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Club News Weekending Sunday 13th January 2008

7th January 2008 By Munster Rugby

The latest club news from around the province.

KILLORGLIN RFC
Aidan Clifford PRO

Killorglin Rugby Club’s annual Quiz night will take place in the Soda Club on Thursday February 7th at 8pm. Teams of four cost €40 and all are welcome.
The club’s Senior team were due to play St Mary’s in Limerick on Sunday last but, alas, Mother Nature thought differently and the game was cancelled due to unplayable pitch.
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.

SHANNON RFC
Andrew McNamara PRO

For the second week in succession success greeted Shannon in Cork with both the seniors and seconds winning at different venues on different days with varying performances and with players common to both days.

The variety in the seniors win over UCC in the AIB Cup game in the guise of sporadic spells of excellence added to some nervous periods during which the students were serious contenders to take the spoils.

After a patchy opening 15 minutes when we were fortunate to be six points to the good thanks to Andrew Thompson, we took a different approach and began to sustain some fantastic rugby. The ball was spread with a distinct purpose and the enterprise was rewarded when Mossy Lawlor benefited from some exquisite handling skills from almost the entire team and crossed for his first try. That was soon added to when he chipped UCC’s fullback perfectly and got a favourable bounce. At 20 nil up it seemed that we has the game in total control , but then an introverted spell followed and we allowed the students back into the game with 10 points before the half time whistle. The purple patch for the home side continued and our own anxieties perpetuated after the break and UCC gained parity, but not after we had a few opportunities of our own scuppered. Beneath the anxious exterior however, it always looked as if the lads could up the pace and tempo and that they did. Eoghan Grace came off the bench and made a big impact and contributed handsomely to David Quinlan’s David Quinlan’s entire important try. It gave some breathing space, but the students never gave up and we were forced to hold our line once or twice, before we sealed the deal when Stephen Kelly romped over in the last play of the game. 34-20 was the final score, but the lads know themselves that they need to sustain the periods of dominance they showed in this game, especially as we’re back in AIB League action this week and for the next three weeks. And there’s no better way to test the voracity of their league ambitions when leaders Cork Con visit Coonagh this Saturday who will no doubt be out to avenge our cup semi final victory over them. It should be a cracker from two clubs whose consistency in the league is second to none. 2.30 is kick off time. Our reward for our victory in the Cup is yet another away tie with winners of the postponed St Mary’s and Clonakilty game.

Sunday brought another victory in Cork with the seconds putting on a fantastic show when they beat Cork Con in the league. For differing reasons the seconds hadn’t played a game for seven weeks prior to Sunday and it showed in the opening 30 minutes as Con had us pinned in our ’22 for lengthy periods. The less than ideal weather conditions did contribute the tough opening but our defensive line held perfectly and all Cons had to show for their dominance was a single penalty. We began to come into the game as the half wore on and we gained inroads into Cons territory with a few players showing their ability. Again Eoghan Grace was immense while John Clogan was as strong in attack was he was in defence. The second half was an almost mirror image of the first with our lads almost exclusively present in Cons ’22. The slippery conditions meant that scoring opportunities were kept to a minimum, but eventually all that dominance paid rich dividends when John Clogan took a neat line and went over for a richly deserved try. From that position of leading the lads never looked like relinquishing it and Con never really threatened our line. The result was sealed at the death when once again John Clogan scored a try after some bizarre events, but a try is a try and it was the clincher after a very satisfying performance. The junior cup is only week away and the lads are heading towards it in good shape. This Sunday they play a friendly against Old Crescent in Rosbrien at 1pm.

The Thirds beat UL/Bohs convincingly when they resumed the Gleeson league. Although they can’t win the competition they put in a fantastic performance scoring four excellent tries. Mike Goode crossed twice while Ger Ryan and Pat Quinn bagged one each.

