Looking at the final score (49-20) one would think that this was an easy win for Cashel at Spafield on Saturday last. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cashel played against a slight breeze in the first half and owned the ball for the first 15 minutes but just could not score. They played a high intensity game with backs and forwards driving on and spreading the ball wide. In one of their rare forays into the Cashel half, Old Crescent were awarded a penalty and went 3 points ahead after 15 minutes. They were unlucky 5 minutes later when they missed an easier kick. Cashel went on the attack again and put pressure on a crescent lineout. When Crescent failed to clear their lines after Ed Leamy blocked an attempted clearance, Brendan O’Connor picked from the back of the resultant scrum and scored in the corner. Pat O’Connor converted from the touchline. Four minutes later Michael Cross robbed a ball at the breakdown and was awarded a penalty which O’Connor kicked. On the 33rd minute O’Connor carried into the Crescent half. John Ed O’Connor drove deeper into the 22 where he was tackled; the ball broke loose and Brian Silke picked and dived over for Cashel’s second try which was not converted. Five minutes later Crescent kicked through, the ball hit off a Cashel player into the hands of the opposition who took their try well. John Ed O’Connor then drove towards the Crescent line only to be stopped short. Crescent were penalised and Pat O’Connor converted to leave the half time score Cashel 18 Old Crescent 10.
Five minutes after the restart Crescent went ahead with a penalty and 7 minutes later when Cashel knocked on in their own half Crescent broke from loose play and scored a converted try to go two points ahead against the run of play. This seemed to rally the Cashel players and they went on the attack. In the 59th minute they were awarded a penalty which Pat O’connor converted. From then Cashel showed what they are capable of. Ed Leamy cut through the Crescent defense, offloaded to his brother Kevin who scored a fine try. Six minutes later Alan Downey picked from the base of the scrum and as he has been doing in recent times with the second team drove to the line. He was stopped short but fed Brendan O’Connor who put Sean Walsh through for a try. On 75 minutes Pat O’Connor went on a run from half way, passed to Brian Silke who scored his second try. Silke was again involved in the 82nd minutes when he ran from half way deep into Crescent territory. As he was tackled he kicked through for Kevin Quinlan who scored another try. Pat O’Connor converted all four tries and all of a sudden the final whistle came with Cashel having scored four converted tries in the last 20 minutes.
A feature of Alan O’Donnells contrbution were three crunching tackles in a minute which ensured Crescent did not breach the Cashel defense. Pat O’Connor’s kicking display also deserves mention.
The reward for Cashel is a semi final place against Division 1A club Cork Constitution. Crescent and Cashel meet again in two weeks time in a Division 2A league game. They play Midleton on Saturday next at Midleton in the first round of the league.
Cashel - D Lambe, J E O’Connor, M Kelly, P Ryan, S Walsh, E Leamy. M Cross, B O’Connor, M Hickey, A Kelleher, K Quinlan, B Silke, R O’Connor, K Leamy, P O’Connor, H Stanley, A Devitt, A Downey, C Quinlan, A O’Donnell, I Stanley.
Munster Senior seconds League
Cashel RFC 43 Sundays Well 12.
Cashel started well in this game and with typical running rugby had a converted try from Andrew Wallace within 2 minutes. Although controlling the game it was 20 minutes before Michael O’Connor went on a swerving run to score under the posts. Andrew Wallace put Ger O’Sullivan in for their third try 6 minutes later. Ollie McGlinchey converted. However just before half time Well scored an intercept try. Half Time Cashel 17 Sundays Well 7.
At half time coach John Johnston challenged the the Cashel players to up their game and so they did. They scored two tries from Ollie McGlinchey, one from Andrew Wallace and one from Ailbe Devitt as well as three converts from McGlinchey to run out impressive winners 43 points to 12.
All players did well but special mention for Pat O’Connor for his strong running on the wing, the superb catching of Kieran Gleeson and the performance of prop Cian O’Donnell.
Cashel - C O’Donnell, T Flynn, I Stanley, K Gleeson,A Devitt, P Maher, A. O’Connor, K Murphy, O McGlinchey, C Quinlan, P O’Connor, A O’Donnell, A Wallace, M O’Connor, G O’Sullivan, K Sweeney, J Kelly, A Dwyer, R Thornton, D Cleary
It was good to see Cashel’s Paddy Butler play so well for Munster in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 match at Thomond Park on Saturday night. He was very prominent throughout the game which Munster won in fine style.