Provincial Rugby Roundup
2nd April 2023 By Leonard Allen
Richmond booked their place in the AIL Round Robin Final, as Waterpark and St. Mary’s are relegated to Division 2 of the Munster Junior League next season.
Kanturk, Skibbereen and Thurles ensured their place in the top flight, Galbally-Mitchelstown won the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Shield as UCC advanced in the Frazer McMullen Under 20 Cup.
A late penalty from Tadhg Bennett earned Richmond a 14-11 win over Creggs in their Round Robin semi-final at Coolmine. Despite falling behind to an early try, Keelan Stephenson had the sides level 5-5 at halftime. The Connacht champions regained the lead with a penalty, but Bennett brought Richmond level for the second time with a penalty. Bennett put Richmond ahead with a penalty only for Creggs to draw level with ten minutes remaining.
The four outstanding games in Section A of the Munster Junior League were decided.
Skibbereen defeated Waterpark 31-21 to ensure their survival in the top flight next season, but Waterpark will be playing in Division 2. Michael O’Donovan scored two tries for Skibbereen and David Shannon, Adam Sheehan, and Lorcan Carey got one each. Shannon converted three of the tries. Scot Hornibrook, Willy Walsh, and Stephen Breen replied with tries for Waterpark. Walsh converted all three tries.
Thurles ensured their place in Division 1 next season with an 11-8 away win at Clanwilliam. Eamon Connolly scored a try for Thurles, and Conor Hagan and James Maher each kicked a penalty. Andy Cummins replied with a try for Clanwilliam and Niall Leahy added a penalty.
Newcastle West were 35-19 winners over St. Mary’s at Grove Island. This result sees last season’s champions finish as runners-up, while the Saints will be playing in the Second Division. Evan Donovan scored two tries for Newcastle West, and Cormac Browne and Sean Murphy got one each. They were also awarded a penalty try, and Alex O’Halloran kicked four conversions. Mary’s replied with tries from Killian O’Connor, Keith Hyland, and Adam Kiely. Jazz Pendijito added two conversions.
Clonakilty finished their campaign with a 52-26 home win over Abbeyfeale. Rory Fletcher (3), Kieran Howlin (2), Ben Lovell, Matthew McCarthy, and Shane Magner were Clonakilty try scorers. Eoin Downey kicked six conversions. Jaques van Wyngaardt replied with two tries for Abbeyfeale and James O’Sullivan got one. Sean Kilbridge kicked a conversion and three penalties.
Kanturk won their Promotion Playoff against Kinsale 19-15 with a last-minute try from Bernie Daly to claim their place in Division 1 next season. Kanturk led 14-0 at halftime with tries from Gaithi Fitzpatrick and Matt Daly, both of which Sean O’Brien converted. Kinsale hit back to lead 15-14 with tries from Paul Graham and Ben O’Connor. Dylan Lacey kicked a conversion and a penalty.
Charleville defeated Youghal 17-10 and will now face Galbally-Mitchelstown to decide the final place in the First Division next season. Cathal Canning and Jack Madigan were Charleville’s try scorers, and Kian Smith converted both and also added a penalty. Conor Roche scored a try for Youghal and Jonathon Ormond converted and Aaron Daly also added a penalty.
Galbally-Mitchelstown lifted their second piece of silverware this season when they defeated Dungarvan 34-10 in the Munster Junior Clubs Shield Final at Fermoy. Graham Bourke, Kevin Cooke, Davy Sheahan, and John Kearns scored tries for the winners. Kearns kicked four conversions and two penalties. Dungarvan replied with a try from Donnacha Dunphy which David Hickey converted. Michael also kicked a penalty.
U.C.C. advanced to the semi-finals of the Frazer McMullen U20 Cup with a 38-17 win over U.C.D. at the Mardyke.
A last-minute try denied Shannon a place in the last four as they lost to Clontarf 27-22.
Tullamore defeated Skibbereen 29-13 in the Women’s All Ireland Munster Junior Cup. Jasmine Kiely scored Skibbereen’s try and Emma Connolly kicked a conversion and two penalties.