Clonmel RFC lost their first game of the season with 34-12 home defeat to Nenagh Ormonde in the Garryowen Cup
Being the start of the season both sides were trying out new players and patterns of play. The game however showed the gap that now exists between a well drilled senior side (Nenagh Ormond finished in the top half of the AIL Division 2B last season) and a determined Junior 1 side.
Nenagh were well-rehearsed for this encounter demonstrating excellent passing skills, swift ball movements and drilled robustness in the forwards. Within seven minutes of kick-off Nenagh scored an excellent try on the left wing. Clonmel defend well and had a few good passages of play in the first half. But the halftime score was Nenagh 17, Clonmel 0.
Within fifteen minutes of the restart, Nenagh scored again to go 24 point ahead. However, one of the positives from the Clonmel performance is that the team never stopped playing. The team kept on trying their best and all their hard work resulted in two well-taken tries by Tony Cantwell in the 67th and 70th minute of the game.
The first try came from excellent forward work of driving forward from a well-executed lineout. Cantwell was at the end of the maul and broke to score from 20 meters out. Brian Lonergan, having a solid performance at first centre, converted.
Clonmel continued the pressure, but it was Nenagh that finished the stronger by scoring another converted try in the fifth minute of injury time. This added to their unconverted try mid way through the second half made the final score Nenagh Ormond 34, Clonmel 12.
Overall Clonmel can take a lot of positives from their first competitive outing of the season. With excellent performances from most players, and every member of the panel giving it 100% commitment – it is all to play for.