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Club News Weekending 2nd December 2007

27th November 2007 By Munster Rugby

A round up of this week’s club news from around the province

Majella Ryan PRO

Fierce Rivalry Throws Up Classic Encounter!

Clonmel 14 Cashel 9

The old Indian saying “you cannot put your foot in the same river twice” is so true in this rapidly changing world. But some things never change – when Clonmel and Cashel meet on the rugby pitch, no quarter is asked or given. The geography that has cast them as close neighbours also provides the chemistry for the fiercest of rivalries – when they meet the victory is important but the bragging rights are essential. No surprise then that a huge crowd turned up last Sunday to witness this long-awaited Division 1 league clash. Clonmel were intent on holding on to their unbeaten tag while Cashel needed redress for the Challenge Cup defeat. In the warm-up act, Clonmel 2nd XV had just defeated the Cashel 2nd XV – this would ensure a relentless effort from the 1st XV. And so it was.

Cashel kicked off and the tension was immediately evident. Within 2 minutes Clonmel had conceded a penalty and Cashel No.10 Pat O’Connor put his side 3-0 ahead. But the game gurgled like molten lava when cooler heads were needed and only 6 minutes had elapsed when Neville Melbourne was sin-binned and O’Connor again added to Clonmel’s misery by adding another 3 points. 6-0 to the visitors. The regularity of blood injuries reflected the intensity of this game but it must be said that it was as good a game as has been seen in Ardgeeha for a while. Cashel’s backs looked very lively and they had the kicking talent to place the game where they wanted it – by contrast Clonmel laboured to gain field position. When Clonmel finally got into this game and applied enough pressure to extract two penalties in the 8th and 10th minutes, they were dismayed to see both of Daniel Lyons’ kicks slide wide. This was a game where every point would count.

But Clonmel were now with the pace of the game and further pressure on 13 minutes allowed Lyons to open his account, leaving the score 6-3 to Cashel. The game was more balanced now but Clonmel had to fight hard for every inch of ground. Captain John Long, Niall Mackey and Brendan Mullan put in great work to gain advantage and on 20 minutes Lyons got another chance which he converted to level the game at 6-6. There was nothing in this game – it was WW1 stuff – a few yards gained with great effort only to have it reclaimed by the other side. The game’s pattern was now established – Cashel kicked the ball very intelligently while Clonmel went through pick-and-drive phases to gain ground. It was knife-edge stuff. Neither try-line had been really threatened and a try would have a huge impact on this game. Clonmel’s discipline was not what it should have been and the sixth penalty against them on 36 minutes allowed Cashel to edge ahead at 9-6 and that score held as half-time sounded.

The second half opened with a Clonmel drive into Cashel’s “22” but the visitors quickly turned the tables and Clonmel found themselves defending their line for the next five minutes. Only stern defence in midfield by Dave Harney and Niall Grogan kept Cashel out, while, thankfully, scrumhalf John Long was always on hand to tidy up any mess. But in truth Clonmel were hanging on in this period and Cashel will feel that this was the time when they should have capitalised. A great break and kick-ahead by the Cashel No.8 looked all the way a try but he just failed to touch down. What a let-off for Clonmel. Clonmel finally got their hands on the ball and great work by Corby, Crosse and Melbourne transferred the pressure onto Cashel and they coughed up the penalty on 16 minutes which Daniel Lyons converted to put the teams level at 9-9. Still a long way to go – both teams gave it everything and served up a terrific (if almost unbearable!) contest.

On 20 minutes Mike Sheehan and Paul McCarthy replaced Mullan and Mackey and a big drive down the middle by Grogan and Corby had Cashel on the back foot but yet again they conceded the penalty to allow Cashel to kick them back deep into their own half. A lot of the pressure on Clonmel was self-induced and they will have to learn from this. Still nothing in it – still the teams probed for that one opening – supporters on both sides opined that they would settle for a draw – defeat just wasn’t mentioned. It would take something extraordinary to unlock this impasse and it came in the 33rd minute. Clonmel mauled their way deep into Cashel’s “22” where the ball came back to Morgan Lyons. His drop-goal attempt came back off the post and Cashel hacked it clear, but Clonmel gathered and came back at them. The ball came back again to Morgan Lyons who stood up the Cashel defence before feeding brother Daniel who went over on Cashel’s left side. Try! Was that it? The failed conversion attempt left Clonmel leading 14-9 with seven minutes (or was it seven days?) remaining.

