On Saturday Cashel RFC commenced life in Division 2A of the ALL Ireland League. After last year’s promotion from Division 2B all eyes were on this team but they traveled to Midleton in a cautious mood as Midleton are an experienced team and a tough game was expected.
And this is how it turned out. Cashel kicked off and were on the offensive early on. After 3 minutes they were awarded a penalty 10 yards inside the Midleton half and Pat O’Connor converted.
The lead was short lived however as Midleton were awarded a penalty for a late tackle and levelled the game. Three minutes later Kevin Quinlan made a great break into the Midleton 22 after some slick passing by the Cashel backs. The ball was off loaded to Sean Walsh who scored a good try.
The game at this stage was tough and hard with both forward packs giving their best. In the 19th minute Midleton levelled the score with a try.
Three minutes later Pat O’Connor put Cashel ahead with a penalty. Midleton failed to convert a penalty on the 35th minute and so at half time Cashel led 11-8.
The second half was equally even as play swung from end to end. Cashel wanted to play an expansive game and Midleton wanted to keep it tight. After half time Cashel brought on Conor Quinlan at out half. Andrew Kelleher moved from out half to scrum half replacing Michael Hickey and Cian O’Donnell replaced Danny Lambe at prop.
In the 50th minute Pat O’Connor kicked another penalty and two minutes later hit the post with a penalty. With 20 minutes to go Alan Downey replaced Michael Cross. Both teams fought tooth and nail to get the upper hand. With 10 minutes left Midleton kicked a penalty and now were within striking distance and 3 points behind.
After 75 minutes Alan O’Donnell replaced Brian Silke in the centre and still the game swung in the balance. As he has done so many times in the past, Ed Leamy won a ball in a ruck on the Midleton 22 and before anybody could react he had scored an all important try which Pat O’Connor converted. Final score Cashel 21 Midleton 11, Leamy’s try denying Midleton a losing bonus point.
It was a tough game and a good result for a relieved Cashel team. It was an unusual day for the Silke brothers as former Cashel club captain, John lined out for Midleton against his brother Brian playing for Cashel.
Cashel: H Stanley, M Kelly, D Lambe, P Ryan, S Walsh, E Leamy, M Cross, B O’Connor, M Hickey, A Kelleher, K Quinlan, B Silke, R O’Connor, K Leamy, P O’Connor. C Quinlan, C O’Donnell, A O’Donnell. Next week Cashel Play Old crescent in the league at Spafield.
Munster Senior Seconds League
Cashel RFC 11 Highfield 10
After two very good performances in this league to date Cashel faced up to Highfield in a confident mood. With a good blend of youth and experience they started very well. They put pressure on the Highfield defense and ran with great style. They were awarded a penalty after 8 minutes but opted to run and were turned over. They made amends two minutes later when Ollie McGlinchey converted a penalty. Five minutes later Giles Boland made a good break into the Highfield 22. When tackled he off loaded to Tommy Flynn who fed John Ed O’Connor who made good ground and gave a beautiful pass to Pat O’Connor who scored in the corner. Highfield were stronger than the previous teams and had they their kicking boots with them they would have been closer to Cashel as they missed two easy penalties. Cashel lost Aidan O’Connor early on with a nasty ankle injury. Half time score Cashel 8 Highfield 0.
Cashel started well in the second half and went through the phases. They played some nice rugby but did not convert it into scores. After 52 minutes Ollie McGlinchey kicked another penalty to put Cashel 11-0 ahead.
They should have closed it out at that stage but with 15 minutes left they were hit with a double blow. First Ailbe Devitt went off with a bad knee injury and he was followed by Alan O’Donnell who suffered a bad elbow injury. This put pressure on the Cashel resources as losing two experienced players had a huge impact.
Highfield upped their game and with 10 minutes left intercepted on the Cashel 22, their back ran deep into Cashel territory. Pat O’Connor chased him all the way back and put in a great covering tackle. Highfield piled on the pressure and eventually scored a try in the 75th minute and missed the conversion. Then two excellent tackles by Darren McGrath and Michael O’Connor kept the Cashel line intact.
Deep into injury time Highfield scored a try in the corner. They had the conversion to win the game but to the relief of the Cashel team the kick drifted wide and a match which should have been easily won was won by the narrowest of margins. However in was a good result and keeps the team on track in the league.
Cashel: D McGrath, P O’Connor, G Boland, A O’Donnell, A Wallace, C Quinlan, O McGlinchey, P Maher, A O’Connor, J E O’Connor, A Devitt, K Gleeson, C O’Donnell, T Flynn, I Stanley, K Sweeney, A O’Dwyer, M O’Brien, R Thornton. Cashel 2nds play their next league game against Cork Constitution next Sunday in Cork.
We wish James Hanly and Brid O’Dwyer all the best on their wedding day next Saturday and we wish Eoin O’Connor well in his new role as player manager of Waterpark RFC. Congratulations to Jack Maher and Louise and Barry Maher and Aine who got engaged recently.