Junior Cup game on Sunday brought a strong Cashel team to Annacotty, and UL Bohs were lucky to hold out for a hard fought 17-15 victory. This was a typical cup game, with few scoring opportunities and a strong wind favouring UL Bohs in the first half, and then assisting Cashel as they tried frantically for the winning points in the closing minutes. The home side had all the play in the opening period, using the elements to play for position. Paul Grennell crossed for a good try, with Aidan McNulty adding a few kicks to give UL Bohs a 14-0 lead with the half time whistle due. Then Cashel broke upfield, earned a penalty, and put over a good kick to reduce the margin at the break. On the resumption, Cashel maintained their pressure, and forced a number of penalties to bring the score to 14-12, indeed, but for a kick that drifted narrowly wide, they might have taken the lead. Then a fracas in the visitor’s half resulted in a penalty to UL Bohs, and Aidan McNulty judged the wind well to increase the advantage. The home supporters had hardly time to breathe in relief than Cashel were successful with another kick as the clock ran down. UL Bohs put in frantic tackles to keep play out of the danger zone, and then when the inevitable penalty was conceded due to the Cashel pressure, the ref signalled the last move of the game. The visitors had the choice of a long distance kick at goal or try to maintain possession, so they moved the ball in hand to work a more favourable position. However, a dropped pass brought the final whistle and relief for the home supporters. The 3rd XV had a friendly against St Mary’s and won a competitive game by 14-11. This was the ideal build up to the next Gleeson League game against Thomond which is fixed for Annacotty on Sat. However, the venue has to be confirmed, so members are asked to check www.ulbohs.com for up to date news.

Bruff RFC by Richard Leonard PRO

"Down to the last ten minutes with Cork Con in the cup"

Did you ever think that you’d see the day that Bruff would make it to within ten minutes of putting Cork Con out of the AIB Cup? And deservedly so. With the media being 50-50 split beforehand regards who would come out on top of this clash, it appears as if we have become a team to be worried about for the big guns. Cup rugby, in any case, comes down however to team against team on the day and the luck of the bounce and which side can hold their nerve determines the winners just as often as anything else.

Despite having to delay a team announcement right until twenty minutes before the kickoff and facing into a mild storm in the first half, the Bruff pack were well fired up for this encounter. David Horan, Cathal O’ Regan and Stephen Foster came out well on top of their exchanges with Munster Prop Tim Ryan and his front row cohorts Gareth Murray and Lloyd Gabriel. Mike Carroll had a stormer on his first full-on game back in the first XV, Alan Bourke was on fire throughout. Peter Malone, John Shine and Captain Cathal O’ Regan led by example and Bruff ground their way constantly into the Cons half of the pitch. Unlucky in their handling from time to time, they also fell afoul of the referee on a number of occasions at the ruck and this again allowed relief of the pressure for Cons.

In contrast, Cons totally failed to make any major use of the wind in the first forty minutes and seemed content to play the ball in the pack and through route one, like you would expect if it was them that faced into the diagonal wind. A few half hearted attempts at lofting ball down to the Bruff back three were returned into their faces and they dropped the tactic completely when confronted with the super-cool poise under the high ball of Brendan Deady, Finbarr Hogan and Paul O’ Brien. Cons sum total for thirty odd minutes: merely two kicks at goal coming from penalty decisions at the rucks. Richie Lane missed the first on 6 minutes and slotted number two on 30 minutes. Then came Cons only major incursion into the Bruff half of the pitch courtesy of a breakaway run by winger Richie Lane after 34 minutes,. When he failed to convert his own try, it meant that the half time score stayed at 8 to nil. Bruff looked the much better side going into the break and as has often happened to visiting teams on their first trip to Kilballyowen, there was a scent of fresh blood in the air. Was another old and respected club about to fall under the cosh to the new kids on the block?