Cashel hit back with everything and again their backs posed a huge threat. Clonmel at times assisted them by trying to play open rugby when clearly “up the jersey” rugby was called for. Clonmel absorbed massive pressure and conceded three penalties in as many minutes. A kick was no good to Cashel and they tried their hearts out in their efforts to breach the home side – but as they have shown so often this season, Clonmel are not easily breached. At last the referee closed what was an enthralling encounter and Clonmel maintained their winning streak.

For Clonmel, it will be a cup final every Sunday from now on, starting in Kilfeacle next Sunday. Forget whatever other plans you have, we need every supporter in Kilfeacle – this team deserves it. One game at a time.

Clonmel U14’s v Nenagh

Clonmel took on Nenagh at home in this East Munster League game on Sunday morning and came away with a very impressive 31-5 win. Nenagh travelled with almost 30 players and as we have 30 or so players in our panel we played two games "simultaneously". Our squad is taking shape; players are fighting for places and this was evident from the teams’ display.

From the kick-off Clonmel wanted to get their hands on the ball and were hungry for work. After excellent rucking the ball was spun out to the right for Jason Mullin to score a lovely try in the corner. From the restart Clonmel gathered and attacked again. The Nenagh pack was a much bigger unit than ours but the team work and commitment from Clonmel more than compensated for size. After some great rucking and running, Adam O’Dwyer scored a lovely try out on the left wing.

Clonmel started the second half as they finished the first and hunted and chased in packs and had Nenagh under severe pressure. Darragh Foley drove over for a well-taken try converted by Chris Browne and soon after Brian Condon touched down after a dizzy run; again converted by Chris Browne. Clonmel were in control of the game and were dominant all over the field and Captain Conal Guilfoyle completed the scoring with a great individual try which was converted by Chris Browne. A little lapse in concentration allowed Nenagh in for a score just before the end but it couldn’t take from Clonmel’s polished display. Team work is what it’s all about and Clonmel gave a lesson in it on Sunday. The squad deserve every praise for their efforts.

The hard work in training is paying off so let’s keep at it, Saturday at 10.30 a.m. Please bring warm training gear.

Squad: A. Butler, J. Mullins, A. O’Dywer, B. Condon, S. O’Donoghue, C. Browne, D. Cass, P. Keating, F. Duff-White, D. Hoyne, A. Ryan, D. Foley, B. Lalor, C. Guilfoyle, D. Guidera, C. Delahunty, C. Mackey, L. Fennell, S. Twomey, A. Sheehan, L. O’Neill, C. Tobin, A. Quinlivan, M. Hackett.

Collie Bartley PRO

Record win has Carrick still pushing

A day of records or records of living memory for Carrick’s rugby team. A 68 point victory, the opposition kept scoreless and 11 tries to boot. A good day’s work!
It started out as a hard day’s work as for the first 20 minutes, Carrick only register a single penalty from the boot of outhalf Iain Hilliard. Dungarvan came with a reputation to dispel and for that first quarter they did. Carrick could not break them down and Dungarvan although not overly threatening were not in fear of Carrick’s play and were comfortable. Carrick had to start producing, as there is pressure on this team to keep up the pressure on league leaders Kinsale, who are three points ahead of Carrick, and our next opponents Charleville, two points behind but with a game in hand. Maybe this was the idea that got into the heads of the players collectively, but something clicked. The rucking became crisper, the ball was being delivered faster to the backs, the tackles were being made before Dungarvan reached the gain line and visibly the game swung.
Carrick had lost one back in Shane O’Keeffe to a dead leg, but he was switched with Brian Dignham who would make a big impression. Carrick finally got the breakthrough. A counter by the ever lively JP Wallace from fullback saw the ball moved to Peader Downey on the wing, he out sprinted the cover for Carrick’s first try. Further tries before the half from Robert Murphy, Emmet Lonergan, a fine solo effort by Iain Hilliard and a second for JP coming from a great lineout steal from John O’Keeffe had Carrick home and hosed. The bonus point in the bag, the half time talk was of pushing on and getting a performance. Carrick did react a little slowly on the resumption and Dungarvan pressed and pressed. The home pack did some magnificent work, with great hits by Alan Murray and John Phelan stymieing any Dungarvan attack. Apt as it is ironic; Carrick got a sin-binning for repeatedly killing the ball. Our ex-Dungarvan lock Sean Fitzpatrick, walked gingerly to the side, harshly done he felt, but the pack had given away maybe a penalty too much in a short space off time. Dungarvan had the opportunity now, but Carrick found another gear, no tackles were missed, James Wallace shored up centre field in only the way he can and every one fronted up. This determination led to the possible fortune or wonderment of what was Carrick’s first try of the second half. Another break from JP Wallace in his own 22 saw Carrick flood out, he evade all until the covering back three, on being tackled , a sublime layoff to Peader Downey saw the winger go in and around under the posts. As the second half wore on it became more of a case of what the backline would try next. Five more tries came from James Wallace, stretching like he never did before, two for Brian Dignham, Dermot Lanigan and a one for JP Wallace saw Carrick running out 68-0 winners. It could have been more but Dungarvan were playing till the end and the pack knew it. Jamie Walsh was unlucky at one point not to claim a try himself and captain Willie Stokes fumbled forward in a nice position. This led to another barren afternoon for the forwards who really are feeding the hungriest backline Carrick have had in many years.

