Kilfeacle push Kanturk to the limit

Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 10

Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 10

Kanturk RFC 15

“The Boys in Blue” were in action for the first time this year on Sunday, facing a Kanturk side that so far this season have gotten stronger and stronger as they progressed in the league. When you take into consideration Kanturk’s sparkling form and the fact that they are the only team to beat league leaders Richmond and are the only side that can conceivably catch Richmond in the league in comparison to Kilfeacle’s somewhat indifferent form in the last month, you might have been forgiven to have thought that this was a foregone conclusion and an away win. Nothing in rugby is ever that simple to predict!

The game started dark and dull with a cold breeze that blew down the pitch and favouring the visiting side in the first half. In the opening few minutes both sides warily probed and searched for openings like two seasoned heavyweight pugilists getting to know their opponent.

It was Kanturk that landed the first blow when after 11 minutes they worked a scoring opportunity after some good phase play and drew a penalty, which their out half was unlucky to miss. Anxious moments followed for the home supporters, of which there was a sizeable amount, when they watched their team come under some pressure from Kanturk however their team were equal to everything that Kanturk threw at them and there was no sign that the Kilfeacle resistance might crumble.

This galvanised the Kilfeacle team into a unit as they went in search of a tangible response. Kilfeacle’s forwards consisting of Simon Barry, Sean McGrath, Diarmuid O’Donnell, John Hannigan, Ger Luby (Pack Leader), James Mullane, Stephen Flood, Simon Barry, Cormac O’Donoghue and Ricky Barry were slowly coming to terms with Kanturk’s very large mobile pack and subsequently started to push deeper and deeper into the opposition’s territory.

After 30 minutes “The Boys in Blue” had gained a foothold deep in the Kanturk 22. Kanturk are a resilient outfit and did not let this impact on their game plan and came back at Kilfeacle immediately when an error during another Kilfeacle attack presented the visiting side with an opportunity to break. Kanturk after many phases of quick play and expert off loading, scored an excellent team try under the posts which they converted. With the scoreline reading 7-0 in favour of the visiting side no one would have been surprised if this young Kilfeacle side, that is still going through a rebuilding phase, crumbled under the immense pressure being exerted by this Kanturk side. However Kanturk were met with a stout defence that was well marshalled and disciplined and as the half wore on the Kilfeacle squad were finishing impressively, so much so that they had a penalty awarded in the 42nd which Shane Luby narrowly missed which had the scoreboard reading 7-0 in favour of Kanturk.

The manner in which the Kanturk team started the second half seemed to have an unnerving effect on Kilfeacle. What followed can be best described as a siege on the Kilfeacle 22 for at least 10 minutes. To their credit the manner in which the home side defended has to be acknowledged as they held Kanturk at bay. Kilfeacle slowly pushed the Kanturk side back and the next 10 minutes were played out in the Kanturk 22.

After 13 minutes of the second half the first Kilfeacle try came, after a fine maul and quick hands, Kilfeacle breached the Kanturk defence and went over a try finished by Josh Featherstone. A very difficult conversion attempt was converted by Shane Luby. The scoreboard now read 7-7 but everyone thought not for long as the game was being played at a pace and skill level that implied that more scores were certain to come.

Kanturk once again took the lead in the 20th minute after a long distance penalty effort was once again converted by their outhalf to leave the scoreboard reading 10-7 to the visitors.

Kilfeacle now enjoyed a spell of concerted pressure and the backs, Shane Luby, Gavin Heuston, Pat Ryan, Josh Featherstone, Packie Bourke and Diarmuid Callaghan were immense for their attacking and defensive prowess. Kilfeacle drew level in the 25th minute when Shane Luby scored another penalty.

In the 32nd minute came the killer blow as Kanturk regained the lead with another try which seemed to be a carbon copy of the first. When the attempted conversion missed there lay 5 points between the sides in favour of Kanturk. The try far from deflated the home team in fact spurred them on and in many occasions during the last 10 minutes Kilfeacle were only yards from scoring a second try, however on the day they were unable to bridge the gap.

The final whistle came too soon for the home team and with palpable relief the visiting side celebrated their hard fought victory.

The display that the Kilfeacle team gave during this game and the manner in which they played could be measured by the applause they received from both sets of supporters and their opponents as the wearily made the way of the pitch.

After the game birthday boy Tony Cooney said - “Inside in the dressing room after the game the boys were gutted and deservedly so. They could have and might have won. Kanturk are arguably one of the best sides if not the best side in the league this year and we rattled them to the core. The result does not please us but the performance does! It proves what we have been saying all along that inside in this squad there is a team evolving with the potential to achieve success and could even emulate and maybe surpass the achievements of the great Kilfeacle teams of years gone by. One thing you will never lack in any Kilfeacle team is heart and this squad has a heart as big as any.”

Our fist team have their next league outing next Sunday January 13 at 14:30 against Clonmel in Clonmel, the team hope that their supporters will continue to come along and support the “Boys in Blue”.

We are delighted to announce that the training for the underage/younger teams continues every Friday. If you missed last week’s training do not fear, as the place to be is Morrissey Park, Kilfeacle, every Friday night. If you enjoy team sports in healthy surroundings with experienced coaches, great facilities and loads of fun then Morrissey Park is the place to be Friday nights!!