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Club News Weekending November 18th 2007

12th November 2007 By Munster Rugby

Read this week’s club news resports from around the province

CLONAKILTY RFC

Clon Slump Continues

The worst run since season 98/99 has Clon reeling. Nearly a decade of success is forgotten as the West Cork club look to break out of the spiral that has them perilously positioned in one of the relegation places in Division Two of The AIB All Ireland League. There is plenty of time and opportunities yet with 12 games to play but injuries, retirements and transfers have hurt Clon badly this season. They could do without the visit of Belfast Harlequins to The Vale this weekend as they strive to put a team together to start the recovery.

There are no easy games in the division and the toughest will be against the other relegation candidates fighting for Div 2 survival. Quins are not one of these as they are comfortably in the top end of the table but they will provide a formidable obstacle. They have won three of their last five AIL games while Clon have lost four and drawn one. Home advantage and pride may help as Clon have won three of their last five home games but Quins have an impressive array of players. In their match against Dublin University two weeks ago they fielded one Irish international and ten Ulster interprovincials! Will Clons 80% record against Ulster clubs hold?

Clonakilty’s 100th AIL game was not the celebration it should have been as they went down to De La Salle Palmerston in Dublin last Saturday by 41 – 17. Clon had comfortably beaten this side last year but were unable to raise their game in a second half that saw the Dubliners get a bonus point and Clon leaking six trys for the second successive week.

The visitors conceded a soft try from the kick off and another within ten minutes had the travelling support dreading the next 70 mins. Both trys were converted for a 14 – 0 lead. Clon struck back with a try from Derek Dillon converted by Gary Cribb but the joy was short-lived when DLSP made it 21 – 7 with another converted try. A try from Mike Keohane and a conversion and penalty by Cribb narrowed the gap to four points at the interval and hopes of a win were nurtured especially as Noel O’Sullivan looked very dangerous.

Injuries, however, to Joe Knowles, David Lombard, Colin Murphy and Hugh O’Neill left a squad forced to field without Eddie Knowles, Alfie Harte and John Darvill through injury, Paul Dillon, suspension and Eoin Scannell, unavailable, too much to do with inevitable results. DLSP made full use of the opportunity to take five points and lift themselves into the top four play-off positions.

One pleasant fact to report was the appearance of Ray Coppinger. Ray answered the call yet again, as he has done in each of the preceding two seasons when Clon were in trouble from injuries, to fly in from England to play. He has now appeared at least once in each of Clon’s seven AIL seasons and ranks 16th out of 79 in overall appearances. The squad was John O’Donnell, Shay O’Donovan, David Lombard, Derek Dillon, Noel O’Sullivan, Gary Cribb, Colin Murphy, Eoin Murphy, Hugh O’Neill, Joe Knowles, Mike O’Hea, John McCarthy, John O’Regan, Aaron Spring, Mike Keohane, Peter Stoutt, Ray Coppinger, Michael Peter O’Regan and Matt Kirby.

The Bulldogs also went down in Bandon 15 – 10 in an excellent game. Clon had opportunities to win but in the main Bandon deserved their win by virtue of the containment job they did on the visitors. The 16s lost to Kinsale also by five points but the 18s and 14s got something for Clon out of the weekend. The 18s beat Old Christians 36 – 7 and the 14s exacted some revenge beating Bandon 45 – 7.

This Weekend’s Fixtures:
Sat 17th Seniors All Ireland League Belfast Harlequins The Vale 2.30pm
Under 16s League Mallow Mallow 11.30am

DON’T FORGET DECEMBER 20th THE NIGHT AT THE DOGS!

