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Club News Weekending December 23rd 2007

18th December 2007 By Munster Rugby

The latest club news from around the province

The latest club news from around the province

OLD CRESCENT RFC

A quiet week with only one adult team in action. The 1st XV hosted Barnhall on Saturday last in a the club final home game for some time in the AIL.Given the fact that our guest had not previously won in Rosbrien there was a degree of confidence that the recent run of defeats could be halted. Again a very understrength side took the field and they performed bravely but some mistakes at critical points in the game resulted in a 15 points to 3 defeat for our side with our points coming from the boot of Alan Purcell. Hopefully the Christmas break will help us long injury list to clear and give us the strength in depth to our squad for the battle ahead in the New Year. Thanks to the under 12s for acting as ballboys and scoreboard operators for the game.
The next game is the traditional Kelly Cup fixture with Young Munster which take place this year in Greenfields on St. Stephen’s Day.
This weekend also sees the close down of under age rugby for the Christmas break and the annual party will take place after training on Sunday morning. The under 12s are also hosting Shannon & Young Munster in friendlies on Sunday.
We would like to offer our condolences to the Kennedy family for their recent bereavement.
Finally, the club would like to wish its players, members, sponsors and supporters a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

ST. SENAN’S RFC
Val Byrnes P.R.O.

Senan’s prepare for Ennis
Senan’s next game in the Munster Junior league is away to Ennis on Sun.23 rd.Dec. and kick off is at 2.30 pm.
This should be an exciting game as it is classed as the local derby and always a great game of rugby to watch, so come along on the day and support the lads.
In other news and upcoming events Fans and members of the club are asked to watch out around the town for the posters advertising the upcoming New Years Eve Party.
Tickets are on sale now and can be got off any comittee member, and they are limited so get your order in early as a great night is to be had by all.
Also the Race night at the dogs has been pencilled in for Feb.9th. So watch this space.

LOTTO
Jackpot €;8650
No Winner
No.s 21,22,24,28.
Lucky dip: Carmel McDade, Robert Carey, Patsy Cahill, Kevin Markham, Des O Brien, Bertie Carroll, Mike Russell, Martin Ryan, Adam Mulqueen, Val Byrnes.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at St.Senan’s RFC.

KILLORGLIN RFC
Aidan Clifford PRO

Killorglin Rugby club are holding a Christmas hamper raffle. Lines for the hamper, kindly donated by Bewleys with a value of €;250, cost €;5 each, and will be available throughout the town leading up to Christmas.
Also, the club’s annual Quiz night will take place in the Soda Club on Thursday February 7th. More details to follow in the weeks ahead.
Senior Team Training takes place Every Tuesday at 7pm and Fridays at 7:30pm at the Dragon’s Den All-weather pitch. All new players are welcome.

