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Club News – Week Ending 1st November

31st October 2008 By Munster Rugby

Read the latest news and match reports from clubs in the Province

Read the latest news and match reports from clubs in the Province

Clonakilty Club Notes – By LooseHead

Highfield 12- Clonakilty 3

There has been great rivalry between Clonakilty and Highfield, from underage to senior for years and the bragging rights in recent times has been firmly held by the West Cork club. Yet despite this there are many, many similarities and connections between the clubs, which were highlighted by Highfield president Jack O’Keeffe as he welcomed his Clonakilty counterpart Garett Sheehan and his club officers to the pre-match reception. Jack paid special tribute to the contribution to Highfield of Terry Dillon in particular and also Maurice Shanley and Emmett McCarthy. It wasn’t always one way traffic however as Garett was a distinguished Highfield underage player before going adult with Clon, Richie Stokes also relocated and more recently Robert Bogue has gone west. The clubs have similarities outside of those players and share similar problems in recruitment and fund-raising.

Highfield had been experiencing difficulties in recent times and Clon, off the back of a big bonus point win against Instonians, were expected to compound their problems. However storms make the Oak grow deeper roots and even the Clon faithful had to admire the focus and determination of the city side as they fought from start to finish to deservedly end a run of defeats to their country cousins by four penalties to one. The game was unfortunately marred by terrible conditions as it rained throughout but the ground was remarkably good and the elements made it difficult for everyone. The size of the turnout in such conditions was an indication of the strength of he club and the rallying of all concerned to turn their recent bad run around.

To the credit of both sides they tried to run the ball and it would surely have been a hugely entertaining game had perfect conditions prevailed. As it was Highfield dealt with the elements far better and their tenacity in competing for everything paid off. Clon are better suited to top of the ground play but they will need to develop a bad-day style also as the winter games loom. There is a break from AIL action now until the home fixture against high-flying Malone on Nov. 29th and hopefully this will give Clon’s walking wounded time to heal and see the return also of Mike O’Hea to action.

Squad: Derek Dillon, John O’Donnell, Paul Dillon, David Lombard (Capt), Darragh Lynch, Gary Cribb, David Cookson, Cathal Kirby, Alfie Harte, Robert Bogue, Danny Whelton, Bless Ngaheu, Ger Hegarty, Lenny Harte, Mike Keohane, Joe Knowles, Shane Deane, John O’Regan, Eoin Ryan and Noel O’Sullivan. It was a minor miracle to see Lombard, Cribb, Cookson and O’Sullivan tog out at all as all carried injuries into the game. Their cause was not helped by the retirement through injury of O’Donnell and Keohane with Cribb clearly struggling to finish.

David Lombard gave Clon a 3 – 0 lead which was held into the second half but indiscipline cost Clon dearly as Nick Wakely slotted four penalties, the last in injury time, to deny Clon a bonus point. The breakdown was where the game was won and here captain Martin Gately was crucial for the home side. Conor Quaid’s return to out-half was a big factor and these two swung the game. For Clon Danny Whelton is at the top of his game and although on the losing side, was one player who more than matched the Highfield forwards for appetite with an awesome display and was clearly man of the match. The celebration at the end, on and off the field, by Highfield can only be taken as the highest compliment payable to Clonakilty.

The Bulldogs helped to redress the balance and raised the spirits somewhat with a very good win over the same opposition in The Vale on Sunday. Highfield started well and were good value for their 13 – 5 half-time lead, Brian Blackwell having touched down for Clon.. However in spite of having two players sin-binned at the same time Clon struck back with a great try by Alan Harte converted by Eric White to narrow the gap to a point. Three penalties by White put Clon out to an eight point lead before he added a superb try and Matt Kirby finished the scoring with another.

