Evans Cup Final
Cashel 9 Galbally 3
Such is the delay in playing off all the Tipperary cups before the end of the season that Cashel thirds had to play 5 games in eight days, three of them finals.
After winning the Dave Dineen Cup on Thursday night they headed for Fethard on Saturday night and beat the home team 20 16 in the Evans Cup semi final with two tries from Shane Murphy, a try by Kieran Sweeney, a conversion by Frank Kelleher and a drop goal by Ger O’Sullivan.It was a well contested game.
And so it was on to Clanwilliam on Monday for the final against Galbally. Played in brilliant sunshine a large crowd attended and they were treated to a titanic struggle as the result was in doubt right to the end. Cashel made a few changes as the selectors rotated the players to ensure everybody in the large panel got game time. Galbally had a size advantage and the game swung in their favour early on. Cashel gradually got a foothold in the Galbally half and they dominated from then until half time. Johnny Maher was making many darting runs and it was from one of these breaks the forwards took the ball into the 22. They were awarded a penalty and John Prior continued his good run with the boot and converted. Nine minutes later Robert Thornton made a break and from the resultant ruck Prior again made no mistake with a penalty. The scrums were keenly contested as the heavier Galbally pack put the pressure on. However the Cashel pack held their own. It was in the lineout Cashel had most difficulty as they tried to throw to the back and Galbally disrupted the throw time after time. Cashel were attacking on the Galbally five metre line but lost the lineout. Suddenly the ball was at the other end of the field and Galbally were awarded a penalty which they converted to make the half time score Cashel 6 Galbally 3.
The second half continued at the same tempo and the heat began to sap the energy of the players. On 52 minutes Galbally were penalised and John Prior once again made no mistake. The play went from end to end but both defences were solid. With fifteen minutes left Galbally put all their effort into getting into the Cashel half. Only heroic tackling kept them out. With five minutes left Sean Walsh beat two tackles and headed for the line. A Galbally player somehow knocked the ball out of his hand and the chance was lost. Shortly afterwards John Prior made a fine run from 30 metres and dived for the line. He was stopped inches short when a try would have put the game to bed. On eighty minutes Cashel were still attacking and a drop goal attempt by Ger O’Sullivan went inches wide. The game was still not over and Galbally made one last foray into the Cashel half. Their scrum half and out half ran deep into Cashel territory and only a last gasp tackle by Sean Walsh saved the day. Galbally were awarded a penalty and as they needed a converted try to win they took a tap and barged for the Cashel line. They went through a number of phases with their heavy pack but again the Cashel tackling kept them out and the referee, Clanwilliams Jim Kissane, blew the final whistle much to the relief of the exhausted Cashel team. They had a wonderful end to the season and the players, John Brosnan, Dermot O’Brien and Mark Butler can now take a well earned rest. They have been a credit to the club and have reaped their reward for all the hard training. Four finals and three cups is a great run for any team.
In the absence of the Tipperary Committee Hierarchy, Pat Flynn presented the cup to Cashel captain, David O’Meara. David complimented the Gallant Galbally team and he made presentations to the Cashel management team in appreciation for all their support throughout the season.
Cashel Team: C O’Donnell, G Delany, S Nolan, A Cummins, C O’Donnell, N Fitzgerald, D Devane, S Ryan, S Murphy, G O’Sullivan, S Walsh, R Thornton, F Kelleher, J Prior, J Maher, E Laffan, D O’Meara, J McCarthy, C Sweeney, J J O’Connor, B Anglim.
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