The focus now is on fellow promotion chasers Charleville in the next fixture, it’s a make or break for this Carrick team now. There is an awareness among the players that this is a season that has to be seen out and the next match is critical to that. From one to fifteen, plus the five subs and the six more unused, should take a auld pat on the back for that performance and lets hope that is not the last time Tybroughney sees the game played like that. It was a joy at times.

J Heffernan, (E Barry 60) W Stokes (C), A Murray, (B Woods 60), S Fitzpatrick, E Stanley, J Walsh, J Phelan, J O’Keeffe (P Lanigan 50), E Lonergan, I Hilliard, J Wallace, R Murphy (D Lanigan 65 min), S O’Keeffe, (B Dignham 20), P Downey, JP Wallace

Carrick Youth Rugby
Carrick’s under age had their first ever visit to Waterford City RFC where both players and parents were treated to a great day out. Carrick fielded 5 teams on the day and all the boys and girls performed to the highest standards. Our under 12’s captained by Sean Dunphy led the charge, with two good wins over both City and Clonmel. There were some very good performances by Dean Brophy, Mark Dowley,Andrew Bolger ,Sean Dunphy and new comer Aaron o Hanlon who scored two tries. The under 11’s continued their great run by winning both these matches also. This brings their unbeaten record to 12 games. This is a wonderful group of kids who work hard for each other. Their skill levels with ball in hand are excellent. Well done to them all.
Our under 8s and 10s continue to improve and are not far away from scoring their first victory. They were narrowly beaten in both their matches, but if improvement continues victory is close. Next Sunday we travel to Kilfeacle with the bus leaving the Garda Barracks at 9.15 sharp. Good luck everyone.

Val Byrnes P.R.O.

Senan’s Hold Strong
Munster Junior League
St.Senan’s 20 – 18 Abbeyfeale
On a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon Senan’s played host to a very tough and physical Abbeyfeale team. Senan’s started very strong with immense pressure on the Abbeyfeale back row,and after 15mins. of play Tony O Brien was over the line for Senan’s first try.
Senan’s kept on the pressure and were awarded a penalty and Declan Collins duely converted, but 2 mins. later Abbeyfeale responded with a penalty kick which they converted. Half an hour had gone in the game when Noel Hoban got a superb try which resulted from a powerful scrum by the Senan’s pack. Senan’s forwards kept Abbeyfeale at bay for as long as they could but Abbeyfeale were awarded a penalty just before half time to leave it 13 – 6 in Senan’s favour. The second half started with Abbeyfeale starting very strong and were rewarded with a try after 6 mins.of play. Senan’s fought back and captain Stephan Ryan got a superb try under the posts which was converted by Declan Collins to leave the score 20 – 11. Senan’s unfortunately got a man sidelined and Abbeyfeale capitalised on this and got a try and conversion to leave it 20 points to 18. Senan’s did extremely well to hold on and were very unfortunate to get a second man sidelined with 2 mins. to go, but held on to their lead to finish St.Senan’s 20 – 18 Abbeyfeale. Impressive for Senan’s on the day were Aaron Skerritt, Tony O Brien, Allister Cawley, Podge Dinneen, and Richie Mulcahy.
St. Senans: P.Ryan, F.Lawlor, T.O.Brien, A.O.Callaghan, A.Skerritt, R.Mulcahy, D.Horkin, S. Ryan, P. Dineen, N. Hoban, A. Cawley, C. Sloane, D. Sonnerman, W. Kelly, D.Collins. replacements:D.Mulcahy, M.Lyons, G.Hall, D.Dunne, B.Collins.