The under 18’s resumed their league with a very tough league match against Young Munster. The match was played on a very heavy and sticky pitch and great credit is due to both sides for serving up a really exciting game of rugby. The Lads were forced to defend early on but they held their line very well and denied the home side a try, but did conceded a penalty. It was a score that spurred the lads and the forwards got stuck in and mauled the Munster’s pack back over 30 meters, good hands were then shown and it resulted with Martin Casey going over for our first try. The second half started in the same fashion with having to repel heavy pressure on the line from Munster’s. Great forward mauling resulted in a turnover and the siege was lifted. The Shannon side then took control of the game and it resulted in a great forwards try scored by Gordon Britchfield, converted by Luke O’Dea. The score stayed at 12-3 until the final whistle. It was a great team performance with the full squad contributing to a very satisfying result.

They travel to Newcastlewest that Sunday for an 11.30 kick-off.

Elsewhere the U14’s beat Old Crescent. Other underage fixtures this weekend sees the U/13’s play Bruff in the league at 11.30 while the U/16’s play Garryowen at 11am. Both games are on in Coonagh.


UL Bohemian RFC
Denis Ryan PRO

Ian Costello used the AIB Cup game against UCD to try some new combinations, and welcome back some players who had been out of action due to injury. The pack showed five changes from the side which played in the last AIL game, while U-20 centre Murray Kinsella was given an opportunity to learn from the young but experienced Barry Murphy. The lack of game time together showed in the early stages as UCD, like many other opponents, benefited from an intercept try and went into a 17-0 lead after just 15 minutes. An injury to Ryan Hartigan further disrupted proceedings, but UL Bohs gradually settled down, and despite playing into a very strong wind hit back with an excellent try from James O’Neill in the left corner. Fergal Lawlor missed the difficult conversion, but made no mistake with a penalty shortly after. UCD hit back with a good converted try as a result of slack defence but UL Bohs then scored the try of the match. Fergal Lawlor made a clever break from outside his ’22’, Barry Murphy took it on with a weaving run, and when tackled just short of the line, delivered a beautiful pop up pass to the supporting Ian Hanley for the winger to run around behind the post for the converted try. Although down 22-15 at the break, the visitors felt the game was there to be won with the assistance of the strong wind. However, the home side made good use of their heavyweight pack and by denying UL Bohs possession maintained pressure. This finally resulted in another good try in the corner. A number of changes were made, and outhalf Paul Warwick, delighted to get some game time, looked to have touched down from a kick over the line. However, in the absence of video evidence, the ref gave a drop out. Further UL Bohs pressure then saw Mike Long get in at left corner, and Paul Warwick put over a great conversion to leave the game in the balance, but the home team held out in the end. The game saw John Ed O’Connor and James O’Neill make a welcome return to action before the resumption of the AIL next Saturday. Unfortunately, Kieran Essex, who had such an influential game in the league win over Dolphin, was injured at Irish U-21 training, so must be doubtful for the game in Dungannon. There are still some seats available on Mick Goggin’s coach for supporters, which will leave Friday afternoon.
The u-20s had a solid 17-10 victory over Galwegians in Annacotty, scoring 3 excellent tries in the process. Try scorers were Giles Boland, Dave Moloney and Phil Gardiner, with Myles O’Riordan adding a conversion.
Ken Rennison, his management team and club supporters, celebrated the retention of the Munster Senior Seconds League and another unbeaten campaign by taking on Highfield in a friendly in Annacotty. The pitch was in fine shape despite the recent weather, and both sides produced very attractive rugby with play moving from end to end. The home side just got out on top at the final whistle by 8-3 thanks to a try and penalty from Aidan McNulty. This Sunday the Munster Junior Cup commences with a game against St Senan’s, so Rennie and Co are looking for all available support.

CLONMEL RFC
Majella Ryan PRO

Clonmel’s Graph Goes North!