The indiscipline is a worrying factor at all levels and has been over the past seasons. It has lost matches for Clon in the past and will do so again if not addressed. It is hard to understand how a problem, which has been identified, cannot be resolved by experienced players and mamagement. The Squad was: – Finbarr O’Mahony, Tim Walsh, Matt Kirby, James O’Brien, James O’Driscoll, Eric White, Emmet McCarthy, Mike Griffen, Hugh O’Neill, Michael Murphy, Cathal O’Regan, Jonas Harte, Alan Harte, Brian Blackwell, Barry Dillon, Padraig Kingston, Eoin Crudge, Geoff Wycherley, Bartle Murphy and Robert O’Keeffe.

This weekend’s Fixtures:

Sat

1

Under 20

League

Old Crescent

The Vale

2.30

Under 18

League

Cork Constitution

The Vale

12.00

Under 14

League

Ballincollig

Ballincollig

11.30

Sun

2

Senior A

Munster Seconds League

Midleton

The Vale

2.30

Bulldogs

J2 League

Dunmanway

Dunmanway

12.00

Old Crescent RFC Club Notes – By Frank Larkin PRO

Last Saturday, Old Crescent paid our first visit to the RDS, the new ‘home’ of Leinster Rugby, and the temporary home of Lansdowne FC while the new Lansdowne Road Stadium is being built. The pitch looked in excellent condition, however, the driving rain and swirling wind made playing conditions extremely difficult for both teams in this important AIL 2nd Division clash between Lansdowne and Old Crescent.

Lansdowne opened the scoring with a penalty after seven minutes but this was quickly answered by an Old Crescent penalty taken a minute later by our outhalf, Brian 0’Shea. After a period of sustained old Crescent pressure, Brian added to his tally with a superb drop goal half way through the first half. There was no further score in the first half, leaving the half time score 6-3 in favour of Crescent.

The wet and wind weather continued in the second half, making rugby very difficulty. However, Lansdowne made the most of the difficult conditions and held possession for long periods. Lansdowne kicked a penalty just after half time, followed by another penalty ten minutes into the second half, and a further penalty on 60 minutes, to leave Lansdowne leading 12-6 going into the last 20 minutes. Old Crescent continued to apply pressure to get back on terms, and we scored a penalty kicked by Ray Moloney to narrow the gap with ten minutes to go. However, the difficult playing conditions led to several dropped balls and turnovers in promising positions.

One such turnover allowed Lansdowne to hack the ball down field and score an opportunist try in the 75th minute, after a period of Old Crescent pressure. The try wasn’t converted, making the score 17-9 to Lansdowne. Old Crescent had one last chance to secure a losing bonus point with a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, but unfortunately the ball went wide, giving Lansdowne the win and the points.

Apart from our Firsts, there was little rugby action last weekend. Our Seconds game at home against Clonakilty on Sunday was called off at a last stage due to Clonakilty being unable to field a team. Our Thirds game away against Richmond last Saturday was also called off due to their pitch being unplayable, and our under 20’s had no game scheduled.

Fixtures for next weekend: Our Firsts play Bruff in the second round of the AIB Cup, at home in Rosbrien at 2.00pm next Saturday. Note the earlier kick off time to allow for extra time if required. We look forward to welcoming our friends from Bruff to Rosbrien this Saturday. Our Seconds play Nenagh Ormond away in Nenagh at 2.30pm on Sunday, while our Under 20’s play Cashel in the AIL League at home in Rosbrien at 3.00pm on Saturday.

Tickets are still available from any committee member for our very attractive draw for five pairs of stand tickets for the Munster v All Black’s game. The draw will take place in the Clubhouse on Saturday, 8th November. Would all who have sold tickets please return their stubs to the Hon Secretary asap.