The second half Started with Bruff really piling on the pressure and fourteen minutes in following a long stretch of pressure inside the Cons 22, Alan Bourke crossed the whitewash with Brian Cahill adding the extras. All of a sudden the game tempo upped and 8 minutes later following infringements at the ruck Brian Cahill had his first attempt at a penalty almost on the 22 left of the posts. Allowing for the strong crosswind he calmly slotted it over to put Bruff 2 points in front. Another attempt from the halfway line just three minutes later would have put some real daylight between the teams but Cahill’s attempt fell under the posts to give Con the 22 Dropout to relieve the pressure. From here on it was more Pressure from Bruff on the Cons line, problems with rucking again relieving the beleaguered Cork side but the Cons defence held firm. On Cons first foray into the Bruff 22 in the second half, a simple line-break by replacement Andrew O’ Brien gave them a try under the posts leaving a straightforward conversion for Lane to slot over. 15-10 and eight minutes left on the clock. With both sides keeping it tight at this stage of the game, the 400 odd strong crowd felt that the next mistake would clinch the game against whoever made it. Again the Bruff pack took on the challenge and parked themselves in the Cons half of the pitch but Con Held out until the final minute when a decision to take a tap penalty rather than kicking for the corner proved expensive for Bruff. Lane intercepted on the wing to run in almost unopposed and converted himself. Final score 22 points to 10, a little flattering for the visitors although they did just about deserve the win for their defence and ability to break out from anywhere. Their back line making the difference on the day. All in all a great Bruff performance however, and even though some felt that Bruff would not win it, we gave them a fair fright. A fantastic run out before next week’s AIL 8th round game against Lansdowne.

Bruff: B. Deady, P.O’ Brien, J. Malone, J. Carroll, F. Hogan, D. Maw, B. Cahill, P.Malone, J. Shine, M. Carroll, D. Murnane, A. Bourke, S. Foster, C. O’ Regan (C), D. Horan. Subs: M. O’ Donnell, G. Ryan, E. Maher, G. Leonard. Supporters Bus is travelling to next Saturdays away game in the RDS so contact Lil Cahill if you wish to travel up on the day.

U20 XV: The U20’s had to start this South Western Conference game without 7 of their usual panel of players and it really showed on the night. From the get-go, it was obvious that playing under lights didn’t seem to faze their Opponents however and in the finish Garryowen ran out easy 34-nil winners. The 20’s play away to UL Bohs in Annacotty next weekend following a mid-week game under lights away to UCC on Thursday night.

J1 XV: Bruff V Cobh Wanderers – Munster Junior Cup

The East Cork side adapted better than the J1’s to the atrocious conditions. While it was not a day for kickers, Cobh’s Eamonn Ronan had a fantastic day at the office when five of his six attempts at goal during the course of the game were successful, one right from the touchline to add extras after the try. The fact that he was gifted so many opportunities will haunt the Bruff side, indiscipline being punished severely, it was not a day for flashy rugby however and the ref was busy with the whistle.

Bruff cannot complain about the result, despite the eleven point final difference, they did have enough second half possession to ensure that the margin should have been much closer but the last pass and handling errors left them down.

Cobh were aided by a strong wind in the first half and got off the mark eight minutes in when Eamonn Ronan landed his first penalty. Bruff had a player sin binned after 18 minutes and this Gave Cobh a chance to take advantage and build a lead but however they suffered a severe setback on the 25th. minute when Bruff moved the ball wide to the right winger, Finbarr Hogan who burned away on the outside to score. Alan Kilcoyne added the conversion for a 7 – 3 lead against the run of play. Cobh, hit back within a minute when Bruff conceded a penalty and Ronan again punished the indiscretion with his second three pointer. It got better for Pirates two minutes later when full back Ray O’Donovan got in for his side’s first try and Ronan again was successful with the extras, adding another three pointer two minutes before the break to give them a 16- 7 lead into the break.

Bruff had the benefit of the huge breeze after the interval but seven minutes in Carl Keating got in under the posts for his team’s second try of the match and Ronan converted. This was about the only trip Cobh had into Bruff territory in the second period but it left Bruff with an awful hill to climb. From there until the finish, the home side camped inside Cobh territory but the only dent they could make on the Cobh lead was a try by Danny Keogh on 60 mins. Final Score Cobh 23-Bruff 12.