Other News
Gleeson League
St.Senan’s 3 – 33 Thomond.
Senan’s second team played host to Thomond in “Jimmy Slattery Park” On Sat. last, but unfortunately were beat by a stronger side on the day. Although they defended well on the day,they suffered hard and were beaten 33 – 3 with Senan’s only score coming from Gerald McNamara. The Second teams next match is at home to Shannon on Sat.1st.Dec. and all support is welcome. On Sunday 2nd.Dec. the under 16’s play host to St.Marys and again all support is very welcome.

Andrew McNamara PRO
The Munster Senior cup is still a competition that we in Shannon aim to win every year. It’s instilled into the players from the first training session of the season and is reiterated throughout the campaign. Last Sunday in Clifford Park that determination was displayed in bucket loads. In a display that had so many of the admirable attributes that has made our club so successful over the years, we overcame the expected uncompromising and unyielding challenge of Cork Constitution by 13 points to 6. This was classic cup rugby which had many veterans of this great competition wishing they could turn back the clock. I suppose it’s easy to was lyrical about the game when you have actually won it, but as they say ‘to the victors the spoils’. The commitment and character displayed by the lads, especially in the final quarter with 14 men was exceptional. Cork Con’s highly experienced side tried valiantly, but they meet a side that were prepared to give every ounce of energy in the quest for victory. Everyone played well above par, but there were some exceptional performances. Leonard Mullane seemed to be everywhere, constantly at the breakdown and scavenging around the fringes. Padraic O’Brien’s late first half try was, in the end the difference between the sides and his general contribution was immense. The same could be said for Les Hogan and Tadgh Bennett. But let’s take stock amidst the elation at Sunday’s win; No silverware was on offer last Sunday, and on the 29th of December Highfield will be our opposition in a Musgrave park final and absolutely nothing will be taken for granted. They are a side who have improved immensely due in no short measure to the guidance of Geoff Moylan and his side kick Ducky Brennan who were very interested spectators on Sunday. It will certainly make for an interesting final, but it’s still over month away. We have three pre Christmas AIB league games between now and then, starting this Saturday when Blackrock come to Coonagh for the first time. The following two weeks we are in the Capital, firstly against St Mary’s and then Lansdowne. A supporters coach will travel to both games and anyone wishing to travel should contact Tadgh Crowe on 087 6524958. With the coach almost full for our visit to Clontarf, it’s imperative that you book your place with Tadgh as early as possible.
The U/20’s returned to wining ways when they overcame Buccaneers on their home patch last Saturday. In a generally good performance, the only negative was that they didn’t secure a bonus point but they still remain top of the table after their exploits. This Saturday they are on the road again, this time down south to play Cork Constitution.
The rescheduling of the senior game meant that the seconds, rather disappointingly had no game. Sunday, however sees them back in action when they entertain Bruff in Coonagh at 2.30.
The thirds travel to St Senans on Saturday with a 1pm start in the Gleeson league and on Sunday the Women’s side travel to Clonmel in the AIL
Our U/18’s were again impressive when they beat St Mary’s by 17-3 in the league. 2 tries by Martin Casey along with one from Craig Phayer ensured another good win. A big game this weekend sees they play UL/Bohs in Coonagh at 12pm.
In a friendly match played in Coonagh on Saturday, our Under 13s went down on a scoreline of 37-24 to a very committed and hard working Abbeyfeale side. Try scorers for Shannon were Greg O’Shea who grabbed a hat trick and Andrew Cusack. It’s back to league action this Sunday when they play Ballina/Killaloe at 11.30. The U/16’s beat St Senans in a friendly by 20-10 while the U/12’s had a couple of good displays against Thomond.
In a fixture packed Sunday the U/12’s travel to the West Clare warriors while the U/11 blues are at home to UL/Bohs and the Blacks play St Mary’s and the U/10’s head to Abbeyfeale for a blitz.
To matters off the field now and after last years exploits of Maeve O’Donovan in RTE’s you’re a star, we have yet another Shannon interest in this years Show. Avid Club supporter Leanne Moore features in the show this year and hopefully she can make her mark, just as Meave did. Keep an eye out for her on this Sunday’s show.
UL Bohemian RFC
