Provincial Rugby Roundup
14th January 2024 By Leonard Allen
Thomond took another big step towards claiming their third Munster Junior League title after a 24 year gap, when they ended Sunday’s Well hopes of a quick return to senior rugby with their eight bonus point victory at Virgin Media Park.
Thomond were 33-5 winners in this Division 1 clash as they push for a return to the All Ireland League. They now hold a seven point advantage over their nearest rivals Mallow with just five games remaining. Luke Fitzgerald, Jordan O’Donnell, Kealan McMahon, Luke Costellow and Conor Radcliffe were Thomond’s try scorers. Evan Cusack kicked three conversions and Adam Guerin one. Cormac Kelliher replied with a try for the Well.
Mallow still remain unbeaten as they snatched a 15-10 victory away to Skibbereen thanks to a last minute try from Ronan Mills. Sean O’Riordan was their other try scorer and Sam Glynn kicked a conversion and a penalty. Daniel Kitson replied with a try, conversion, and a penalty for the home side.
However, the battle intensifies for a top four finish and a place in next season’s All Ireland Junior Cup, with several clubs in contention.
Newcastle West recorded a 26-12 away win over Kilfeacle thanks to two tries from Sean Corbett and one by Sean Murphy. They were also awarded a penalty try. Shane Airey added two conversions. Diarmuid O’Donnell and Kevin Doyle replied with tries for Kilfeacle and Timmy Clarke kicked a conversion.
Bandon put a serious dent on a top four finish for Thurles, when they defeated the Tipperary side 31-17 at Old Chapel. Scott Kingston, Zach Allen, Tom Ferguson, and Adam Murphy scored tries for Bandon and Dylan Barr kicked three penalties and a conversion.
Muskerry continued their good run with a 32-25 home win over Clonakilty. Trailing 29-6 early in the second half, Clonakilty staged a late rally but all they got for their efforts was a losing bonus point. Ryan Spillane, Aaron Desmond, Frank Hogan, and Liam Donovan were Muskerry’s try scorers and Rob Cahill kicked three conversions and two penalties. Craig Bateman, Ben Lovell and Cathal O’Regan replied with tries for Clon’ and Eoin Downey kicked two conversions and two penalties.
A last minute try converted by Stephen McAuliffe was enough to give Kanturk a 27-26 away win over Clanwilliam in their bottom of the table clash. Brian O’Sullivan scored two tries for Kanturk and Sean O’Brien and Tom Vaughan were their other try scorers. James Moylan kicked a penalty and a conversion. Clanwilliam replied with tries Michael Shape (2), Niall Sharpe and Gavin Downey. Darragh Burke kicked three conversions.
The top of the table clash in Division 2 resulted in a 19-12 victory for St. Mary’s against leaders Kinsale. The Limerick side leaped frog Kinsale to top spot with tries from Adam Kiely, Paul Loughran and Andy Mackenzie. Loughran kicked two conversions. Faelan Stewart and David Looney replied with tries for Kinsale and Dylan Lacey added a conversion.
Crosshaven are just two points behind Kinsale after their 24-17 bonus point win over Old Christians at Rathcooney. Seamus Bushe, James Burke, Jack Russell, and Anthony Sheehan scored tries for Crosshaven and Jack O’Connell kicked two conversions. Sean Kelly and Ivan Tripp replied with tries for the home side, and Stuart Lee converted both and also added a penalty.
St. Senan’s kept their promotion hopes alive with a 36-20 away win at bottom side Youghal. Jamie McNamara and Niall Mallon each scored two tries each for the winners and Darren McNamara and Craig Riordan also scored tries. Craig Airey kicked three conversions. Aaron Creamer, Kelvin Yellop and Jason Coleman replied with tries for Youghal. Nathan O’Halloran added a penalty and a conversion.
Tralee kept their outsides hopes of promotion alive with a 24-18 home win against Fermoy. Ben Glavin, Ben O’Neill, Fionn Quandros, Michael Lyne were Tralee’s try scorers, Gavin Peevers kicked two conversions. Peter Flynn, Darragh O’Sullivan and Jamie Ahern replied with tries for Fermoy and Francis Flynn kicked a penalty.
Fethard defeated Waterpark 29-24 in a mid-table encounter at the Tipperary venue. Michael Gaynor, Sean Prendergast, Philip Ivors and Robert Wall scored tries for Fethard. Peter Wall added three conversions and a penalty. Willie Walsh and Paddy Kiersey each scored two tries for Waterpark and Walsh converted two of the tries.
Cobh Pirates eased their relegation worries with a 26-19 bonus point home victory over Galbally-Mitchelstown. Ben Kennedy scored two tries for the winners and Kevin Murphy and Jack Worrall got one each. Michael White kicked two conversions and Rory Pierce one.
Ennis have extended their lead at the top of the Third Division following their 55-7 away win at Douglas. Joe Connaughton (3), Niall O’Brien (2), Calum Barrett, Oscar O’Gorman, Jack Scahill, and Oisin Madigan were try scorers for Ennis. Colm Kearney kicked five conversions.
Ardscoil Old Boys moved up to second place after their 26-24 away win at Killarney. Andy Coffey, Gavin Hogan, Darragh Hayes, and Barry Sheehan scored tries for the visitors and Jamie Moore kicked three conversions. Paul O’Sullivan, Colin McCarthy and Donnachda Grealy replied with tries for Killarney and Ciaran O’Brien added three conversions and a penalty.
Scariff kept their challenge alive with a 21-11 home win against Waterford City. Darragh Treacy and Mark Walsh scored tries for Scariff and Jason Monaghan kicked a conversion and three penalties.
Killorglin defeated Carrick-on-Suir 24-14 with tries from Donncha Crowley, Harry Forrest and Gary O’Keeffe. Luke O’Shea kicked three conversions and a penalty. Fion Barry replied with a try and three penalties for the Tipperary side.
Dungarvan edged out Chorca Dhuibhne 24-20 in a thrilling encounter at the West Waterford venue. Maurice Daly scored two tries for the winners and Ronan Foley and Kevin Connors got one each. David Hickey kicked two conversions. Eoin Sullivan and Gearoid Breathnach scored tries for the Gaeltacht side and Seamus O’Muircheartaigh kicked two conversions and two penalties.