Skibbereen win O’Neill Cup
28th April 2009 By Munster Rugby
Skibbereen retained the O’Neill Cup when they snatched victory with a late rally.
Kinsale came very close to causing an upset in the O’Neill Cup Final at Musgrave Park and ending a sixty seven year gap since this famous trophy last rested in Kinsale, when a late rally saw Skibbereen come out on top with an injury time penalty 13-11.
Despite being on the back foot for long periods of the opening half Kinsale jumped into a 5-0 lead with their first attack when scrum half Lloyd Darmody went blind side at a ruck and linked up with Frazer Hodgson who touched down in the corner.
Playing with the wind Kinsale had to wait until the stroke of half time to extend their lead when Hodgson landed a penalty.
It was in the second half that Kinsale showed what they were made of, as their pack kept Skibbereen pinned back in their own half for long periods with Tadgh and Barry Wright doing an amount of work.
Skibbereen opened their account in the fifty first minute with a penalty from peter Mihaere but on the restart Kinsale were awarded a penalty and Hodgson restored his side’s eight point advantage.
In the final quarter Skibbereen upped the ante and after a series of drives at the Kinsale line, a quickly taken penalty by skipper Ivan Jennings found a gap and he sent scrum half Gordon McKnight in for a try under the posts and Mihaere converted to leave a point between the sides.
Kinsale than began to run down the clock down as they kept the West Cork side pinned back in their own half but in one final push up field, Kinsale full back Colm McCarthy was adjudged to have brought the ball back into his Twenty Two and from the resultant line out Skibbereen were awarded a penalty and Mihaere converted to send the Cup to West Cork for the twelfth time.
Scorers Kinsale:F Hodgson try, 2 pens.
Skibbereen:G McKnight try, P Mihaere con, 2 pens
Kinsale:C McCarthy; J Coughlan, S Murphy, P Murphy, A Lynch; F Hodgson, L Darmody; P O’Regan, E Farran, J O’Sullivan; D Cowhig, B McQuaid; J Lyons, B Wright (capt), T Wright.
Replacements:P Moloney for Lyons 33-41 temp, J Farritius for Darmody 52, S O’Regan for Lyons 67.
Skibbereen:A Jennings; M Limerick, D O’Sullivan, D Gilmore, J Hayes; P Mihaere, G McKnight; P Stout, S Coppinger, V White; T Sheehan, D Meighan; D O’Brien, I Jennings (capt), S O’Neill.
Replacements:K Shannon for O’Neill 59-61 blood, K Shannon for Sheehan 64, M Calnan for White 71.
Referee:H Booker (M.A.R.)