There is nothing more dangerous in sport than a team fighting for survival. This was borne out on Saturday when Sundays Well RFC visited Cashel in the 13th game of the All Ireland League. A win for Cashel and they were promoted to Division 2A next year. A win for Sundays Well would push them further away from the relegation zone. So the game was always going to be tense and tough.
Prior to the game Cashel RFC hosted a lunch for their sponsors, volunteers and the many people who have helped the club over the year. It was also attended by guests from Sundays well who also enjoyed the hospitality It was a very pleasant occasion, well organised by the committee with excellent food provided by Joe Ahearn.
And so when the niceties were over it was down to business on the pitch and the game began with Cashel on the attack. In the first minute they were awarded a penalty which Pat O’Connor kicked. Cashel kept the pressure on and Sundays Well were forced to concede two further penalties which were missed. On the 15th minute Cashel lost Brian Silke with a hamstring strain. He was replaced by Alan O’Donnell.
On the 16th minute Sundays Well kicked a penalty and it was clear they were serious obout defending their senior status. Four minutes later Ed Leamy made a strong run from half way to fifteen yards from the Well line. He kicked ahead but received a late tackle as he followed up his kick. Pat O’Connor converted the penalty. The game at this stage was keenly contested and both team gave a good as they got.
On 26 minutes the Well got a lineout ten yards from the Cashel line. They gained possession from the lineout and mauled over for an excellent forwards try putting them eight six ahead. It was now being put up to Cashel and they responded in great style. With half time approaching they ran a penalty from the ten meter line. They flashed the ball to Kevin Leamy who scored a fine try in the corner. Half time Cashel 11 Sundays Well 8.
Cashel turned over with the wind advantage. Eoin O’Connor retired with an injury on fifty minutes and was replaced by Michael Cross. Ed Leamy made a great run from half way, offloaded to Brendan O’Connor who scored a fine try. which Pat O’Connor converted. Sundays Well were still making it difficult for Cashel who had to fight for every yard. On fifty seven minutes they won a lineout ten yards from the Well line. Ed Leamy beat three tackles and scored a try which Pat O’Connor again converted to increase the Cashel lead.
The bonus point was now on the cards but Sundays Well were not giving in and they fought for every ball with determination. Cashel were not to be denied. When Kevin Quinlan was fouled they took a quick penalty, the ball came to Lloyd Foote who ran forty meters to score a great individual try and secure the bonus point. Final Score Cashel 32 Sundays Well 8.
It was a great team display with the full panel contributing to a great victory. There were many excellent performances but man of the match Ed Leamy shone. For various reasons Cashel were short a number of players but it gave a great chance to players like Alan O’Donnell, Conor Byrne and Michael Cross, Ian Stanley and Danny Lambe to come in and show that they are more than capable of playing in this league.
With Barnhall beating Banbridge, Cashel are now promoted to Division 2A and are eight points clear at the top of the table requiring just two points from the last two games to go up as winners of the league.
On Saturday next Cashel play Wanderers in Dublin. Wanderers are also fighting relegation and will be very derermined to win that game. Cashel will need to be at their best to win this game and cannot be complacent.
Cashel - M Kell, C Byrne, H Stanley, L Foote, E O’Connor, E Leamy, B O’Connor, J E O’Connor, M Hickey, C Quinlan, C Morrissey, B Silke, K Quinlan, K Leamy, P O’Connor, I Stanley, D Lambe, M Cross, O McGlinchey, A O’Donnell.
Munster Senior Seconds League
Cashel 26 Highfield 7
On Sunday Cashel travelled to Highfield needing a bonus point win to take the last available spot in the quarter finals of the Munster Senior Seconds League. With a mixture of seasoned campaigners and many very young players it was a tall order but this team has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of coach John Johnston and once again they got a famous victory. After fifteen minutes the ball was carried deep into the Highfield 22 by Albie Devitt and Philly Ryan. Out half Michael Sweeney fed Jack Ryan who cut through the Highfiled defense to score a fine try which Sweeney converted. On thirty two minutes Michael Cross made good ground. From the resulting ruck Ollie McGlincey waited just long enough to give an inch perfect pass to the onrunning Alan O’Donnell who scored a try under the posts which Sweeney converted. Highfield fought back and scored a try of their own on half time. Half time score Cashel 14 Highfield 7.
The bonus point win was now on and Cashel went after it with determination. After fifty eight minutes Alan O’Donnell broke through the Highfield defense and fed Frank Kelleher who took it on and fed Michael O’Connor. who showing a great turn of foot ran from the 22 and scored in the corner. At this stage Emmett Hall, back after a long layoff with a broken hand, brought Cashel close to the Highfield line. After a series of scrums Aidan O’Connor scored a bonus point try which Michael Sweeney converted to secure the final quarter final place. It was a good result as this team was playing in the Senior Seconds League for the first time this year and they proved, by getting to the quarter final that they can mix it with the senior clubs in Munster.
The Club wishes Michael O’Brien well as he recovers from his recent setback and we look forward to having him back on the sideline soon.
Congratulations to the Cashel/New Inn ladies hockey team on winning their Munster Final and to the Cashel King Cormacs under 21 team on winning the West hurling final.