Cashel travelled to Bruff on Saturday for the first round of the Muster Senior Cup. Bruff won this competition two years ago and went on to win the All Ireland Cup. They are also a division above Cashel in the All Ireland league.
Cashel knew it would not be an easy game and that is exactly how it turned out to be. Cashel started well and within two minutes they were awarded a penalty which Pat O’Connor kicked. They kept up the pressure and four minutes later they were awarded another penalty which O’Connor kicked - 6 nil and looking good.
On the half hour Bruff got a foothold inside the Cashel 22. When awarded free kicks they opted for the scrum. The referee eventually lost patience and awarded Bruff a penalty try which they converted. Cashel had one more sortie into the Bruff half before half time. They were awarded a penalty but the kick was narrowly wide and Bruff led at half time 7-6.
The second half started with Bruff pounding the Cashel defense. They owned the ball for 15 minutes but could not score. There were some ferocious tackles going in and the backrow of Ed Leamy. Brendan O’Connor, Michael Cross and Brian Silke in the centre stood firm. Silke playing at 12 for the first time was excellent in defense and put in some crunching tackles. He and Rory O’Connor, playing at 13 for the first time added a new dimension to the Cashel game and the ball got to the wingers much more often.
Midway through the second half Cashel were awarded a penalty on half way. This lifted the siege as Ed Leamy drove deep into the Bruff half. Brendan O’Connor took on the offload and was caught just short of the line. The ball went from Michael Hickey to Brian Silke who fed Ed Leamy on the inside. Ed raced to the line and scored a great try which Pat O’Connor converted.
This gave Cashel great heart and they continued to play good expansive rugby. With 10 minutes left Kevin Leamy was put clear on the half way line and was caught just short. Try as they might Bruff could not get back into the Cashel half. To the great joy of the Cashel supporters the final whistle came and two very tired teams who had played an excellent game of rugby left the field.
In addition to the players mentiond above, Michael Hickey and Andy Kelleher played very well and the wingers Kevin Leamy and Kevin Quinlan made good ground when in possession. Pat O’Connor was as solid as a rock at full back. Philly Ryan and Sean Walsh were execllent with Walsh carrying a lot of good ball. The front row of Michael Kelly, John Ed O’Connor and Danny Lambe did well against a very strong Bruff front row, Emmett Hall and Howard Stanley did very well when introduced to the front row as did Aidan O’Connor and Alan O’Donnell
Cashel: M Kelly, J E O’Connor, D Lambe, S Walsh, P Ryan. Ed Leamy, M Cross, B O’Connor, M Hickey, A Kelleher, K Leamy, B Silke, R O’Connor, K Quinlam, P O’Connor, Subs used: E Hall, H Stanley, A O’Connor, A O’Donnell.
Cashel play Old Crescent in the next round in Cashel next Saturday at 2.30. The winners will go on to the semi final.
Munster Senior Seconds League
Cashel 43 Dolphin 8.
Cashel got their league campaign off to a great start with a bonus point win over Dolphin at home on Sunday. Cashel started very well and were superior in the scrums. On the 6th minute Kieran Murphy broke from a scrum to score a try. Four minutes later Alan Downey scored the first of his 3 tries. Ollie McGlinchey converted. and he added a penalty 3 minutes later. Cashel were totally on top but were finding it hard to score. They were attacking inside the Dolphin 22 when a pass was intercepted and the Dolphin centre ran the length of the field to score a good try. The conversion was missed.
McGlinchey added two penalties before half time and Dolphin added one. Half time score Cashel 21 Dolphin 8.
Cashel started where they left off in the second half and Downey scored another try. Ollie McGlinchey added two more penalties before Downey scored his third try on the 60th minute. He is really playing great rugby and is an example to the younger players. Ollie converted and kicked a penalty in the 70th minute. Andrew Wallace had the last word with a try and Ollie finished the scoring with the conversion.
There were some excellent performances. It is very encouraging to see two fine teams playing for Cashel over the weekend. This seconds team will keep the pressure on the first team as many of them are fighting for places and this is a healthy position to be in.
Next Sunday Cashel travel to play Sundays Well in Cork in the next round of the league.
Under age: Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 training continues on Friday next at 7pm. All players are welcome and there will be great opportunities for these players in the future if they continue to play. The strength of Cashel Rugby Club has been the its youth policy and the development of the young players.