Boyne 14 Clonmel 32

Being one of the teams to represent Munster in the All-Ireland Junior Cup brings an added pride and the rather raucous rendition of "Slievenamon" by the victorious Clonmel dressing-room at the end of this game reflected that pride and provided one of those special moments which those involved in team sports enjoy from time to time if they are lucky. On the long drive to Drogheda we wondered if the team could bounce back from the (still baffling) cup defeat of the previous Sunday or would they suffer from that hangover. We need not have worried – they gave the travelling support who braved the artic conditions plenty to cheer about.

Clonmel faced into an icy wind as Boyne kicked off and failure to handle the drop-off had the visitors in instant trouble. The knock-on led to a Boyne scrum from which they drove over in the left corner. The conversion left Clonmel 7-0 adrift with only 2 minutes on the clock. Some start. Clonmel now got switched on and worked their way back into this game and despite the wind they progressed to the Boyne "22" on a couple of occasions. It was already apparent that the Clonmel pack were back on song and were more than a match for the home side. On 17 minutes Clonmel kicked a penalty into Boyne’s left corner and from the lineout drove them back to allow John Long to touch down under the posts. Morgan Lyons added the conversion to level the scores at 7-7. While Boyne were able to kick for position down the field, Clonmel, with their back-row of Crosse, Melbourne and Leahy in marauding form, were quite willing to take it back up. On 20 minutes Clonmel won possession in midfield and Tommy Barry burnt off the Boyne defence with a great run which brought him almost to the line. He was stopped just short but David Joyce was on hand to collect and go over on Boyne’s left side. The wind beat the conversion attempt to leave Clonmel 12-7 in front.

But only minutes later Clonmel’s great work was undone by indecision in midfield which lost the ball to Boyne. They immediately transferred it right and their fullback was allowed a 30-metre run into the corner. A gifted try now left Clonmel trailing 14-12 on 30 minutes. But Clonmel, with captain John Long and Phil Corby leading by example, got back to work and again drove Boyne deep into their own half. Another penalty on 37 minutes allowed Clonmel to apply the "Munster Recipe" – kick into corner, drive from the lineout which Boyne had no answer for and Brendan Mullan was on the bottom of the pile which crashed over to bring Clonmel into a 17-14 lead. Lyons’ boot extended it to 19-14 as half-time was whistled.

The re-start had Boyne immediately under pressure. Forwards John Stokes and Paul McCarthy were always involved while the midfield of Barry and Grogan kept the Boyne defence honest. But while Clonmel had played excellent rugby in the first half, scoring three tries into the wind, they now seemed to drop the tempo and assumed the wind would win the game for them. They were still on top but quicker phases and a more clinical attitude would have put this game quickly out of sight. Only some careless passing preserved Boyne’s line but it came right on 25 minutes – a good forwards / backs combination brought the play centrally on Boynes"22" and a great burst by Niall Grogan brought him all the way under the posts. Lyons’ kick now put Clonmel 26-14 ahead. Moments later a similar scenario beckoned for John Stokes but while he had the try scored in his head the veteran legs just wouldn’t get him there.

Boyne now found it almost impossible to get out of their half and on 35 minutes yet another penalty (Clonmel were awarded 15 penalties in this game and yet no card was produced!) allowed Lyons to increase the margin to 29-14. John Kelly, Mark Normile and Stephen Pyke had by now taken the field and had further increased pressure on Boyne. Another penalty on 38 minutes allowed Lyons to kick Clonmel into a 32-14 lead and a very satisfying result. It shook off the depression of the previous week and lined up a home fixture against Westport in the last eight of this national competition. Regardless of how it goes from here this campaign will bring new experiences to Clonmel which can only be of benefit. Before that of course there is the matter of a home tie against Mallow next Sunday as Clonmel opens its Munster Junior Cup campaign. Meanwhile, the league fixtures last weekend strengthen my conviction that the league will go down to the last day. It ain’t over yet – the Fat Lady hasn’t even warmed up.

