Clonmel move one step closer to another trophy

Cashel 7 Clonmel 10

Cashel 7 Clonmel 10

Not a game for the faint hearted. Clonmel 2nds showed they have great character in abundance. A motto from last Saturday’s Gleeson Cup game in Cashel was “no retreat”. The game was played in Clonmel’s half for the first 10 minutes, with Cashel driving hard.  Clonmel defended well and worked hard to get themselves into the Cashel half. They were awarded two penalties which were not converted. The forwards worked hard to get the ball to their backs who set up Colm O’Connell for a try under the post. Colm converted his try.  The first half finished at 7 nil to Clonmel.

Cashel came out in the second half running hard at Clonmel. Each Clonmel player stood up to the challenge. They had a player sin-binned for a challenge on a Cashel player. Cashel did not score during the ten minutes while Clonmel had 14 men on the field.  Cashel eventually engineered a try on the 70th minute which was converted. The game finished at 7 all and extra time had to be played.

For the first half Clonmel worked hard to get the ball into the Cashel half and through great pressure they were rewarded with a Colm O’Connell penalty to lead 10-7. For the second half Clonmel forwards recycled the ball well. However, Cashel worked themselves into Clonmel’s half and they were awarded two penalties in front of goal.  They had to go for a try to win the match. Again through some great defence from Clonmel, they withstood the challenge.

What a game!  When the season finishes, players will reflect on the season and this game will stand out because it had everything. Clonmel showed great team spirit and they were brilliant in defence and attack. Not one player can be selected for a man of the match performance because each player played a massive part in the victory.

u-14s Waterpark Blitz

Coaches Ciaran Burke and Eoghan Anderson took a combination panel of players to Waterpark last Saturday to play in the u-14s blitz. The panel consisted of u-12s, u-13s, and those u-15s that are still young enough to be u-14s.

This group of players never played together before. But all credit is due to each and every one of the panel and Ciaran and Eoghan to bring this panel from being just a group of u-14s in the first game to being a super team four hours later in the final of the Plate competition.

The first game was against one of the host Waterpark teams. The Clonmel mixture were not use to playing together. But they played well and were narrowly beaten 10 points to 7.

Several games later Clonmel were now a team to be reckoned with. They grew in confidence and elled together more and more with each game played. The result of this growing teamwork was a place in the Plate Final against Young Munster. The first half was scoreless. In fact Clonmel were the better side and were unlucky not to score on two occasions. After the halftime break, Munsters were stringing the ball together a lot more. After all they have been playing together all season. But Clonmel had their measure until about four minutes from the end of the game. Then a brilliant move from the Musnter No.8 separated the sides with a super try.

But Clonmel kept on trying and spent the last few minutes on the Munster’ 22. The instructions were roared in from the sideline by the Munster coaches, “if any of you get the ball kick it as far as you can down field”. They knew full well that all it would take was just a small break and Clonmel would be over the line.

Unfortunately the final whistle blew, and Munsters won the game 5-nil.

All credit is due to this very young Clonmel team. Everybody got a run and everybody played well. But please forgive this reporter for mentioning the super and excellent performances of Jeff Van Dam, Conor Molloy, Bradley Lyons, the fullback Daniel, and super subs Ross McDwyer, and the young Slats. It looks like the Slattery rugby dynasty is alive and well.