Shannon Notes By Andrew McNamara PRO

We headed for Terenure last weekend confident of getting a victory, and in fairness to everyone, no one dared speak of a bonus point. It would have been enough to come out of the awful conditions with even a narrow victory and while Terenure may well be rooted firmly to the bottom of the table, nothing was taken for granted prior to the game. Shannon have often struggled in Terenure and we expected a dogfight from a side clambering for form and for a while it was something of a struggle initially, not to the degree of palpitations , but enough to ensure complacency was not on the agenda. However what followed the half time break was a 20 minute period which dispelled any lingering doubts of defeat and propelled us well and truly into the driving seat. And it was only then that we could contemplate, however tentatively, a bonus point. Our forwards literally took the game by the scruff of the neck and reminded everyone that this side possesses the skill, talent and indeed the attitude to win trophies. Without doubt the headline grabber was Tadgh Bennett whose personal contribution of 25 of our 35 points scored added handsomely to his already impressive tally in the league thus far. With just four games played Tadgh has knocked up 71 points already including his two tries last Saturday. It was not however a one man show by any means and several other players contributed enormously. David O’Donovan’s first half try set us up nicely for what followed and John O’Connor’s effort early in the second half was a just reward for his superb efforts throughout the game. While Terenure did manage a late try, the spirit of the side was epitomised directly after that score. Not content with the win in the deteriorating conditions the lads pushed hard for the forth try and were duly rewarded as Tadgh scampered over for his second of the day. The only negative of the day was John Clogan’s shoulder injury sustained late in the game, but fortunately it’s not as bad as first suspected and he should be back in action in a few weeks. The steady improvement shown by the lads is very pleasing, but no one is getting carried away with a bonus point win over the bottom placed side in the league. It’s just another stepping stone to where we want to be and while the league takes a three week break sixth in the place in the table is more than adequate at this stage. Perhaps the true test of our progress comes this Saturday when we face our victors in the first AIB league outing, Blackrock in the AIB cup. Stradbrook was not a happy place to be for us on the 4th of October and retribution is certainly what we have in mind. Last week I mentioned that kickoff was at 2pm, however this was not ratified by the IRFU and kickoff now returns to 2.30pm. The support the lads received in Terenure was greatly appreciated by everyone and great credit to Ger Mc Closkey for organising the supporters coach, The same coach goes this Saturday and Ger can be contacted on 087 2745926 to ensure your place on the coach.

Saturday was also a great day for the thirds as the maintained their unbeaten run in the Gleeson league with a 10-8 win over UL/Bohs. A large crowd turned up for what proved to be a fascinating encounter between two well-drilled sides. The artic conditions did little to dampen the rugby spirit on an occasion that proved to be a great advertisement for the ELVs. The thirds were lucky enough to be well endowed with a large squad and it is clear that this level of rugby is blossoming. The poor conditions and some tenacious defending by UL/Bohs accounted for the fact that we registered only a single penalty in the first half. Bohs responded with a penalty of their own in the second 40, but our lads were playing exceptionally well, none more so than player coach Tony Flynn and Jimmy Doran. Both epitomise the spirit within the thirds squad this season. Tony was rewarded with a fine converted try as time was ticking away and it looked as if it would be the winner, however Bohs battled hard and were themselves were rewarded for their admirable approach to the game with a well worked try in the corner. The conversion would have levelled up the game, but as it transpired the kick drifted wide and victory was justifiably ours. It’s great to see that this groups effort and work rate is beginning to reap its due rewards. Next week, stay tuned for the thirds adventures against the highflying St. Marys who are also unbeaten this season. Kickoff in Corbally on Saturday is at 2.30.

Both the seconds and the U/20’s games were called off due to the weather but its back to action for both sides this weekend. On Saturday the 20’s entertain Buccaneers in Coonagh at 2.30 and on Sunday the seconds play Cork Constitution also in Coonagh at 2.30.At underage the U/15’s had a great win over UL/Bohs by 17-7 in the league and now progress to the semi final which unfortunately may not take place until after the schools competition in the New Year.

Fixtures: The U/12 Blues are in Newcastlewest while the blacks head to Ennistimon for blitzes. The 13’s blues are away to UL/Bohs at 11 am while the blacks host the UL/lions at 11.30. The U/16’s are away to Newcastle west for an 11.30 kickoff. The women’s team play Young Munster in Derryknockane on Sunday at 1pm.

Tickets for the autumn internationals are now available to Members through Tadgh Crowe and he also has introduced a package for the two remaining ERC games and Four Magners league games for €280.

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