Loose Head

SHANNON RFC
Andrew McNamara PRO

Another Local AIB league encounter and another win notched up. It was far from a classic free flowing game of rugby, but our victory over UL/Bohs was enough entertainment in itself for our supporters. A hard fought and tense game was the offering of the day and despite the 16-6 final score, we could never rest easy. UL/Bohs are a fine side with plenty of adventure and enterprise and they were well capable of coming from behind if the lad’s concentration slipped at any stage. But it didn’t and a composed and mature performance is probably how best to describe the game plan deployed for the day. A very good first half was rounded off exquisitely when Stephen Kelly scorched over for a try in injury time which was added to by Andrew Thompson to give us a 13-3 lead at the interval. Despite having the upper hand we could add only a Tadgh Bennett drop goal in the second half, but it was enough. Mossy Lawlor made a very welcome return after a lengthy spell on the treatment table and was his usual dynamic self. Another to make a return from injury was Donnacha Ryan who came off the bench in the second half. Neil Ronan has fitted extremely well into the club and his commanding performance earned him the AIB man of the match. It was a good win but realistically it’s only part three of a fifteen match programme, which continues this Saturday when we travel to Clontarf. A supporters coach will be heading to Clontarf leaving Thomond Park at 9.30 and any wishing to avail of the €10 fare can contact Tadhg Crowe on 087 6524958.
The seconds bounced back with a 36-8 victory over Highfield after defeat last week in the Munster league. It was as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests and even allowing for the quality of the opposition, it was an excellent performance. Among the try scores was Colm McMahon who crossed twice. The seconds have no game this weekend. The U/20’s had to reverse a six nil deficit at half time in order to beat Garryowen in the AIL despite having plenty of try scoring opportunities throughout the first half. The second half was, however a different story. Keith Ellis crossed early and then Martin Stanten came up with the ball after his forward colleagues created the opportunity. It was a just reward for an excellent game from Martin. By this stage the lads were in control throughout the field and a bonus point was their aim. It came when Darren Horan crossed fro his second try of the game and that was the result well and truly beyond doubt. The game finished 32 -6 in our favour. It’s a big game this Saturday for the lads when they face Young Munster in Coonagh at 2.30. I would urge anyone who isn’t going to Dublin to get out to Coonagh to support the lads.
The thirds played and beat Old Crescent by 26-20 in a friendly last Saturday. William Dalton scored his first try for Shannon after 5 years, but in fairness he hadn’t being playing rugby in those years. It’s great to see a former underage players back playing rugby and another of those is Dave Brouder who also scored a try. Another friendly for the thirds this week sees them travel to St. Senan’s in Shannon at 12.30.
The U/18’s had a great win over Garryowen by 29-10 while the U/13’s helped themselves to four tries in a 24-0 victory over UL/Bohs. First on the score sheet was winger Evan Fitzgerald who touched down after 5 minutes and then Greg O’Shea went under the posts. Mark Mc Kenna’s conversion made it 12 nil at half time and with Jack Dineen crossing and another by Greg O’Shea it made for a comprehensive win and performance from the lads.
Finally an EGM has been called for the club members in order to discuss the executive committee’s proposals for the redevelopment of our Clubhouse in Thomond Park. All members are invited to attend the Woodfield House Hotel on Thursday 29th of November at 8pm.

ST. SENAN’S RFC
Val Bynres PRO

Senan’s Back on Winning Form
Munster Junior League- Sun. 11th November 2007

St. Senan’s 22 – 6 Mallow

A very good game was had in Jimmy Slattery Park on Sunday 11th Nov. as Senan’s played host to Mallow in the Heineken Munster Junior League. Twenty mins. into the game with immense pressure from the pack Tony O’Brien went over the line to give the Saints their first of four tries on the day, which secured a bonus point for the Saints. 30 mins. into the game Dylan Sonnerman got his first of 2 tries with his second coming with only 5 mins left to play. Warren Kelly got the 4th try for Senan’s, and the one conversion coming from Pat Dineen. Mallow’s only scores on the day coming from 2 penalties. It was a good overall performance by Senan’s, which showed in no tries being conceded. Impressive for Senan’s on the day were Aidan O’Callaghan, Dylan Sonnerman, and Tony O’Brien. Final Score St. Senan’s 22 – 6 Mallow.

St.Senan’s: D.Dunne, W.Kelly, B.Collins, C.Sloane, D.Sonnerman, N.Hoban, P.Dinneen, S.Ryan, A.Skerrit, D.Horkin, A.O.Callaghan, D.Fitzgerald, T.O.Brien, F.Lawlor, D.Lee.
Subs: G.Mc.Namara for B Collins, R Mulcahy for A.O.Callaghan, D.Collins for C.Sloane.

Senan’s next game is home to Abbeyfeale on Sun.25th.Nov. and all support is welcome.

