On Saturday Cashel travelled to the home of the dry built stone walls on the outskirts of Galway City to play Corinthians RFC. And it was a stone wall they met.
With both teams unbeaten in this year’s league so far and Cashel unbeaten for 30 league games over the past two and a half years there was a lot at stake. Prior to the game Cashel made a number of changes enforced due to injuries to Brian Silke and Kevin Leamy but started well and were on the attack for the first 7/8 minutes. They were awarded a penalty on the 5th minute but missed. Both teams had a very similar style and both ran the ball at every opportunity. The Corinthians backs were extremely fast and on the 15th minute they exploited poor defending and scored a fine try which they converted. The game became very competitive and from then until just before half time it was a very even contest.
On 20 minutes Cashel lost Colin Morrissey with a broken bone in his ankle and 5 minutes later John Ed O’Connor left the field with a calf injury. This put further pressure on the depleted Cashel resources. They could have been further behind but some last ditch defending kept the score at 7-nil. Just when it looked as if Cashel would keep the score at - nil by half time they lost a lineout on the Corinthians 22. The quick Corinthian backs ran from their own 22 and scored at the far end. It was a lightening quick strike and a body blow to Cashel.
The second half started at a great pace with Cashel trying to fight their way back. Again poor defending saw the Corinthians centre waltz through, after 52 minutes, for a try under the posts which they converted and with three tries scored it looked as if they would be on their way to a bonus point win. But as oft times before Cashel fought back. The forwards began to get the upper hand. They worked up the field and eventually they got the try they deserved when great work by Ed Leamy, Michael Cross Sean Walsh and Philly Ryan put Brendan O’Connor in for a fine try which was well deserved. Pat O’Connor converted and at last there was hope for Cashel.
They went looking for at least a losing bonus point. As the Corinthians forwards began to get tired it looked as if it was possible. On the stroke of time Cashel were awarded a scrum on the opposition 22. They won a good ball but a pass went forward and the chance was lost. The referee blew the final whistle and the long unbeaten record was gone.
It was an excellent game played at a high tempo and both teams contributed on an excellent surface and in good dry conditions. There was no disgrace for Cashel in this loss as they were beaten by the table toppers who are very determined to get into Division 1B. This is their 5th year trying and they look like a team who could do it. For Cashel it is back to the drawing board and the next game. They are still well in the hunt and a win next week against Greystones RFC will get the campaign back on track.
Cashel: E Hall, C O’Donnell, H Stanley, S Walsh, P Ryan, E Leamy, J E O’Connor, B O’Connor, M Hickey, A Kelleher, K Quinlan, C Quinlan, C Morissey, R O’ Connor, P O’Connor, R Mullane, M Cross, M Kelly, D Lambe, D McGrath.
Munster Junior 2 League
Cashel 3 Waterpark 6
Cashel hosted Waterpark, coached by Cashels Eoin O’Connor. It was a very tight contest and the sides were level at half time. Waterpark drew first blood with a penalty which was cancelled out by a Johnny Maher penalty for Cashel. Half way through the second half Waterpark dropped a goal. Cashel took the game to them and were very unlucky with a few minutes left when a penalty was missed which would have levelled the game.
Munster Senior Seconds League
Midleton 19 Cashel 11
Cashel seconds traveled to Midleton looking for a win. The game started well for Cashel and they went on the attack. After 8 minutes they were awarded a penalty which Andrew Wallace converted. Midleton came back and on the 14th minute were awarded a scrum on half way. Their burly forwards played possession rugby. Their scrum half got possession and make a break down the 9-10 channel. He showed a great turn of pace and scored in the corner. He converted a penalty a few minutes later but on the 31st minute Andrew Wallace converted a penalty to narrow the gap. However this was cancelled out a few minutes later and Midleton led 11-6 at half time. They went further ahead on the 52nd minute with a penalty. Things got worse for Cashel, in the 4th quarter when they got two yellow cards. The stronger Midleton pack put the pressure on and with 12 minutes left scored a killer try in the corner. At 19-6 it looked bleak but Cashel came back and Kieran Murphy scored a fine try from the back of a scrum. The conversion would have given Cashel a losing bonus point but the kick went narrowly wide. The difference between the teams was experience. Cashel had a very young team lacked an old head to steady the ship.
Cashel: Ian Stanley, T Flynn, M Kelly, A Dwyer, K Gleeson, P Maher, M Cross, K Murphy, D McGrath, O McGlinchey, P O’Connor, A Wallace, R Mullane, M O’Connor, F Kelleher, C O’Donnell, K Sweeney, A O’Connor, S Walsh, J McGinley.
Overall it was a disappointing weekend for Cashel with three defeats. However all teams competed. The injuries are taking their toll as can happen when a club fields three adult teams. Greystones visit Cashel next week to play our first team, The seconds are not in action and the thirds travel to Dungarvan on Sunday.