Heroes: Nenagh Ormond make history with Charity Cup final win over Garryowen

Brian McDonnell


Brian McDonnell



Heroes: Nenagh Ormond make history with Charity Cup final win over Garryowen

Nenagh Ormond won the Charity Cup for the first time on Friday night.

Nenagh Ormond have won the Charity Cup for the first time in the club’s history. On Friday night at the Market’s Field in Limerick the side managed by John Long and coached by Ivan Muldoon beat raging hot favourites Garryowen, who feature in division 1A of the Ulster Bank League, by a single point. So, once you have recovered your jaw from the floor we can move on. Take a minute. Ready? Let's go.

Limerick Charity Cup Final
Nenagh Ormond RFC 25
Garryowen FC 24

Although Nenagh Ormond had already beaten Shannon (14-7) and UL Bohemian (20-17) during an eye-catching campaign Garryowen were expected to prove too strong for the Tipperary side in this senior cup decider.

Nenagh, however, had other ideas and thanks to tries from David Gleeson, Gerard O’Gorman and John Healy the Tipp outfit were terrific value for this win. And, the stomach of the Nenagh lads was tested in this one.

Nenagh Ormond trailed by seven (5-12) after 25 minutes, but dominated thereafter and deservedly carved out a ten-point advantage seven minutes into the second half (22-12). Garryowen, however, recovered to edge into a two-point lead (24-22) with four minutes to play. And, just when it appeared as if Nenagh Ormond RFC were doomed the Tipperary side streaked up the field to win a penalty which Clayton Stewart booted over.

Ormond played some really terrific rugby in this decider with Kevin O’Flaherty and John Flaherty outstanding in the tight while Jamie McGarry, Willie O’Connor, David Gleeson and Gerard O’Gorman shone in the wider channels. Full-back Clayton Stewart, however, was the outstanding candidate for the man of the match award - the Kiwi made a huge impact on this contest.


Garryowen rumbled over for the opening try of the game in sixth minute when number eight Mark Rowley picked off the base of a five-metre scrum and touched down for an unconverted try.

Nenagh Ormond, however, had been encouraged by early foray into enemy territory when David Gleeson carved open the Limerick side down the right flank only for a key pass inside to go astray. And, in the 12th minute Nenagh Ormond struck for an equalising try. Some neat footwork from Jamie McGarry sparked a move which also featured a smashing sidestep from Gerard O’Gorman who created the room for David Gleeson to scoot in (5-5).

Six minutes later Nenagh Ormond threatened once more. This time Clayton Stewart kicked through and David Gleeson narrowly missed out on the touch down. Garryowen hit back with an Andrew O’Byrne try in the 25th minute; Dave McCarthy converted and the Limerick side led 12-5.

Garryowen missed a kickable penalty in the 33rd minute, but Nenagh Ormond converted one of their own (Clayton Stewart) in the 37th before conjuring the try of the game a minute later. Clayton Stewart’s eye-catching ability to join the Nenagh line from full-back was a significant feature of the Ormond performance and in the 38th minute the New Zealander beat the Garryowen defence with a cross-field kick which fell into the arms of winger Gerard O’Gorman who raced in under the posts to put the cap on a brilliant move. Stewart converted and Nenagh Ormond led 15-12 at the break.


Seven minutes into the second half Nenagh Ormond extended their lead to ten points with another cracking try. Conor Muldoon turned over the ball five metres inside the Garryowen half and fed Nicky Irwin. The interval replacement jinked between the opposition half-backs before playing team captain John Healy through. Healy sold the Garryowen full-back a glorious dummy and touched down under the posts for a converted try (22-12).

Nenagh Ormond defended well for the ensuing eleven minutes before Garryowen hit back through Peader Collins in the 58th minute (22-17). Then, with ten minutes to play, the quick feet of Clayton Stewart appeared to have created a key opening for the full-back, but the ball squirted out of the New Zealander’s hand with the try line at his mercy.

Garryowen wrestled the initiative away from Nenagh Ormond in the 76th minute when the famed Limerick club were awarded a penalty try - the Tipperary lads were penalised for bringing down a maul illegally deep inside their ’22.

Garryowen now led 24-22, but Nenagh Ormond, displaying all of the raw grit that we have come to associate with this group of players, fought back brilliantly - Clayton Stewart sparked a sensational attack when electing to run the ball from deep inside his own half. And, as Nenagh poured forward an off-balance Garryowen side coughed up a penalty and Stewart booted Ormond into a one-point lead with two minutes to play. There was still time for Garryowen to earn a penalty of their own, but Neil Cronin steered his effort wide from an awkward angle in the 82nd minute. Cue euphoria.

Nenagh Ormond won the Charity Cup for the first time on Friday night.


Nenagh Ormond return to Ulster Bank League action on Saturday, November 25th when they host Galwegians while Cashel RFC are away to Highfield in Cork (both games kick-off at 2.30pm).


Nenagh Ormond RFC: Clayton Stewart, David Gleeson, Peter Coman, Willie O’Connor, Gerard O’Gorman, Jamie McGarry, Eoin Gardner, Fergal Brislane, Aidan Doyle, John Coffey, Kevin O’Gorman, Kevin O’Flaherty, John Healy, John O’Flaherty, John Hayes. Replacements: (HT) Conor Muldoon for Aidan Doyle, (HT) Nicky Irwin for Eoin Gardiner, (HT) Derek Corcoran for Peter Coman, (51st) Willie Coffey for Jamie McGarry, (56th) Aidan Doyle for John Coffey, (61st) Eoin Gardiner for Willie O’Connor, (61st) Andrew Hodgins for John Hayes, (66th) Peter Coman for Gerard O’Gorman, (67th) Cian Comerford for John Healy.

Garryowen FC Starting XV: Lorcan Bourke, Andrew O’Byrne, Paul Clancy, David McCarthy, Sam Gleeson, Jamie Gavin, Aaron Rice, Barry McNamara, Liam Cronin, Nik Hildebrand, Barra O’Byrne, Aaron McCloskey, Darren Ryan, Mikey Wilson, Mark Rowley.

Referee: Ken Imbusch (IRFU).