ST. MARY’S RFC NEWS
St. Mary’s RFC will host the Annual Pat O’Doherty Memorial Match in aid of Milford Hospice at their grounds in Corbally on St. Stephen’s Day versus Limerick Leprechauns. Kick off is at I pm.
This will be the third year of the event, which so far has raised much needed funds for the hospice. This year the organisers hope to raise in the region of 10,000 euros.
The St. Mary’s selection will include current Limerick and All-Star hurlers Ollie Moran, Brian Murray and Pat Tobin.
Included in the Leprechaun side are former Internationals, Peter Clohessy. Brian Spillane and all-round sportsman Francis Brosnahan. The Leprechauns will be lead by Sonny Kiely (their current president) and will be managed by Gerry (Ginger) McLoughlin.
This is the second time that the Leprechauns have participated in this fixture and they have played a huge part in making it the success it has become. All are welcome to
come along on St. Stephen’s Day. A fun day is guaranteed for all.
CLONAKILTY RFC
Clonakilty Reach Base Camp
The light at the end of the tunnel may not be in view yet but the tunnel has been entered. The corner may not have been turned but it is in sight. Clonakilty hauled themselves three places above the dreaded drop zone with a marvellous performance last Saturday against old rivals Highfield. Who knows where this rivalry came from – although the denial of a cup medal to Justin Houlihan did not help matters but that’s another story best told by Eugene Brennan over a few pints. Whatever its genesis it seems to work for Clon as they convincingly won the derby for the second year running with a bonus point for four trys. No easy feat against a side that was looking to consolidate their top four placing.
A thumping tackle by John O’Regan left both players stretched and set the tone from the outset. The tackled player had to retire immediately but O’Regan soldiered on going to ground in play twice again before accepting he too had to leave the field to be replaced by Eoin Scannell. The intensity did not diminish for the remaining 75 minutes and Clon will be glad of the Christmas break before regrouping for the AIB All Ireland Cup clash with St. Mary’s in Dublin on Jan.5th.
The previous week Clon had approached full strength for the first time this season with Eddie Knowles making his first start, Danny Whelton, for the second year answering the call, and Alfie Harte, out through injury, coming off the bench a week earlier than the most optimistic assessment. However the good news was short lived as injured in that match was Danny Whelton and Gary Cribb and during the week Aaron Spring and John O’Donnell were added to the list with a major doubt over Shay O’Donovan.
Coach Terry Dillon was again forced to name himself on the bench. Better news was the availability of Darragh Lynch and Eoin Scannell. Lynch had been unable to line out for Clon previously due to his UL under 20s commitments and Scannell had recently returned from his travels. With O’Regan, O’Donovan and McCarthy added to the injured list the break is most welcome. Sadly for Clon they will also lose their captain Alfie Harte for a year as he sets off to conquer Australia. But what a way to bow out and he will take fond memories of his last game as he came off the bench to play a big part from the back row in this great win.
Highfield opened the scoring with a penalty after 10 mins. from Brian O’Meara following a period of well-defended pressure. David Lombard brought Clon back on terms quickly with a penalty after great work from Eddie Knowles, Joe Knowles, Mike O’Hea, Derek Dillon and Eoin Scannell. Clon continued to compete and their favourable turnover count was almost as high as the penalty count against them. One turnover gave Colin Murphy the chance to clear the lines. From the lineout they lost Paul Dillon to the sin bin and during Dillon’s absence David Lombard added a penalty (23mins) and Highfield were kept scoreless. This was a decisive period. A penalty came from a great aggressive lineout take from O’Hea. Eddie Knowles secured it at the back and Scannell took it on only to be stopped. Derek Dillon took the five-metre lineout option and again Highfield succumbed to the pressure and transgressed with Lombard converting. The strength of the huge ‘Field pack was evident with a great rolling maul that ended with a penalty against Clon for collapsing the maul. It was probably justified as there seemed no other way to stop the juggernaut. O’Meara chose to go for the lineout which was an error. Clon won against the throw and although they were muscled off their own scrum subsequently they defended brilliantly and all Highfield had to show for this period of constant attack was a five-metre scrum for a held-up decision.