Bruff: Alan Kilcoyne, Finbarr Hogan, Michael O’Callaghan, Tommy Carroll, Michael Laffan, John Carroll, Eoghan Maher, Ger Collins, Mossie O’Donnell, Liam Herlihy, Maurice O’Connell, Barry Laffan (Capt), John Hogan, Michael Carroll and Danny Keogh. Subs: Keith Laffan for Collins, James Ryan for O’Callaghan and Leo McGrath for Hogan.

Youths: U18: Bruff V NCW cancelled. U16: Ennis 5, Bruff 17 U14: Kilrush 17, Bruff 19

Adult Fixtures: Thurs 15th : UCC V Bruff U20, Mardyke, 7:45 pm; Sat 17th: U20 AIL: UL Bohs V Bruff U20, 2:30 pm; AIL: Lansdowne V Bruff, RDS, 2:30pm; McInerny Cup: Bruff V Old Crescent, Time TBC; Sun 18th : Munster Junior Plate: J1 TBC. We will be informed later about the Munster Junior Plate fixture if any, as there were 2 cancellations and 3 draws on Sunday. (Replays apply) Youth fixtures: U16 Bruff V Kilrush (TBC); U15 Garryowen V Bruff 11:30am; U14 Bruff V Ennis (TBC).

Keep an eye on the website www.bruffrfc.com for updates later on in the week regarding kickoff times.

Good luck to Munster in their final home pool game in Thomond Park against Sale. Hopefully Next Committee meeting is Monday 19th January @ 8:00pm.

Old Crescent RFC by PRO Frank Larkin

Old Crescent played their refixed AIL Division 2 home match against Belfast Harlequins last Saturday (originally due to be played on 13th December but postponed due to flooded pitch). The game was played in gale force winds which made it a game of two halves. Old Crescent played into the wind in the first half. Old Crescent started brightly and immediately put Belfast Harlequins under pressure, which resulted in Old Crescent being awarded a penalty after 5 minutes which No. 10 Mark Woods converted.

Belfast Harlequins began to use the wind at their back to pin OC back into their own half, and after 10 minutes they were awarded a penalty which was kicked by their No.10, who followed up with another successful penalty kick a few minutes later. Belfast Harlequins got their big break, midway through the first half, when after a period of pressure, their No.8 went over for a try wide out, which wasn’t converted. Their No. 10 landed another penalty on 25 minutes, to put Belfast Harlequins 14 – 3 in front. Mark Woods converted a penalty on 35 minutes to pull back the Old Crescent deficit to 14-6 at half time.

Old Crescent started the second half with the strong wind behind them, and Mark Woods got quickly into his stride with a converted penalty 3 minutes into the second half. A few minutes later, their No.10, Niall O’Connor, replied with another penalty for Belfast Harlequins to bring them to 17 points. After that it was Old Crescent all the way, with Mark Woods converting a penalty on 55 minutes, and then his replacement, No. 19, Brian O’Shea, kicking a penalty a few minutes later.

Old Crescent’s big break came with 10 minutes to go, when Captain on the day, Mark Ryan, went over for a try near the corner post, which was converted from the touchline by Brian O’Shea, to Old Crescent in front for the first time 22 -17. Our scrumhalf, Alan Purcell, rounded off a good day for Old Crescent with a try out wide which was again converted by Brian O’Shea, leaving the final score, Old Crescent 29 Belfast Harlequins 17.

Our Seconds played St Mary’s RFC away last Sunday in the Munster Junior Plate and lost 16 points to 5. Our Thirds match against Bruff RFC last Saturday was postponed, due to a bereavement in Bruff, and our Under 20’s played Richmond away and lost 18 points to 10.

Fixtures for next weekend:Our Firsts entertain Bective Rangers RFC at 2.30pm next Saturday at Rosbrien in their AIL Division Two fixture. Bective are currently just above us in the league table so it should be a tough competitive game. Our Seconds play Ballingcollig RFC in the Munster Junior Bowl at home in Rosbrien at 2.00pm next Sunday. This is a knock-out competition and extra time will be played if necessary. Our Thirds play their postponed fixture against Bruff RFC next Saturday in Bruff at 2.30pm, and our Under 20’s play Clonmel RFC at home in Rsobrien at 12.30pm next Saturday.

