Cashel celebrate league glory with another win

Cashel 35 Kilfeacle 19

Cashel 35 Kilfeacle 19

Cashel finally got to lift the league cup after a hard-fought victory over local rivals Kilfeacle last Sunday. Cashel more than proved they are worthy champions after winning 13 from 13 in this league campaign. The Kilfeacle players showed what junior rugby is all about as they applauded the Cashel players out onto the pitch to show their acknowledgement for their achievements this season in getting to the senior league.

Cashel and Kilfeacle may be at times deep rivals but all arguments as they should in rugby stay on the pitch, and Kilfeacle showed this last Sunday as they clapped Cashel onto the field.

A Cashel and Kilfeacle match is always a lively affair and Sunday last was no different, as both teams tore into each other. Although Cashel had already won the league before the match they were still going to give 100% to the cause as they wanted to finish the league with a win.

They got of to a very good start and within ten minutes Daragh O’Brien put them ahead with a penalty. 5 minutes later Cashel went further ahead after a deft kick by outhalf Conor Quinlan allowed Pat O’Connor chase over the line for the ball and score his first try. Daragh O’Brien converted to put Cashel 10-nil ahead. Cashel were very much on top at this stage and in the 30th minute got their second try from a 5 metre scrum as Ed Leamy powered over. Right at the stroke of half time Kilfeacle got back into the game with a try of their own. The half time score read 15 – 5 to Cashel.

The second half was much the same as the first, with Cashel getting the first points with a penalty from Daragh O’Brien. In the 65th minute they virtually sealed the game with a try from John Ed O’Connor after sustained pressure. The score now read 25 – 5 to Cashel with 20 minutes remaining.

Kilfeacle however weren’t there for the party as they upped their game for the last 20 minutes. They threw everything at Cashel as they dominated possession. In the 70th minute they got their rewards as Jack O’Sullivan scored a fine try to touch down under the posts. Cashel rallied and were determined to finish on a high. They scored two tries in the last ten minutes, the first from John Ed O’Connor and the second from Kevin Quinlan. With the last play of the game Kilfeacle scored their third try.

After the final whistle, to a massive cheer from the crowd, captain Brendan O’Connor lifted the league Cup trophy. This was the third time in four years Cashel won the league. Brendan thanked all of the people who help behind the scenes. He particularly thanked the coaching team of Ian Dunne, Tom Moran and Eamon Foley, who are assisted by team manager James Hanly; bagmen Peter Silke and Denis Moran and finally, as Brendan sai,d the best physio in the world, the great Davina Hanly.

Brendan also said that the first team would not be where it is today without the seconds. As he pointed out the firsts have lost a game while the seconds are still undefeated! Overall it was a great day for the club, as the many supporters enjoyed the barbecue and the fabulous spring weather.

It would be very harsh to criticise Cashel players for their performance and leaking three tries, as the entire club was in celebratory mode as they waited for the Cup to be presented. However Cashel will need to be 100% focused next week as they play the Junior Cup Semi final in Clanwilliam on Sunday against Galbally at 2.30.

Both Galbally and Cashel are undefeated in their leagues this year, as Galbally gained promotion to division 1 junior rugby. If Cashel think for a second they are playing a second division team they will lose this one. Cashel are more than capable of going all the way in this cup and on Sunday they will have to prove that, as they will have to earn every point against the Galbally men!.

Seconds reach Webb Cup Final yet again

Cashel 13 Bruff 8

Cashel’s seconds continue the club’s remarkable season after they beat Bruff in the Webb Cup semi-final to reach the final for the third year in a row. This was a very hard-fought victory and Cashel had to hold on by their finger nails before securing the win.

If ever there was a game of two halves this was it. Cashel got off to a blistering start and within 15 minutes had two tries scored after two great mauls saw Derek O’Connor crash over for two tries.

This put Cashel 10-nil ahead and very much in control of the match. For the remainder of the half Bruff scrambled in defence to hold Cashel out. Only some last-gasp tackling kept the score 10 nil at half time. Such was Cashel’s dominance they should have been more ahead at half time.

Bruff after being completely outplayed in the first half were only ten points behind. Their coach knew if they could get a score they might rattle the Cashel team. This was exactly what happened. Bruff came out for the second half with all guns blazing as they tore into the Cashel men. It was now Cashel who were scrambling in defence. For 20 minutes Bruff did everything bar score as they seemed to set up residence in Cashel’s 22.

On the 60 minute mark they broke the deadlock with a try. This put the game on a knife edge, as all of the momentum was with the Limerick men as they trailed 10 – 5. In the 65th minute the defining moment of the game came. Bruff got a scrum deep in their own half. From the scrum their full back hit the ball at full speed. He split the entire Cashel defence as he rounded Cashel’s full back and headed unopposed for the line, and in all probability the winning score.

However the Cashel players do not give up easily, and scrum half Mikey O’Connor managed to just tap the Bruff man 10 yards from the line. However it wasn’t enough as the Bruff player looked like stumbling over the line when back row Aidan O’Connor nailed him in a tackle to prevent the try.

Every player and supporter from both sides had their hearts in their mouths as they were all sure the Bruff man had won the match. This tackle and great defensive work gave Cashel heart and they took the game to Bruff. After 70 minutes Dermot O Brien slotted over a penalty to put Cashel 13 – 5 ahead.

Two minutes later Bruff responded with their own penalty to leave the score 13 – 8. For the last ten minutes of the match Bruff threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Cashel. Cashel somehow held out as the players from 1-15 tackled everything that moved up until the final whistle.

At the final whistle there was barely a cheer, as Bruff looked gutted and Cashel looked absolutely exhausted, such was their effort. In the end Cashel should be kicking themselves for allowing Bruff back into a game that should have been well over at half time. From a Bruff perspective they most be wondering how they didn’t win, such was their dominance in the second half. To be fair to both teams neither deserved to lose, such was their commitment and effort.

Cashel are now into the Webb Cup final against the mighty Garryowen on a date, time and venue to be announced.