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Celebratory Weekend For Clonakilty

8th February 2011 By Munster Rugby

There are good days and then there are really good days but for Clonakilty they do not come any better than last Saturday in The Vale.

There are good days and then there are really good days but for Clonakilty they do not come any better than last Saturday in The Vale.

Backs to the wall Clon dug deep and pulled out a magnificent performance in dreadful conditions to move two places above the relegation play-off spot they had held for so long. Malone had travelled from Belfast nicely placed in mid table after a sterling start to their season but may now have to look over their shoulders as they returned pointless. To win in such conditions for any side is an indicator of determination but to score six tries in the process was remarkable.

The previous week Clon had scored three tries, albeit losing to Queens University, Belfast, so the first half of the season has a statistic of 1.4 tries per match whereas 2011 shows an impressive 4.5 tries per game. A welcome trend which if it continued would provide a tremendous finale to a troubled season. It will be a very difficult run in for Clon. Six games remain and with the exception of their opponents this Saturday, Dublin University, currently one place above Clonakilty, all are against teams in the top half of the table. That makes this one another cup final and indeed every game has assumed massive importance as Clon look to secure Division Two rugby next season.

The first try was not long in coming. Clon set about their business with determination and from the kick off exerted a sustained period of pressure where they recycled six or seven times before they were awarded a penalty. Alfie Harte reacted quickly spotting the space and a quick tap and long pass had Darragh Lynch flying in at the corner. Denis McCarthy missed the conversion as the gale blew but he made no mistake in slotting over another penalty award a short time later. The second try was a deserved reward for the pack as they put in a big drive in a scrum and Harte picked and drove over for the try. McCarthy converted superbly from the touchline and Clon were 15 – 0 up after 30 minutes. McCarthy was again involved as he and David Lombard made great ground through a break and a drive respectively before Harte again forced his way over for his second try assisted by Mike Keohane. Another great conversion from McCarthy had Clon very comfortable on 22 – 0 at half time.

The lessons learned at University in Belfast were well-remembered by Clon in the second half playing against the gale. Against the wind and driving rain they closed down the visitors when they were in possession reducing the number of kicking opportunities for field position. When they had possession they patiently protected it through multiple aggressive phases. It was at the end of one such period that Ryan Purcell capped another fine performance with the bonus point winning try. At 27 – 0 it would have been understandable if the foot was removed from the pedal but there was no letting up as Wayne Falvey crashed over for a well-deserved try only to see the referee disallow it as he had been unsighted. The award of a five metre scrum was little consolation to the player or the team as Malone managed to clear down field and fashion a converted try. It would have been the wake up call that Clon might have needed had they been guilty of easing off but that was never the case.

From the restart the pack again showing admirable fitness levels took it on and made great ground. The ball came back to McCarthy and he weaved his way through the defence to score Clon’s fifth try, which he converted himself and Jason Fleming finished a wonderful day for the West Cork club with a powerful try as he twisted out of the tackles taking the tacklers with him over the line.

It was a very disciplined performance throughout and to score 17 points to 7 against a side aided by such a wind in one half was extraordinary. 39 – 7 might seem like a rout but every single score was hard-earned as Malone fought tooth and nail to get into the game and the hits reverberated all over the ground. Aidan Rees had another hugely influential game, Clon captain, Tom Ryan, was a veritable battering ram and Mark Porpligia and Wayne Falvey put in 80 minutes of mind-numbing intensity. A backlash was always on the cards but who would have expected it on this scale? This Saturday Clon move on to the venerable cloister of Trinity College never having won on that hallowed quadrangle. Clonakilty and Dublin University have met five times with Clon winning the two games in The Vale but losing the three games in Dublin. There will never be a better time to break that record.

Clonalilty Squad: Denis McCarthy, Darragh Lynch, Dave Paurini, David Lombard, Noel O’Sullivan, Matt Kirby, Aidan Rees, Tom Ryan (Capt), Wayne Falvey, Ryan Purcell, Mike Keohane, Mike O’Hea, Tomás Keogh, Mark Porpligia, Alfie Harte, Stephen Cotter, Joe Knowles, Jason Fleming, Mark Purcell and James Deasy.

The Development Squad continued the celebrations in similar fashion on Sunday against Tralee. The conditions were the same and although the scoring was limited the pattern of the game was identical to the seniors on Saturday. Clon went ahead 7 – 0 after a loose ball was hacked on a few times and Adrian Fleming won the race for the touch down converting the score himself to give Clon a 7 – 0 lead. It was a massive forward battle with neither side holding back. Both sides enjoyed long periods of possession and territory but Clon looked the more dangerous and deserved the win in the end. The closeness of the final score meant that both sides played themselves into the ground. The pack again was superb and the heart, epitomised by Mike Murphy, kept Tralee on the back foot long enough to secure the win. The squad would like to express their gratitude for the refreshments enjoyed after the game provided by Dave Sheehan, Barry Kirby, Ger O’Sullivan and Ailish Harte.

The weekly Lotto draw produced no Jackpot winner and the numbers drawn were 8, 15, 16 and 21. Lucky Dip winners were Eugene and Norma Brennan, Luke Halligan, John Clifford, Garett Sheehan and Richard O’Connor. This week’s Lotto draw will take place in Scannell’s Bar at 10.00pm on Saturday for a Jackpot of €;4,400.00.

This weekend’s Fixtures

Saturday
Under 15 League, Bantry V Clonakilty, 11.00am, Bantry
Under 17 league, Clonakilty V Old Christians, 12.30pm, The Vale
Under 19 League, Douglas V Clonakilty, 11 00am, Douglas
All Ireland League, Dublin University V Clonakilty, 2.30pm, Trinity College, Dublin
Sunday
J2 League, Carrigaline V Clonakilty, 1.00pm, Carrigaline

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