As stated many times before, dedication and commitment will out on the day. And so it was for the Clonmel 2nd XV who travelled to Bruff last Friday night to take on one of the strongest teams in north Munster, Thomond RFC, in the O’Carroll Cup Final. If any team deserved a cup victory it certainly was this 2nd XV squad and management team. As regards training, dedication and commitment to each other on and off the field of play, this was the side that deserved their glory.
Clonmel opted to play the first half against the strong wind. They started better and Thomond had to rely on their huge defence to keep them scoreless, especially as the lineout and maul were causing Thomond problems. On 12 minutes Clonmel were rewarded for all their pressure when they were awarded a penalty 30 meters out. It was a difficult kick against the wind but the young, talented Davy Hoyne kept his cool to put Clonmel 3-0 up.
Thomond came straight back and 3 minutes later levelled with a penalty. Thomond began to get the upper hand but a massive Clonmel defence kept them at bay, when on 25 min a long clearance from Danny Lyons was chased by Danny and Mark Jenkinson, Mark has put in many top class consistent performances all year. Mark put great pressure on the Thomond defender and stole the ball to run 20m and scored a great try. Davy Hoyne converted.
Thomond used the strong wind and put a lot of pressure on Clonmel, but Clonmel’s resilient defence never looked like being breached. Thomond were awarded and scored a penalty in injury time. Half time score 10-6 to Clonmel.
The second half was real cup rugby with both teams committing 100%. To Thomond’s credit, they scored a fine converted try while playing against a strong wind, giving them the lead. Brian Lonergan showed his experience by using the wind and kicking into the corners, keeping the pressure on Thomond. Clonmel used the bench for fresh legs and began to exert pressure on the Thomond line. Clonmel got over the Thomond line twice but were denied once by a Thomond defender and again by a knock-on. Clonmel never gave up and went through phase after phase to attempt to score the winning try.
Eventually the Thomond defence was breached when after numerous phases a pop pass off the back of a ruck saw the up and coming Mark Corby power over the line to the relief and delight of Clonmel supporters. With the score now at Clonmel 15, Thomond 13, the last 10 minutes of play was going to be nail biting. But this period, and the additional ten minutes of injury time, saw Clonmel keep Thomond in their own half to see out the game.
Huge credit must be given to the entire squad as every member had game time to help Clonmel reach the final and offered great support to the guys who played on the night. This also includes the backroom team led by team manager Barry O’Driscoll. Special credit also goes to the coach and mentor Hogan Chapman whose commitment to this team has paid off as he leaves us this week to return to New Zealand. On behalf of the panel and backroom staff, Thank You Hogan. Final score Clonmel 15- Thomand 13
U-17 East Munster Cup
Clonmel won a place in the final of the East Munster Cup after an impressive display against Clanwilliam in Ardgeeha on Sunday. Scoring a pair of tries either side of half time, the home side were always in control. Credit to Clanwilliam though who never gave up to the final whistle and gave Clonmel a good physical match. A word of thanks to the home supporters who cheered on Clonmel; your encouragement is appreciated. The final may not be played for two weeks as the other side of the draw has been delayed. Training continues on Wednesday and Friday.
Donal Carroll Cup – u-11s Blitz
Next Saturday, April 9 is Donal Carroll Cup day. This cup is played for u-11 teams from across Munster in honour of Donal Carroll. The Carroll family has organised a new cup for this competition and will be present to award the cup and medals to the winning team.
This is a very prestigious and important event in the u-11 competition calendar. So up to fifteen teams are expected to take part in the event.
The proceedings start at 10.30am. Please come and support your team. And because of the big number of teams involved, please be prepared to help out.
The annual U-10s blitz took place last Saturday morning with 10 teams taking part - Kilfeacle, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Waterpark, Galbally, Old Crescent, Fethard and Clanwilliam, Clonmel 1 and Clonmel 2.
The Eldon Morris Cup, which was awarded on the basis of fair play, teamwork and discipline, was presented to the Galbally team by Paul Morris, representing the donors and sponsors of the competition.
Thanks to everyone who took part and who helped out in any way in making the day a tremendous success.
The U-11s travelled to Kilkenny for a blitz with a much reduced squad. Well done to the team for battling on for four tough games with only one player in reserve. Afterwards they were presented with their medals before having some well earned refreshments.
The Family Day on Sunday was a great success in spite of the weather. A huge crowd of young people and their parents attend the event. With bouncy castles, spider web, crop goal, rugby-golf and many other activities everybody had a brilliant fun day.
Bill O’Gorman, club Youth Officer, made a presentation to Leanne and Hogan Chapman who are returning to New Zealand after spending 18 months with the club. During that time Leanne was the club administrator and provided a huge amount of support to the youths section of the club. Hogan was the club coach.
Hogan will be leaving Clonmel RFC on Thursday of this week. Hogan was an excellent asset to the Club. His style, manner, and just sheer human dimension meant that he got on well with everybody in the club and everybody got on well with him. Hogan, as Club Coach, and even though his primary engagement was with the senior teams, spent a lot of time with the underage teams and underage coaches. He was particularly a big “wow” with all the kids. His organising of the All Blacks Summer Camp was a fantastic success for the Club, and Hogan has set a very high standard of organisation, entertainment, and engagement of young players in the art of rugby, for the Club to follow.
Hogan will be missed by everybody in the Club and everybody in Clonmel that he came in contact with. Hogan is a professional and a gentlemen.
All at Clonmel RFC wish you and Leanne a safe and happy journey home, and all the best in the future.
If all the people you invited to stay with you and Leanne during the World Cup turn up on your door step – don’t be surprised. But it might be a good idea to get started on the 300 bedroom extension as soon as you get home. God’s speed to you and Leanne.
The all-weather pitches at Ardgeeha are available for hire any day, morning, afternoon and evening. For bookings please contact: 087-3724393 or 087-3724394
The 1st XV play Clanwilliam in the semi-final of the Garryowen Cup in Clanwilliam. Kick-off at 3.00pm
Our 2nd XV play Clanwilliam in the semi-final of the Evans Cup in Clanwilliam. Kick-off is at 1 pm.