GREAT START IN 2008 FOR CLONMEL U14’s

Clonmel played their first game of the new year at home to Clanwilliam on Sunday in the East-Munster League. Little or no training over the last couple of weeks and straight into a tough league game was going to ask a lot of questions about this squad. The game began with Clonmel receiving the kick-off, eventually gathering the ball and going forward into Clan’s half where we spent most of the first half except for two periods when Clan attacked well and had us defending our line. Excellent tackling across the line and a relieving kick saw us clear up field and on the attack from which Brendan Lalor crashed over the line out wide. Chris Browne got the two points with a lovely conversion. Soon after, Brian Condon outran the Clan defence to touch down under the posts and an easier two points for Chris. Half-time was blown and the team took on water and air and set about the second half with much more intent and focus. This team play had Clan under the cosh and lovely handling by the back line led to Adam O’Dwyer touching down for a great try, again converted by Chris. The pack had the game by the scruff of the neck now and mauled Clan 20m down field. Quick ball saw Brian Condon touch down, again converted by Chris. From the restart we attacked again and a lovely inside line by Adam O’Dwyer gave him the space to score his second with Chris kicking this fifth conversion; 5 out of 5. Our pack were in control and kept Clan back in their own 22 for the remainder of the game and scored a try all of their own making. The pack mauled for all of 25m and then drove for the line with Paudge Keating scoring the try. A great forwards’ score and well deserved. Overall Clonmel played some lovely rugby but were a little rusty in places after the Christmas break. More regular training will bring out the best in this young squad. Training 10.30 a.m. on Saturday.

Squad: M. Hackett, S. Dooley, S. Twoomey, A. Quinlivan, C. Delahunty, D. Hoyne, F. Duff-White, D. O’Callaghan, P. Keating, D. Foley, C. Mackey, C. Guilfoyle, B. Lalor. K. Guidera, D. Cass, C. Browne, B. Condon, S. O’Donoghue, A. O’Dwyer, L. O’Neill, A. Butler, N. Butler

Women’s XV
The ladies get back to work this Sunday playing Nenagh at home in the first round of the Munster Provincial Cup.

OLD CRESCENT RFC

Pat Rickard PRO

Happy New year to all our members and supporters!!!
The holiday period was a quiet one with only two games played. On St.Stephen’s Day the annual Kelly Cup fixture took place in Tom Clifford Park between the club & Young Munster. A side representing all the adult teams in the club and the under 20s took the field and but in an excellent performance in the difficult conditions. The cup made it way down the road to Greenfields for the season on an 11-10 scoreline but it was a very beneficial exercise and a very important part of the rugby calendar.
The only other side in action were the under 20s who hosted Clanwilliam in a critical AIL encounter for both sides. Playing with the conditions in the first half our side built up an 11 point lead but the question at the interval was would it be enough. Our young side answered the questions with a determined and organised defensive display in the 2nd half conceding only 5 points in the second half to take the match and the points by 11 points to 5. This was the third victory in a row for the under 20s and with 4 games remaining in the league are very much in contention for promotion back to Division 1.
Great credit is due to Joe Nix, Michael Murphy, Gerry Reynolds, Tom Browne and Dave Nolan for their work in getting the side to this point and we thank them for their efforts and wish them and the team the best of luck in the remainder of their season. They play Clonmel on Saturday in Rosbrien at 2.30pm in the AIL.
This weekend our 1st XV return to competitive action with a trip to Belfast to play Belfast Harlequins on Saturday in the AIL. Given our current position in the table all games are cup finals between now and the end of the season. The 2nd XV host Shannon in a friendly at 1pm on Sunday and the 3rd XV host UL Bohs in a friendly on Saturday at 1pm.
In under age rugby there is a full return to training on Sunday weather permitting. The under 14s host Garryowen in the league and the under 16 host Shannon with both games scheduled for 11.30am. The under
12 travel to Abbeyfeale for a blitz on Sunday and they are current holding a raffle to fund raise for their tour at Easter.The prize is 2 tickets for the Heineken Cup match vs Wasps on January 19th and raffle tickets can be obtained for any member of the under 12s.
Finally this week the club would like to wish the Munster team the best of luck in their important Heineken Cup game on Sunday in France.

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