Provincial Rugby Roundup
19th February 2023 By Leonard Allen
The main challengers to Richmond in Section A of the Munster Junior-League all lost ground on the leaders, while the battle at the other end of the table to avoid Division 2 rugby next season intensifies.
Second-placed Bandon have slipped to fourth place, following their 16-7 home defeat by local neighbours Clonakilty. Sean Madden scored Clonakilty’s try, and Eoghan Downey converted and added three penalties, Sean Galvin replied with a try for the home side and Ben Ridgeway converted.
Newcastle West defeated Skibbereen 15-14 at the West Cork venue with two tries from Evan Donovan and one by Michael Bourke to move into second place but six points behind leaders Richmond, with three games remaining. David Shannon and Lorcan Carey replied with tries for Skibbereen, and both were converted by Shannon.
Both the Old Christians v Richmond, and Clanwilliam v Thurles ties were postponed due to bereavements in both Richmond and Clanwilliam clubs.
Kilfeacle gave their chances of a top four finish a big boost with a 35-24 home win over fifth placed Mallow. The visitors raced into a 21-0 lead with tries from Chris O’Regan, and Yasushi Katsuta, as well as a penalty try. Sam Glynn converted both tries, as well as adding a penalty. Killian Noonan, Keralan O’Connor, Bob Purcell, Rian Doody, and Dubhan O’Grady scored tries for Kilfeacle and all were converted by Tommy Clarke.
Waterpark did their survival hopes a power of good with a 28-24 away win at Thomond. Waterpark led 23-5 at halftime and were 28-5 ahead early in the second half with tries from Jack Walsh, Willie Walsh, and Conor Horan. Willie Walsh kicked three penalties and two conversions. Thomond rallied in the second half and had tries from Adam Guerin, Colin Haigney, Mike McMahon, and Jordan O’Donnell, along with two Guerin conversions to secure two valuable points from the contest.
Abbeyfeale look like they will be playing in Division Two next season after their 47-14 home defeat by Muskerry. Jacques van Wyngaardt scored two tries for Abbeyfeale and both were converted by Sean Kilbridge. Muskerry replied with two tries from Lewis Grice and one each by Phil O’Callaghan, Rob Cahill, Tom Griffin, Aaron Desmond, and Brian Foley. Cahill kicked six conversions.
Crosshaven also look like they will be joining Abbeyfeale in the Second Division, after their 17-10 defeat away to St. Mary’s. Keith McManus scored a try for the Saints, and they were also awarded a penalty try. Paul Loughran kicked a conversion and a penalty. Jack O’Connell replied with a try conversion and a penalty.
Fethard secured a playoff place in Section B after their 31-8 away win in Scariff. Angus McDonald scored two tries for the Tipperary side, and Peter Wall, Gus Brown, and Conor Pearson got one each. Josef O’Connor kicked three conversions. Scariff replied with a try from Evan McMahon and a penalty by Jason Monaghan.
Galbally-Mitchelstown moved into second place, nine points behind Fethard with two games in hand, after their 35-15 away win at Waterford City. Pat O’Donovan, Brendan Childs, Davy Sheehan, John Kearns, and Danny Hayes scored tries for the winners. Kearns kicked four conversions and Pat Shanahan one.
Youghal kept their promotion playoff hopes alive with a 34-3 away win at Dungarvan. Alan Frahill O’Connor scored two tries for the winners, and Kelvin Yellop, Scot O’Sullivan, Conal Doyle and Tom O’Neill got one try each. Doyle kicked two conversions. Seamus Keating replied with a penalty for the home side.
Cobh Pirates put a dent in Fermoy’s playoff hopes with a 27-21 victory. Fermoy led 21-3 at halftime with tries from Eoin Lacey and Ian Pratt. Lacey kicked three penalties and a conversion. Cobh replied with two tries from Kevin Murphy, and one each by Storm LeRoux, and Jack Worrall. Billy Cain kicked two conversions and a penalty.
Carrick-on-Suir completed their campaign with a 25-19 home win against Ennis. Neil Moriarty, Jack O’Connell, and James Daly scored tries for the Tipperary side. Fionn Barry kicked two conversions and two penalties.
Charleville defeated Ballincollig 31-16 to clinch the final playoff spot in Section C. Kian Smith, David Forde, Eoin Carroll, Kaden O’Neill, and Liam Barrett scored tries for Charleville, with Smith converting three of the tries. Matt Bourke and Dave Power replied with tries for Ballincollig. Charlie Boland kicked two penalties.
Tralee defeated Shannon-LIT 17-5 in the Women’s Division 1 Cup. Joanne Deasy scored two tries for Kerry, and Natasha Griffin got one. Laoise O’Driscoll kicked one conversion.