Denis Ryan PRO
The 1st XV had a break from action although a number of the squad featured on the Munster A side which had a comprehensive victory over Leinster in the UL Bowl. This Saturday it’s back to the serious club stuff when we travel to Galway to take on Galwegians. An unusual statistic noted by Des Daly of the IRFU is that in 8 AIL meetings against the Westerners we’ve had to travel away 7 times. Fortunately, our success rate is better than that and we hope this weekend will be equally productive.
The 2nd XV went to Dooradoyle and had a hard fought win by 25-9 over Garryowen in the Munster Senior Seconds League. On Sunday Cork Con are the visitors to Annacotty, and all support is requested for this attractive fixture.
The U-20s had two games at the weekend, and by fielding completely separate squads, gave match time to all the players. In the League, UL Bohs left Fitzgerald Park after drawing 6-6 with the home side. While we had chances to win this game, Thomond are always tough opponents, and this was the toughest test the side has faced to date. On Saturday, the U-20s will be up against equally difficult opponents when travelling to Clifford Park to meet unbeaten Young Munster. This game will have a major impact on the eventual league standings. In the second U-20 game played in Annacotty last Sunday against Australian opponents, the visitors got off to a flyer, touching down for two early tries. While UL Bohs hit back with a converted try, we just failed to get the decisive score.
The 3rd XV travel to Fitzgerald Park to take on Thomond in the Gleeson League, and while the side has not been rewarded yet for the numbers attending training, the management is confident that there are some big performances ahead.
Pat Rickard PRO
An undefeated weekend for our adult teams in action!
Our 1st XV did not have a game last weekend and they return to action on Saturday with an important home game against UCC in the AIL. The 2nd XV made the long journey to Clonakilty on Sunday to play a Munster Senior Seconds League match which they won convincingly by 37 points to 17. They have no fixture this weekend.
The 3rd XV hosted Young Munster in an important Gleeson League fixture on Saturday afternoon. This was a game that only a rugby fanatic would enjoy. There was no score in the first half and playing with the conditions in the second period one felt that our side would win the game. Despite taking the lead with a long range penalty goal from Brian Clancy, we never threatened the oppositions line and were fortunate that a number of kickable penalties were missed by Young Munster. Eventually our luck ran out and the scores were levelled by a penalty goal and the game petered out to the finish which was unsatisfactory for both sides in the race for the semi finals. This weekend the 3rds make the short journey to Dooradoyle to play Garryowen in the Gleeson League at 11.30am.
Highlight of the week was the under 20s performance against Clanwilliam in the under 20 AIL on Saturday afternoon. Playing away from home but with the conditions in the first half, they withstood a fierce attack from the home side, particularly in the pack and did well to concede only 5 points. They then settled and Hugh Mulcahy & Darren O’Sullivan using the wind to set up attacks in the opposition 22. This resulted in tries for Mike Mc Cormack & Sean O’Dea both of which were converted by Darren O’Sullivan who also added a penalty goal to give them a 17 point to 5 lead at the interval. In the second half the expected surge from the host came but excellent defense from the pack in particular limited them to 8 points and the first victory of the campaign was sealed in the dying moments when full back Nigel O’Riordan scored an unconverted try to make the final score 22 points to 15. This weekend they welcome Richmond to Rosbrien in their final league game before the Christmas break with kick off at 11am.
On the under age front the under 9 and 12 were in club day action and all involved put in brave performances. The under 18 suffered another narrow defeat but have made excellent progress as the seasons has developed. Training for all age groups as usual on Friday evening and Sunday morning.
We in Old Crescent were especially pleased to hear the news that our member Federico Pucciariello has been selected to play for the Barbarians on Saturday for their fixture against South Africa at Twickenham. We wish to congratulate Freddie on his well deserved achievement and we wish him the best of luck on Saturday.
Finally this week a final reminder about the EGM to be held next Monday night at 8 pm in the clubhouse. We would ask as many members as possible to attend.

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