Cashel resumed their league campaign on Saturday with a narrow defeat to Bective Rangers at Spafield.
It was Bective’s first visit to Cashel who won the corresponding fixture last year in Donnybrook with a late try.
When Cashel look back on this game they will wonder why they did not win in spite of having the lion’s share of the possession, particularly in the first half when some poor decision making let three try scoring opportunities for tries go for naught.
To be fair to Bective they were hungrier and got a break early on which put Cashel on the back foot. Cashel started sprightly, attacking the clubhouse goal and went ahead after three minutes with a Darragh O’Brien penalty. This was cancelled two minutes later by a Bective penalty for offside. Then in the 8th minute the ball was bobbing about the Cashel 20 meter line, the referee deemed, to the astonishment of the Cashel supporters, that a Cashel player had knocked on. From the resulting scrum Bective ran and scored a try to put them 10-3 ahead.
Cashel responded and dominated possession from them until half time. On three occasions they had a two on one overlap close to the line. A simple pass on each occasion would have resulted in a simple try but the old call of our former president, Derry O’Connor, to “let it out” was not implemented and the chances were lost.
Another harsh decision went against John Ed O’Connor when he was deemed to have held on to possession on the ground when in fact he had not been held in the tackle. He was in for a try only for that. The pressure finally paid off for Cashel when just before half time they ran the ball from left to right and back again from right to left with all backs involved and Kevin Leamy scoring in the corner.
It was a fine try and showed that Cashel have the talent to score tries when they run the ball as a team. At half time with the score at 10-8 there was a more confident feel about the ground.
The second half was extremely competitive with both sides going at it as a win would propel the victor up the league ladder. Cashel held their own in the scrums and lineouts. They were solid in defence. However Bective kicked two penalties to Cashel’s one in the second half. With time running out and Bective 13-11 ahead, Cashel broke down the field. While pressing close to the 20 meter line they opted for a drop goal which went narrowly wide. Bective had the last word when they kicked a penalty in front of the posts. Final score, 16-11.
It was an entertaining game but there were no very good performances in this from either side but Bective played more as a team. This is a challenge facing Cashel as they must become more cohesive and hold on to possession at the right time, not pass for the sake of passing and give the ball to the player who is in the best position to score - in a team game it does not matter who scores. Two games have been lost by narrow margins and as it is a game of inches every point counts. The only consolation for Cashel was a losing bonus point. They must now pick themselves up for the long journey to Rainey Old Boys next Saturday. It will be a tough game but Cashel will be determined to put this defeat behind them and give a good account of themselves.
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