Jack McLoughlin was on the Kilfeacle team that beat Old Christians in the Challenge Cup
Old Christians 14 Kilfeacle 24
On Sunday last Kilfeacle and District faced Old Christians in the Challenge Cup.
Travelling to Old Christians is never an easy task. This game was proving to be an even bigger challenge because of selection concerns, with several first team regulars ruled out for different and varying reasons.
The game started in wet, cold conditions, with a strong breeze favouring the home side in the first half.
Kilfeacle’s squad consisting of Darren Lowry, Conor O’Sullivan, Thomas Peters, Cathal Donovan, John Bourke, Gavin Heuston, Simon Barry, Rickie Whitney, Adam O’Connell, Philip O’Connor, Christopher Farrell, Cormac Ryan, Jack McLaughlin, James Ryan, Darragh Kennedy, Kevin Kinnane, William Staunton, Evan Breen, Kevin Doyle and James Hogan struggled as a unit in the early minutes of the game because of so many positional and personnel changes. But eventually they took the game to Old Christians.
Kilfeacle’s dominance presented the opportunity of the first score of the game, a penalty after five minutes, and William Staunton never looked like missing the mark.
It seemed like it wouldn’t be long before Kilfeacle extended their lead. However a series of three knock-ons while trying to ground the ball saw three trys for Kilfeacle go a-begging.
Kilfeacle could and should have been leading by more but left a few chances slip, and with some forced and some unforced errors gave Old Christians a foothold in the game when they scored a try against the run of play, which they converted in the 38th minute.
Kilfeacle immediately responded with a series of phases of play, which saw them awarded a penalty under the posts, which William Staunton converted with the last kick of the half, leaving the score 6-7 at the interval in favour of the home side.
Kilfeacle continued to build phase after phase and Old Christians couldn’t blame the weather, they were just not prepared for the blistering pace and intensity of their opponents at the restart.
With Old Christians still reeling, Kilfeacle didn’t lose any impetus and with 46 minutes on the clock they notched up a hard-earned penalty try when Ricky Whitney was fouled while grounding the ball.
The pack had once again worked through a number of phases and set up camp in their opponents’ 22. The attacking Kilfeacle backs were looking ominous and a fine break by James Hogan saw Cathal Donovan touch down in the corner.
William Staunton’s conversion attempt just missed its mark and the score was now 18 points to 7 in Kilfeacle’s favour. The visiting support was jubilant and the home support worried.
Kilfeacle endeavoured to keep the onslaught going. However it took them 12 minutes before they added another penalty by William Staunton, which increased their lead to 21 points to 7.
Another Staunton penalty put Kilfeacle in the comfort zone
Five minutes later the game was over as a contest when another penalty by William Staunton saw Kilfeacle and District increase their lead to 24 points to 7.
Old Christians never gave up, even when the game was over as a contest.
In the last 10 minutes the game lost its shape after a number of injuries and substitutions, which gave Old Christians the opportunity to have a sustained amount of possession. Kilfeacle were defending manfully.
The referee had signalled time was up when Old Christians finally breached the Kilfeacle defence and scored a converted try under the posts, which was to be the final score of the match. To the travelling fans’ relief it was Kilfeacle and District’s day with a win of 24 points to 14.
“This has been, so far, a solid start, I don’t think we have exceeded our expectations because we have always known what we are capable of,” Paul Donovan said.
“We are becoming more consistent, which is something we are working on.
“We have done well as a squad to get where we are. We’ve been working on skills, fitness and working as a team, that’s something that we really had to work at and the squad to a man has put the effort in.
“We haven’t been perfect at it all so far but we are definitely moving in the right direction. We wish Old Christians the best for the rest of the season and thank them for their hospitality on the day.”
Kilfeacle’s next game is away and is a Munster Junior Challenge Cup second round clash against St Senan’s RFC on this Sunday October 3 at 2.30pm.
The team as ever are proud and humbled by the amount of support they receive and hope that their supporters will continue to come along and support the Boys in Blue.
Juvenile training continues at Morrissey Park
Both mini and youth rugby training continues at Morrissey Park (the Hill) in Kilfeacle every Friday at 7pm.
With a primary focus on fun, safety, learning the skills and improving the all-important agility, balance and co-ordination of each child, the club welcomes back its regular players and extends a warm welcome to any new players who would like to come and play for the Blues.
The underage teams of Kilfeacle have experienced quite a degree of success over the past number of years and it is envisaged this year will be no different.
Children from the age of 6 and upwards are most welcome and importantly parents of the children are encouraged to come to the sessions, meet the coaches of each of the grades, meet the other parents and generally integrate within the groups.
So, see you all in Kilfeacle every Friday at 7pm.
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