In Under Age News, Old Crescent continues to be as popular as ever, and as always, all kids from Under 6′ up to U18’s are welcome at 10am each Sunday morning. Club members are also encouraged to pass on the word to friends, neighbours, work colleagues, etc, that every child is welcome and we more than happy to introduce them to mini rugby. Next Sunday we are having a ‘Bring a Friend Day’, when our current young rugby players are invited to bring a friend.

Garryowen FC By PRO Christopher Barry

A home quarter final v Buccaneers was our reward for a hard fought 15-9 win over Bective Rangers at an extremely blustery Donnybrook last Saturday. The game never really got off the ground and despite Mike Sherry galloping over from 30 metres there was very little to enthuse about, save Paul Neville’s try just before half time which regained the lead from an enthusiastic home side. Cathal Connolly had kicked two fine penalties to establish a surprise 6-5 lead before our captain’s timely intervention. Conor Kilroy converted and added our only score of the second half in the 70th minute. Frank McKenna (lineout) and Michael Sherry were most prominent in our pack and young Diarmaid McCarthy tried hard on the left wing. We don’t have the best of records in Templeville Road and a repeat of last Saturday’s performance would surely see St. Mary’s climb above us in the AIL table. The game kicks off on Saturday at 2.30. My venerable Vets friends (The Fallen Stars) inform me that their game against Bective was in fact their first game at Vets level or at any level between the clubs in some 16 years. They had a most enjoyable game which we just won 26-24. The crucial difference was a conversion by Dan Larkin, a former great of both clubs. This followed tries by Ian Barry, Seamus Maher, Mark Keane and Andy Nevin, all scored in the time-honoured Barbarian fashion of flowing rugby. The third half in the bar was most enjoyable and we were very well received and afforded excellent hospitality. The Fallen Stars are open to any member over the age of 35. We play tip rugby every Tuesday at 7pm, weather permitting, and all are welcome. Our junior team will have to do it all again in the Munster Junior Cup following our 6-6 draw with Shannon at a very wet and windy Coonagh. It was an excellent game in difficult conditions with the play swinging from end to end right up to the finish. We played very well in the first half and while Eamon Lane gave the home side a 6-0 half time advantage, our supporters might have fancied the team’s chances with the elements in our favour in the second period. As it turned out we were glad of Alan Kingsley’s two penalties and with some gilt edge chances missed by both teams, a draw was a fair result. The replay is in Dooradoyle on Sunday at 2.00 with extra time to apply. Members and supporters are reminded that this is a Munster Branch game and a modest €5 will be payable at the gate. Our 3rdXV play St. Mary’s in the McInerney Cup in Corbally at 2.30 on Saturday, while our U20’s play their refixed AIL game v Young Munster in Dooradoyle at 1.30. The latter had a 34-0 win away to Bruff last Saturday. Ronan O’Mahony 2, Jason Harney 2, Aaron McCloskey and Mark Rowley were the try scorers. In the NML our U14’s edged Old Crescent 10-6. There were friendly wins for our U15’s (3-0 v Young Munster) and our U18’s beat a weakened UL Bohemian team 20-0 in Annacotty. In the NML on Sunday next our U16’s play Shannon in Coonagh at 11.00. We will be holding a pre match luncheon on Saturday 24th January prior to AIL game v UL Bohemian. Tickets for the function cost €35 which includes admission to the match and a four-course meal and complimentary glass of wine. To reserve a seat please contact Geraldine Morrissey on 087 2466815 or John Noonan on 087 9308318. Festivities commence at 12.30.