Gleeson League- Sat. 10th Nov.
St. Senan’s 7 – 5 St. Marys

Senan’s had a good win over St Mary’s with the try coming from Dan Mulcahy and converted by Gerald McNamara. Senan’s Second teams next game is a friendly against Shannon at home on Sat. 17th Nov. and kick off there is at 12.30pm
Again all support is welcome.

Club Lotto
Jackpot- €7900- No Winner
No’s 7, 12, 23, 27.
Lucky Dip- Anne Casey, Ger Fogarty, Kilo, John Spillane, Mick Russell.

OLD CRESCENT RFC
Pat Rickard PRO

A disappointing week on the playing fields!!

Our 1st XV continued their AIL programme on Saturday when they hosted Buccaneers at Rosbrien. Like the previous week our first half performance was less than satisfactory with some defensive errors being punished by the visitors who took a 17 point lead into the interval. Our cause was not help by the early departure from the field of Lemeki Viapula with a nasty knee injury. We wish him a speedy recovery. Again we hoped for another epic second half display but despite scoring three tries through Billy Leahy, Sean Barry and Ian Guilfoyle and a penalty goal from Gareth James, Buccaneers did just about enough to hold on to the lead and four precious points with a converted try late in the game on a final score of 24 points to 18. The losing bonus point was scant reward for our efforts but we will need to raise the intensity of our performance this weekend when we travel to Dublin on Saturday to play Wanderers. The 3rd XV played Shannon in a friendly on Saturday at Crescent College and despite losing by 4 points, 24-20, it was a worthwhile exercise with a number of fringe players getting some well earned game time. The under 20s AIL fixture against Clonmel last Saturday was postponed and this weekend they travel to Newcastle West on Saturday at 2.30pm in the AIL South Western Conference.
On the under age front there was a lot of action on Sunday last. The under 18’s hosted St. Mary’s in the under 18 league and despite missing a large number of players put in a brave performance going down by 14 points to nil. The under 13’s hosted Thomond and were unlucky to be beaten by 5 points to nil. The under 10’s travelled to Thomond to take part in a club day and our three sides did the club proud.
The club is holding an EGM on Monday December 3rd at 8pm in the clubhouse and we ask as many members as possible to attend.
Finally this week we wish the Munster team the best of luck on Sunday when they return to Thomond Park to play Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup.

KILLORGLIN RFC
Aidan Clifford PRO

Killorglin Rugby Club seniors travelled to Carrick on Suir on Sunday last for their Munster Junior League Division 3 clash. Carrick on Suir started the better side, as they caught Killorglin napping, and scored two tries in the opening 7 minutes. Killorglin were then facing an uphill battle form 14 points behind. Killorglin improved dramatically, scoring two tries, one from scrum half David Coffey and one from full back Brian Gannon. Gannon converted both tries and added a penalty. However, having conceded two more tries, Killorglin’s efforts were in vain, and will be unhappy at their poor start that proved costly. Final score was Carrick on Suir 28 – 17 Killorglin
Killorglin Team:- 1 KJ Daly (c), 2 D Flynn, 3 J O’Sullivan, 4 C Conway, 5 C Stephens, 6 S Joy, 7 T Healy, 8 R Kelliher, 9 D Coffey, 10 T West, 11 J Riordan, 12 A O’Reilly, 13 T West, 14 V O’Callaghan, 15 B Gannon.
In Juvenile Rugby, Killorglin had a mixed weekend. The Under 14s and Under 18s were both home to Tralee on Saturday. The Under 14s were well beaten by their counterparts from Tralee, where a significant size difference between the teams proved effective. They lost the game 43-0 but will feel they were better than the final score showed. The Under 18 team had better fortunes. They recovered from conceding an early try to come back and win the game 17-5, with tries coming from Chris O’Sullivan, David O’Sullivan, and Barry Sheehan.
Fixtures:- Next Sunday, Killorglin Seniors host Galbally, where they will hope to return to winning ways again. Kick-off is at 2:30 at the Community College, Langford St. The Under 13s and 16s travel to Tralee on Saturday. Also on Saturday morning. The Under 10 and 12 teams play host to Killarney at the Community College, Langford St.
Senior Team training takes place every Tuesday at 7pm and Friday at 7:30, at the Dragon’s Den All-weather pitch on Iveragh Road. New faces are always welcome and the club is happy to introduce new players to the game of rugby.