The danger was turned to opportunity when John Darvil took down one of the big runners. As the ball came out from the ruck on the Clon side Eddie Knowles flashed it to the backs. Paul Dillon spotted the space behind the city backs who had all come up in a line and he chipped through them. Noel O’Sullivan was first to it and kicked on to win the race for the touch down. The conversion was unsuccessful but Clon were ahead 11 – 3. Shay O’Donovan who was a doubtful starter left the field to be replaced by Terry Dillon who went to out half with Derek Dillon returning to his accustomed berth at fullback. Clon finished the half very strongly but a number of missed opportunities were worrying.
A great lineout take from Mike O’Hea was taken on by Eddie Knowles, Colin Murphy and Terry Dillon combined to feed Lombard on the burst who found O’Hea in support. The scrum to Clon was illegally contested and Terry Dillon from 60 metres gave Clon an attacking lineout on the Highfield 22. Again O’Hea claimed and again Eddie Knowles drove on. Scannell made ground and Colin Murphy’s clever kick down the line was touched by a Highfield hand and Clon had a five-metre lineout. John McCarthy was forced to retire and Alfie Harte came on in the back row.
The lineout was secured and a series of picks and drives ensued but the final drive was held and a penalty awarded. Unfortunately for Clon the penalty was missed and the half finished with another lost opportunity as Terry Dillon collected the kick out and sent Paul Dillon on the charge. Lombard took it on and O’Hea’s support play was again in evidence but this time he took the wrong option going himself instead of perhaps getting the scoring pass to Scannell on his outside and at the break Clon were just eight points ahead.
In the second half a great break by Eddie Knowles brought play to the Highfield 22. Derek Dillon made more ground and Scannell again was on hand. The ball was lost in the tackle but the hack through was collected by Derek Dillon. Brother Paul made great ground jinking through the opposition to feed O’Sullivan. “Sully” out sprinted the cover to be faced with a final obstacle. Coolly chipping over the defender’s head his pace did the rest and although the conversion was missed it was a more comfortable 16 – 3 after three minutes of the second half.
The Maestro Terry Dillon showed why class is permanent with superb kicking often gaining 50 metres at a time. Alfie Harte was yellow carded after a touch-judge’s intervention but O’Meara’s kick is wide. The Clon scrum was a liability at this point particularly with a man down but Mike Keohane who had moved to 8 during the reshuffles was doing exceptionally well on the retreat allowing Terry Dillon to exploit his boot.
A quick throw in by Terry Dillon to Derek Dillon sets Clon running out of defence and the good work done by Darragh Lynch and Terry Dillon again is nullified when indiscipline gives away the penalty and a further 10 metres for dissent gives Highfield an easy score through O’Meara with a penalty reduces the gap to 18 – 6. Perhaps with the gap so great and an extra man the rolling lineout maul would have been a better option for Highfield.
Another incident saw Clon down to 13 men with Derek Dillon and Highfield’s John Gleeson taking a 10-minute breather. The penalty was awarded to Highfield and they went for the lineout. Once again O’Hea and his lifters were superb. Taking the ball against the throw and driving out with Terry Dillon doing the rest taking the play to midfield with his boot. The Vale Faithful erupted in ecstatic acclaim when O’Sullivan capped a fine performance with a hat trick, cheekily going over in the corner but grounding behind the posts. Lombard’s conversion a formality and Clon were home at 25 – 6. The groundwork for this try had been done by a break in midfield by Lombard with Harte supporting and his super pass to O’Sullivan put the flying winger in for his 43rd AIL try. Clon like last week were now seeking a bonus point try but unlike last week they would get it and it would be worth waiting for
An amazing break from “Big Bird” O’Hea opened the field and Clon were almost in again before Derek Dillon secured the bonus. A huge hit by Lombard forced the ball loose in the tackle outside the Clon 22 and Derek Dillon pounced. Picking on the run he sprinted to halfway where he started to doubt his legs as the cover closed. He offloaded to Darragh Lynch on the wing and when Lynch was challenged he found Dillon still with him and the perfect pass returned the favour. Somehow, somewhere Dillon found the reserves for one last burst and made the line for a remarkable score.

