U16 into U16 Munster Development Cup Final with epic win in Newcastle West
U16 Munster Development Cup semi-final: Killarney RFC 23 Nenagh Ormond RFC 15 – match report by Seamus Grealy
Killarney U16s created history by reaching the Munster U16 final coming from behind in this pulsating semi final played in Newcastlewest.
Conditions were perfect and these two evenly matched committed teams turned up intent on playing expansively. Both sides probed early on and a highlight was the intense battle between the powerful centre pairings. Killarney came closest to scoring in the opening quarter once following a clean line break from outhalf Donnchadh Grealy and shortly after when winger Tomas Clifford came close in the right corner. Nenagh however registered the first points when their no 12 cooly slotted a 30 metre penalty.
Enjoying a period of dominance they piled forward continuously recycling and spreading play through their powerful backline. Their powerplay pressure was rewarded with a superbly worked team try under the posts for a 7 pointer. Killarney were finding it difficult to get a foothold and a high penalty count against them kept giving hard-won possession and territory back to a hungry Nenagh outfit. Five minutes before halftime Nenagh struck again when a long line out throw sailed into the hands of their grateful no6 tail jumper who casually touched down. At 15-nil it looked like only one winner at this stage.
However, there is a reason why the moments directly before and after halftime are called
the championship moments. Killarney got dug into the opposition 22 from the restart and to their credit kept composed and focused changing the point of attack through numerous phases. Tomas Clifford again came close an the left wing. Nenagh defended their line gallantly and it took a Darren Cronin turnover to regain possession before a final flurry of recycling released tigerish Brendy O Donoghue over in the right corner to revive hope. The half time score was 15 -5 to Nenagh.
Brendy O Donoghue scores before half time.
Killarney emerged re-energized and focused for the second half. Confidently they secured the restart and launched the best move of the game. A superb looping handling setplay from backs Liam Randles, Donnchadh Grealy, Ozdenis Koyun, and a cutting line from Padraig Talbot gave a determined Tomas Clifford the chance to sprint away and this time finish superbly.
Tomas Clifford scores try. 1st play of 2nd half.
Now it was Killarney forcing the pace and a retreating Nenagh defence conceding the penalties. After 45 minutes Donnchadh Grealy kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 2 points.
Killarney were now dominating all the major collisions and camped in the opposing half. John Mc Carthy secured line out ball and well constructed rolling mauls came very close on two occasions. A number of close in tapped penalties also met with teak-tough tackling from the Nenagh defence. With 11 minutes remaining a well used penalty set play finally broke the dam when Padraig Talbot powered through a flailing series of tackles to touchdown and give Killarney the lead.
Padraig Talbot breaks through for 3rd try
The conversion was added and a final insurance penalty with 5 minutes to go sealed the victory. Incredibly, Killarney had overturned a 15 points deficit to score 23 unanswered points.
The Killarney team as a unit rose to the occasion on the day. The front row of Adam Cronin, Czengis Koyun, and Rob Nealon superbly led the frontline. The 2nd row pairings of Darren Cronin, Cormac Rowe, Mike O Donoghue, and Shane McAllister tackled, counterrucked and fought for every inch. A Drake-inspired Brendy O Donoghue played his most aggressive game of the season. As usual no 8 John McCarthy provided the steel in defence and line out platform. The returning Bailey O Sullivan reminded everyone of his rugby prowess.
Liam Randles deputised superbly for captain and scrumhalf Peter Walsh, passing, orchestrating the attack and boxkicking expertly. Outhalf Donnchadh Grealy repeatedly broke the defensive line and added 8 points. Ozdenis Koyun dominated the centre collisions with power running and bone crunching tackles. Padraig Talbot again gave a powerful man of the match performance this time playing in the centre. Tomas Clifford again terrorized the defence with his speed and power. Dan Twomey and Jack Kenneally tackled superbly on the wings and fullback Mikey Moriarty was rock solid under highball and counterattacking.
Further images from the game by Ian Cronin can be foundhere
A word of congratulations also to a gallant, skillful, Nenagh squad and coaching team who contributed immensely to a superb game.
Cup Final Details:
Killarney now look forward to the Munster U16 Development Cup Final at Irish Independent Park, across the county bounds in Cork against Cashel/Kilfeacle this Sunday. Kick off is 11:45am and this promises to be a cracker of a match. Best of luck to all the players, their families and to our magnificent coaches Seamus Grealy, John O’Connell, Eoin Seery,Leo Randles, Conn rowley and Bill Stack. #Blackandredarmy