Killarney see off Midleton in 1st Round

 In Club

Killarney see off Midleton in 1st Round:

Bank of Ireland Munster U-16 Cup
Report – Stephen O’Brien.
Photos – Sinead Sugrue & Colin Counihan.
Mild and calm weather greeted the teams on Saturday 11th of December 2021 as Midleton made the trek west to Killarney to take on Killarney’s ever improving squad in the first round of the Bank of Ireland Munster u-16 Cup.
The harsh weather conditions of Storm Barra the previous week thankfully had caused no damage to the club facilities and the club was yet again a hive of activity with youths & mini’s all taking to the pitch throughout the day. It was certainly very encouraging to see strong numbers showing up on the touchlines to cheer on the team and all supporters were treated to a good day’s rugby.
Killarney started the game strongly and quickly took control of possession and territory. Early exchanges were fierce as both teams were looking to get off to a winning start. Killarney settled early and in attack made some very good gains. On the 15-minute mark good attacking backline play put Killarney within sight of the line and a strong carry through the tackle by centre Shane O’Sullivan brought him just close enough to force his way over get the ball down for the opening try of the day before he added the conversion to give Killarney a deserved 7-0 lead.
Midleton rallied to escape their own half and had a brief visit to the Killarney ’22 but the hosts in defence very effectively shut down that spell of Midleton possession and starved their guests of any real opportunity to register a score with virtually the entire first half played in the Midleton half of the pitch. As the time ticked away close to the break, with Midleton defending strongly, Killarney managed to grind their way to the Midleton line and once again manged come away with points. This time the score came from tighthead Dylan O’Brien who was on hand following a series of bruising and effective attacking phases from the forwards testing the Midleton defence but even a third defender in the tackle was no match for the raw strength and gritty determination as O’Brien drove his way onto the scoresheet to give Killarney a fully deserved 12-0 halftime lead.
Half time brought a calm and focused assessment of the performance and after the restart scrums, rucks, mauls, tackles and lineouts were all strongly contested as both teams tested each other. Killarney got back in the groove to turn the screw once again setting up camp in their opponents half having worked their way into control of territory and possession again and after 13 minutes of the second half, number 8 Tomás Chambers put real daylight between the teams as he clinically capitalised on a very solid scrum to pick and go from the base, scorching through the heart of the Midleton defence to touch down under to posts and put Killarney into the lead at 19-0 with the conversion added by Shane O’Sullivan.
While there was certainly no let up from Midleton Killarney now played with a little more freedom than the tense first half and sprung fresh troops from the bench to bolster their side. Dara Stack who was brought in to replace the injured Gearoid Sugrue at Scrum half made his presence felt as he ruthlessly intercepted during a Midleton attack where practically nobody else seemed to sense it was on and sprinted home from halfway to all but secure the win at 26-0.
Killarney by now had emptied the bench with plenty experience coming in fresh but the visitors weren’t lying down without one last throw of the dice. Some strong tackling and scramble defence just held of the final onslaught as Midleton went down with all guns blazing in the final act of the match, but Killarney managed to get out without conceding at the death to secure an impressive 26-0 final score line and a win built on a very solid team performance.
A break in matches over the Christmas will give the team plenty of time to prepare for the next game which takes place at Aghadoe again on the 8th of January where Highfield come to town with kick-off at 12.30pm. Hope to see you all there again!
Team on the day: Mark Kennelly, Jack Donoghue, Shane O’Sullivan, Scott Carlton (captain), Sam Dennehy, Bryan Walsh, Gearoid Sugrue, Adam Lynch-Herlihy, Alex Courtney-Sheahan, Dylan O’Brien, Kris O’Leary-Sacristan, Ciarán Doyle, Gearóid O’Connor, Connie Counihan, Tomás Chambers, Ronan Bennett, Pierce Leslie, Jake Leahy, Senan Cotter, Tomás Swords, Colm Janot, Muiris O’Donoghue, Dara Stack, Cian Russell.
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