The incredible touchline conversion from Lombard put Clon out to 32 – 6. Highfield got a well-deserved consolation try right at the death which was converted to leave the final score 32 – 13. The squad was Shay O’Donovan, Darragh Lynch, Paul Dillon, David Lombard, Noel O’Sullivan, Derek Dillon, Colin Murphy, Eddie Knowles, Hugh O’Neill, Joe Knowles, Mike Keohane, Mike O’Hea, John O’Regan, John Darvil, John McCarthy, Eoin Murphy, Alfie Harte, Eoin Scannell, Felim O’Neill and Terry Dillon. The under 18s also had an excellent win over Cobh 22 – 3 in Cobh as did the 14s over Cork Constitution 36 – 19 but unfortunately the 16s went down narrowly 17 – 19 to Old Christians. There is only one fixture this weekend and that is an Under 18 friendly against Skibbereen in Skibb at 11.30am on Saturday. Well worth a visit.

SHANNON RFC

Andrew McNamara PRO
There’s probably no better way to get back into winning ways than an emphatic away win in the AIB league. What was asked for by the management was a backlash to counteract our unexpected defeat to St Mary’s and the players certainly delivered against a very plucky Lansdowne side. The 45-19 win was to mean reflection of the game and it was only in the last play of the game that the home side crossed our line after thoughts drifted to the Christmas night out that was to follow. It would be an injustice to Lansdowne to say that we had it all our own way; they played extremely well in the first half and on a couple of occasions were kept from scoring only by a good defence. However the damage was inflicted in a patient fashion and the moments either side of the break probably decided the outcome. After a ding song exchange of penalties, David Quinlan burrowed over in first half injury time fro the first of our five tries and when Lansdowne were reduced to fourteen men the lads punished them, and harshly at that. Two text book mauls both from lineouts had the home side in tatters and Sean Cronin and Colm Mc Mahon went over. Sean added another before Stephen capped it all off with a brilliant intercept try from halfway. Indeed had the referee not hauled him back on occasions in the first half for forward passes Stephen would no doubt have scored a few more. There were more than a few good performances on the day. Tadgh Bennett’s 20 point haul was magnificent missing only one difficult kick from eight attempts. Mushy made a welcome return and was his usual influential self while Colm Mc Mahon, playing his first senior game of the season, demonstrated that he still has so much to offer at this level, but for many Leonard Mullane was the outstanding player on view. Not in a flashy or show stopping way but he went about his business in a ruthless manner and absolutely nothing went passed him. I’m sure his watching Grandparents Frankie and Violet were immensely proud, especially when he was joined on the pitch by his younger brother Richie. It was a first ever AIB league game for the U/20 player and he acquitted himself very well for the 25 minutes he was on the pitch. It’s great to see that time and time again our U/20 players are proving that they have the ability to step up senior level. I’m not sure on this one, but I suspect it was the first tome that the impressive RDS heard the dulcet tones of Frankie belting out the Isle. A special mention to our loyal support that braved the harsh wintry elements. It’s a support always greatly appreciated by the players. It was a great way to round off our 2007 AIB run and lying just a point behind leaders Cork Con we are set up nicely for the run in. However it’s not the end of our rugby for 2007; the Munster Senior cup final takes place on the 29th of December and a win in that would certainly bring the Festive Cheer. Highfield are the opposition and while most would see us as favourites going into the game, no one amongst the senior side will take anything for granted. Probably more than any team we will play, Highfield will have an in-depth knowledge of the way we tick with Geoff Moylan and Ducky Brennan at the helm. Geoff’s three year stint as our senior coach brought about two All Ireland league titles, three Munster senior cups, a three Munster senior league’s, so he knows well what it takes to win trophies and there’s no doubt he will have instilled some of this in his Highfield players. Highfield will come out all guns blazing and we are certainly expecting a tough game. A supporters coach is leaving Thomond Park at 11am for the game and Tadhg Crowe can be contacted on 087-6524958.
The thirds have one more friendly game before the new year when they play St. Mary’s this Saturday in Coonagh at 1pm and at underage the U/14’s play Richmond and the U/13’s play Clanwilliam on Sunday. Both games in Coonagh.
The first of our new Lotto draws will take place on the 3rd of January and we would hope that everyone will support this endeavour.
And so ends our final Club Notes of 2007. 2008 Will be an exciting time both on and off the field. Two developments, in Coonagh and Thomond Park, subject to planning, will see the club expand and maintain our status as one of the most progressive clubs in the country. On the field we have much to look forward to at all levels. So for now I take this opportunity to wish all our members, player and supporters a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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