Shannon RFC by PRO Andrew McNamara

We had three cup games last weekend with a win a draw and a loss. It could be considered a reasonable return, but unfortunately it was not quite we expected, especially in the AIB cup. Denied passage to the next round with the last kick of the game was a hard pill to swallow and given the disparity of divisions between ourselves and Ballynahinch it made this result all the more disappointing. Despite trailing by 12 points to nil at half time, no one was sounding alarm bells given the strength of the wind in our favour in the second half. Add in the fact that the visitors were numerically disadvantaged at the resumption, than notions of defeat were not upper most in our mind. The idea of facing a defeat was further relegated when after 50 minutes we were leading thanks to a try each from John O’Connor and Fiach O’Loughlin and Tadgh’s two conversions. Several of Ballynahinch’s players looked dead on their feet as the second half progressed which makes their victory all the more remarkable. It was however the period from the 75th minute to the additional 5 minutes which was added that decided the outcome of the game. A missed drop goal, a try for Ritchie Mullane which was called back for a toe nail in touch should have wrapped up the game for us but Ballynahinch’s admirable attitude shown throughout the game was once again demonstrated in those final few minutes. Three successive penalties saw them scramble their way into kick range and as he had done on four previous occasions Ryan Bambry slotted over the pressure kick and no sooner had the flags been raised, the final whistle blew. Some might argue that those last penalties were rather harsh, but taken as indicative of the entire game they alone did not lose the game for us. To say the post match dressing room was bleak would be an understatement, but if anything positive is to be taken from Saturday is the reinforced desire to win the AIB league. The next phase of that desire sees the daunting prospect of facing current champions Cork Con in their own back yard this Saturday. A supporters coach is travelling to the game and Ger Mc Closkey can be contacted on 0872745926.

The drawn cup game came in a real thriller that had those who braved the undesirable elements on Sunday leave Coonagh with no doubt that the Munster junior cup is still a major desire for both Shannon and Garryowen. It was a game where both sides played wholehearted, committed rugby and even after extra time neither could be separated. Instructions given to the referee prior to the match on the outcome of the game meant that we thought we had won the game by virtue of Eamon Lane scoring the first points of the game, but a rethink from the powers that be on Monday ensured that both sides will try again this Sunday. It’s probably the correct outcome as no team that gave as much effort as both sides did on Saturday deserves to be dumped out of the cup in such circumstances. Although the game last Sunday was devoid of tries and only 12 points were shared in was nonetheless enthralling. Playing with the strong breeze in the first half we managed to knock two penalties over from Eamon Lane. defences were severely tested throughout the game but both stood firm and while Garryowen reduced the deficit with a penalty in the second half it looked as if we could hold out in normal time , but while defending heroically we conceded a penalty and thus came the extra time. One might have expected the pace of the game to lag in the additional 20 minutes, but it was as relentless as what went previous. The only penalty chance came our way in extra time but unfortunately it was missed. Those that missed the game should do all in their power to get to Dooradoyle on Sunday at 2pm for the reply, both sides deserve the support.

On Saturday the thirds advanced to the next round of the Mc Inerney cup after withstanding a few anxious moments against Richmond in Coonagh. It finished up at 17-12, and for the first 60 minutes we were coasting along, but given 26 players that turned up, the managements wanted to try and play as many players as possible and perhaps the change of personnel upset the rhythm somewhat and Richmond came back with two quick tries. Richie Ryan was first to cross the Richmond line after a good chase. Just five minutes later Jim Heniger set up Fionn O’Dalaigh with an excellent burst from our own 22 up to Richmond’s. Fergal Curtin’s two conversions made it 14-3 at half time and not long after the break he scored a try to give a commanding lead. After that Richmond battled admirably, but we had done enough to secure a place in the next round against Young Munster next Saturday in Derryknockane. Kickoff is at 12

The ladies played out another draw in the cup against Kinsale in a game that was equally as exciting as the second’s game. This season our young women’s side have come on in leaps and bounds and their skill level has certainly been increased. The replay this Sunday sees them travel to Kinsale.

The u/20’S resume the Ail when Cork Con travel to Coonagh this Saturday at 2.30 and for anyone not travelling to Cork, their support would be greatly appreciated.

Underage games scheduled for this Sunday sees the U/18’s travel to play St Senans while the U14’s play Kilrush at 12pm and the 16’s play Garryowen at 11, both in Coonagh.

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