Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 12
Cork Constitution R.F.C. 17
After excellent performances and results against St. Marys and Kinsale in the previous rounds, Kilfeacle and District RFC were drawn away against Cork Constitution in the Quarter Finals of the Munster Junior Cup. When you reach this stage of the competition you tend to build up a head of steam and the squad as a whole, realize that three more good results and you raise the cup. On Sunday 31st of March the team produced a great performance but alas didn’t achieve the desired result.
In Morrissey Park on Sunday Cork Con showed their intent from the start. As with many games in this competition the opening minutes are a cagey affair as both sets of players test and probe their opposition. Eventually the game fell into a pattern which was the team with the advantage of the strong breeze having the lion’s share of possession and territorial advantage.
In the first half this was the visitors as their forwards combined well to build phase after phase of good play and maintained control of the ball for long periods. This dominance was reflected on the scoreboard when they went ahead when Philip O’Leary touched down for a push over try in the corner which they were unable to convert.
Kilfeacle are resilient and in a matter of minutes the pack consisting of Simon Barry, Stephen Flood, James Mullane, Sean McGrath, Diarmuid O’Donnell, Keith Kearns, Ger Luby (Captain), John Hannigan, John Doyle, Jack Sullivan, Cormac O’Donoghue and James Ryan (Salmon) were now on top and providing great possession for the backs who in the form of Kilfeacle now enjoyed a spell of concerted pressure and the backs, J.J. Cooney, Packie Burke, Wallace Burke, Diarmuid Carr, Pat Ryan, Charles Walsh, Shane Morrissey and Bernard Callaghan looked dangerous every time they got the ball.
Diarmuid Carr gained ground and off loaded to Packie Burke, who had an outstanding game, he subsequently beat two tacklers and drew in two more defenders before releasing Shane Morrissey who side stepped and skipped his way past defenders to score in the corner. Shane Morrissey was unable to kick the conversion so the game was tied with 26 minutes gone.
Con again put together some good play and finally Yasin Brown breached a stubborn Kilfeacle defence to score an unconverted try, which left the scoreboard reading 10-5 with half time looming. However once again Kilfeacle showed their determination and in the dying minutes of the half Sean McGrath burst out of his own half and supplied quick ball to Diarmuid Carr who fed Packie Burke, Charles Walsh burst through the line to create space for the onrushing Bernard Callaghan, his perfectly timed pass found Pat Ryan in space at speed. Pat had the beating of those who stood before him and managed to get his touch down closer to the posts. Shane Morrissey kicked the conversion and the half time whistle sounded and so the tale of nearly and almost began, a tale unluckily for Kilfeacle that would end in tears! At half time the score line read 12-10 to the home side.
The second half started with Cork Constitution putting all the pressure on the Kilfeacle defence. Kilfeacle defended well and when after 26 phases of play, in which Cork Con held the ball for 8 minutes, Kilfeacle finally stopped them and earned possession of the ball in the form of a scrum ten yards from their own line. Now was the opportunity to clear their line and earn some respite.
However in the resultant scrum Kilfeacle’s scrum half JJ Cooney was impeded from taking the ball out of the scrum which allowed the scrum to go 90 degrees. Cork Con were given the put in and on this occasion Kilfeacle could not halt the onslaught and when Pat Parfrey scored the try under the posts it gave Brian Derham the simplest of conversions which was vital as it put Cork Con 5 points ahead with 24 minutes to go.
Now the pressure was on Kilfeacle to respond and do so rapidly, as time was not on our side. Respond they did and after a gargantuan team effort, they were inside their opposition 22. Cork Con were finding it hard to stop their opponents from gaining ground and were doing everything to ensure that their opponents didn’t get the essential try they needed.
Kilfeacle were awarded penalties but each time turned down the kicking option because of the 5 point margin. Soon Cork Con were down to 14 men. The Kilfeacle supporters, of which there were many, were expectant of more. The score board now read only 17-12.
When the final whistle sounded a spent band of players wearing the blue of Kilfeacle stood dejected and wondered how this one got away?