17 May 2022

Tipperary Rugby: Moment of McMahon magic helps Cashel to another win

Tipperary Rugby: Moment of McMahon magic helps Cashel to another win

File Photo: Cashel's Alan McMahon scoring a try earlier this year against Barnhall. He produced more magic against UL/Bohs last weekend helping Cashel to a 22-15 win

All Ireland league Division 2A


After a break of three weeks All Ireland League rugby re-commenced again and Cashel hosted UL/Bohs at Spafield on Saturday last in Round 16.
At this stage of the season players are getting tired, injuries increase and teams are jockeying for position. This clash was vital to both teams as Cashel want to hold on to second position in the league and UL/Bohs are in the position above the relegation zone but with a cushion of nine points. Both teams had every incentive to win and this resulted in a most enjoyable and competitive game.
Conditions were sunny but a stiff breeze blew down the field to the Cahir Road end. Cashel put the pressure on early in the game and won two penalties, one of which Dan O’Neill pointed after eight minutes. Two minutes later a Cashel kick from inside their own 22 went dead resulting in a scrum back to UL/Bohs. Cashel were penalised in the scrum and UL/Bohs levelled from the tee.
Cashel were working hard and went into the attack again and while going through the phases they were caught in possession and penalised. The visitors worked their way up to the 22 and flashed the ball through the backs to the wing where they ran in a good try to go 5-3 ahead. At this stage Cashel were making life difficult for themselves with a number of handling errors.
Two scrum penalties also went against them and the referee was particularly strict at the breakdown. On thirty one minutes Cashel were attacking again with Richard Moran, Mikey Wilson, Brendan Crosse and Ciaran Ryan particularly prominant in this area.
The Cashel pressure resulted in a yellow card for a UL/Bohs player and a penalty which they kicked to the touchline. The lineout maul worked its way to the line and Brendan Crosse crashed over to level the game.
In injury time Cashel were almost over again but were penalised for holding on. UL/Bohs cleared their lines but Cashel won back the ball and a wonderful inter passing movement between Josh Pickering and Fearghaill O'Donoghue resulted in the latter crashing over for a try which Dan O’Neill converted to put them 15-8 ahead at half time.
As Cashel faced the wind in the second half a seven point lead was slim and their cause was not helped three minutes in when they received a yellow card for a high tackle and were short a man for ten minutes. UL/Bohs kicked the penalty to touch and capitalised with a converted try from a lineout maul to level the game again.
Seven minutes later Cashel were penalised again at the breakdown and the pressure continued. It took Cashel 20 minutes to gain field position. They were awarded a penalty in the scrum which they kicked to the 22. From the lineout they went through the phases with the ball flashing through the hands. Eventually the ball was passed to Alan McMahon who somehow managed to catch it behind his back, hold on to it and crash over for a try which Dan O’Neill converted.
This turned out to be a vital score as UL/Bohs had Cashel back under pressure from the kick off. The penalty count continued to go against them but they continued to defend manfully.
With six minutes remaining Cashel were caught again at the breakdown. UL/Bohs were almost over again but Michael Hickey cleared the pressure with a fine kick to half way. Cashel weathered the storm and held out for a hard earned win. The final score was Cashel 22 UL/Bohemians 15.
The win keeps Cashel eight points ahead of Buccaneers who they play in the last game of the season.
They travel to Nenagh on Friday night to play Round 17 and this will be no easy task.

Cashel team (1-20) C Ryan, N Fitzgerald, B Ryan, R Moran, B Crosse, A O'Connor, F O'Donoghue, M Wilson, J Pickering, D O'Neill, C Cashman, A McMahon, R Kingston, J O'Dwyer, M Kelly, J Blair, A Butler, M Hickey, D Gallagher.

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