CARRICK ON SUIR RFC
Collie Bartley PRO

Carrick take all five points for third time this season

Four tries, an 11 point win and another step on the road to Carrick’s ultimate aim of promotion. The team could do no more and this Killorglin team meant business, Carrick worked hard for this win. For the first time this season Carrick actually came out of the blocks quickly, there was an urgency about the play. The pack were lively taking on ball and driving into the heart of Killorglin. The rucking was fierce, the ball back was quick and the backs were running their great patterns again. JP Wallace got in for the first try after five minutes. It was just what was needed and showed what happens on the training pitch can be transferred to the field. Minutes later, James Wallace crossed from a nice break in the centre, the pressure being exerted on Killorglin’s pack made this try. Carrick had gotten a 14 point lead and felt comfortable. What came next was unexpected and caught Carrick cold. Killorglin got a break and got into Carrick territory. They really didn’t want to relinquish their hold and kept the pressure on for 15 minutes.
Carrick could not get their hands on the ball and had to defend for their lives. Some massive hits were put in and the ball was agonisingly close to the Carrick line at times.
Carrick were disciplined also but the pressure was telling. Eventually a penalty was given to Killorglin, bemused players questioned the referee, the Killorglin scrum half tapped and went from just ten yards out. Sleeping maybe but Killorglin scored. 14-7.
There is only one response to that and that is to score straight away. That’s what Carrick did. From the drop out they turned over Killorglin ball, Shane O’Keeffe was nearly in one corner, felled just shy of the line. Carrick got the ball again, moved it across the line after a couple of phases and found centre Eddie O’Donnell on the wing. Eddie flew down the line and made a spectacular dive to get in over the corner. It wasn’t until after he scored the team realised he pulled his hamstring and had to dive in as he couldn’t run on his leg. Outhalf Iain Hilliard kicked a beauty of a conversion from the sideline. Carrick went in 21-7 at half time. Pressure was telling and even after scoring three tries in the first half, it appeared the players were a bit down with themselves. It told a bit in the second half as the game never really got going. It was hard to clean ball and Carrick realised that Killorglin were a very good team. Momentum was hard to get but Carrick forced the issue and got going forward through the likes of James Heffernan, Eddie Barry, John O’Keeffe and Evan Stanley all showing for the ball.
Eventually Carrick worked a good position in the 22, some quick ball provided by the pack and snapped out by Emmet Lonergan saw Noel Phelan breaking through Killorglin’s drift an going under the posts. Iain Hilliard converted. From there the two teams slugged it out. Killorglin got a penalty and a try and pushed hard putting Carrick’s defence under serious pressure using the width of the field to move our pack.
Killorglin hadn’t reckoned on Carrick’s fitness as they had the answer and guile to deal with this. The game sort of ended, no fanfare, no tension, just over. A game a year ago Carrick would have easily lost, on Sunday they won with a bonus point, no more can be achieved, five points, four tries and a win. You can’t do any better. The team were flat out and could have given no more, although all the tries came from the backs, the forward display was excellent, the scrum was more than solid and had Killorglin in all types of bother all day, the mauls always made ground and the rucking efficient and brisk.
Training is still on Wednesday’s and Friday’s at 7:30 and the next couple of weeks could be crucial to the season. Carrick’s hopes of promotion are still there and that is all we asked at the start of the season. Four wins out of five, and one losing bonus point I’m sure all the players and members would have taken that at the start of the season.
Team:
J Heffernan, W Stokes (C), A Murray, B Phelan (E Barry 30 mins), E Stanley (S Fitzpatrick 70 mins), P Lanigan, J Walsh (B Slattery 75 mins), J O’Keeffe, E Lonergan, I Hilliard, J Wallace, E O’ Donnell (N Phelan 35), S O’Keeffe, R Murphy, JP Wallace SUBS: R Gough, S Murray, P O’Loughlin


CLONMEL RFC
Majella Ryan PRO

Clonmel Citadel Remains Intact

Clonmel 21-11 Bandon

Let’s face it – nobody, even the referee, knows what really goes on in that dark vortex known as the scrum once they "engage. After he takes the "hit", a prop takes over two tonnes of pressure through his back during the duration of the scrum. No place for shrinking violets and there were none present last Sunday when Clonmel faced Bandon in this critical league match at Ardgeeha. Bandon had arrived on the back of three victories out of four outings to meet the unbeaten Clonmel. Both sides were aware that a loss would be catastrophic. It was tough out there – the great home crowd weren’t spared either – the tension was almost unbearable at times. There must be an easier way to spend Sunday afternoon. Clonmel kicked off on another perfect afternoon, but the ball was collected by Bandon’s No.4 who charged his way right up to Clonmel’s "22", from the ruck they swung it left and only a knock-on prevented a try in the corner. A lucky escape for Clonmel, but Bandon were playing with ferocious pace and subjected the home side, who looked slightly off the pace, to ten minutes of real pressure. Finally, Clonmel pushed Bandon off their own ball, the ball was hacked down field and Clonmel made their first visit to the opposing "22". A good run down the right by Joyce brought play into Bandon’s corner and they infringed to give Morgan Lyons a penalty chance which he converted on 13 minutes to put Clonmel 3-0 ahead. It was only at that stage that Clonmel achieved parity with the visitors, who looked like a well-balanced team. Clonmel’s upsurge was inspired by scrumhalf John Long whose feisty display throughout was a constant thorn in Bandon’s side. Clonmel stayed in Bandon’s half and when they got another penalty on 18 minutes they opted to kick into the corner. From the lineout they got a well-controlled maul going to put John Stokes over for the try. 8-0 to Clonmel. Clonmel now had a period of superiority and another big forwards drive on 24 minutes provided another penalty chance which Lyons converted to put Clonmel 11-0 ahead. But Bandon hit back at every opportunity, with their backs only being held up by great defensive work by Dave Harney and Niall Grogan. There was nothing in this, it was nail-biting stuff. The game swept up and down the field at terrific pace and any lapse in concentration would be quickly punished. On 37 minutes Clonmel were back in Bandon’s half and their pressure coughed up the penalty but Lyons’ kick was just wide. Then, as half-time beckoned, Clonmel had the chance to do serious damage when Brian Lonergan broke down the right but his reverse pass brought Joyce inside when a straight run to the corner would surely have produced the score to put Bandon’s heads down. It was not to be – half-time – 11-0 – would it be enough?

Clonmel re-started brightly but then a series of knock-ons got Bandon back on the front foot and they were then to subject the home side to enormous pressure. The pressure told on 9 minutes when a Bandon penalty was converted to open their account. 11-3. The visitors now smelt blood and again forced Clonmel back – I don’t know what the tackle count was but Clonmel’s forwards to a man stood up and were counted. But the crack came on 12 minutes. Bandon were deep in Clonmel’s right corner – a quick transfer to the right gave them the numbers out wide and they went over in Clonmel’s left corner. 11-8. Captain John Long marshalled his troops under the posts and left nobody in doubt as to what was required. Hearts, on and off the pitch, were pounding. Just when we were considering impending doom, Clonmel responded. From the drop-off they drove at Bandon and blocked down two attempted clearances – from loose play the ball came to Lyons and his beautifully-weighted pass opened the Bandon defence to let Niall Grogan run to the posts. 16-8. Lyons’ own conversion put Clonmel 18-8 ahead on 16 minutes. Game over? No way – lots of time left – now Bandon mounted their most concerted onslaught of the afternoon, their Kiwi outhalf danced through his repertoire, waves of attacks came at Clonmel, but the home defence was inspired. In particular the Clonmel pack were warriors to a man – tackle after tackle after tackle – I was reminded of Myles na gCopaleen’s description of epic hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill, but back to the match. It was fingers in the dam all over the place. Clonmel somehow held out Bandon until the 37th minute when they got a penalty to reduce the margin to 18-11. Still just a converted try in it – that fancy new scoreboard can be a pain – the time moves so slowly. Somehow Clonmel got back up the field and the first bit of pressure on Bandon in quite a while produced the penalty and Lyons converted on 39 minutes to put Clonmel 21-11 ahead. The insurance score left Bandon without the bonus point. There is no room for sentiment at this level. The final whistle brought a heart-stopping game to a finale and kept Clonmel on top of the league – a time to savour. The break next Sunday will be most welcome and when hostilities recommence on Sunday week at home to Cashel, Clonmel will hopefully have everybody back fit and well. Thanks again to the home crowd – you were a big factor in this victory – we need you every Sunday from now on.

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