Kilfeacle fightback just falls short as Richmond prove too strong

Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 17

Richmond R.F.C. 24

Kilfeacle and District RFC lost to Richmond at Morrissey Park in the Challenge Cup.

Immediately Richmond used the breeze that they were playing with to gain the advantage and in the second minute had been awarded a penalty which they saw come back off the post and after some worrying moments finally cleared from danger. The vast majority of the first 20 minutes were played in the Kilfeacle 22 as the visitors tried to gain the upper hand quickly and after 10 minutes they won a second penalty, whose conversion was yet again unsuccessful.

The fear with the home supporter was that Richmond were creating too many chances and had too much territorial advantage and the home side were unable to break out of their own half, which the visitors duly punished them for in the 12th minute by finishing many fine phases of play by Stephen Clancy touching down in the corner, a try Clancy was unlucky not to convert.

Kilfeacle forwards Simon Barry, Sean McGrath, Diarmuid O’Donnell, Diarmuid Farrell, John Hannigan, Ger Luby (Pack Leader), Leon Tholand, Sean Compton, Alan O’Mahony, James Mullane, Jack Sullivan, Simon Barry and Ricky Barry were slowly coming to terms with Richmond’s very large pack, even after losing another prop, Simon Barry, to injury and subsequently starting to push deeper and deeper into the opposition territory.

However, once again, no sooner had Kilfeacle managed to gain some impetus and territory when they gave away possession in a dangerous area, which the visitors duly punished them for by converting it for 7 points, when Finbar Hogan touched down and with Clancy kicking a conversion to bring their lead to 12-0.

After 33 minutes it looked as though this young Kilfeacle team were going to be crushed by a very experienced and skilful Richmond team and everyone feared that such an eventuality would regress the improvements this squad has made so far. Something had to happen and it did with the experienced players such as Alan O’Mahony, John Hannigan, Ger Luby, Jack Sullivan and James Mullane. Not to be outdone the backs started to move the ball well with, captain Shane Luby showing good signs that he is a true leader marshalling the backs Cathal Donovan, Charles Walshe, Diarmuid Carr, Pat Ryan, Josh Featherstone, Darren Lowry and Packie Burke, all of whom started to look very good in both defence and attack for the home side.

In the dying seconds of the half Kilfeacle were awarded a penalty which Josh Featherstone was unlucky not to convert. When the referee’s whistle sounded at halftime the score showed that Kilfeacle were losing by 12 points to 0 but at least they were playing better after a shaky start and the fans were optimistic.

At the beginning of the second half Kilfeacle started to come into the game more and began to look menacing with some sustained possession and good phases of play. After 3 minutes the home side finally got on the scoreboard when Jack Sullivan broke off the back of the scrum to feed the on rushing Packie Burke who scored a try under the posts which Shane Luby converted to reduce Richmond’s lead to just five points.

It was now that the inexperience of the home side showed again and they let their concentration drop after scoring and Richmond, as all good sides do, punished Kilfeacle when Gareth O’Hanlon scored an unconverted try in the corner against the run of play.

In the 21st minute after some more good work by Shane Luby he passed the ball to Pat Ryan, on the wing, who was facing three defenders. To everyone it seemed as if the ball would be taken into contact and another phase created - everyone that is except Ryan who with a change of pace and lightening quick side steps evaded and spun out of four tackles to make it over for a try which Shane Luby was unfortunate not to convert.

Richmond regrouped and started to play to their strengths using their very big and experienced pack. They kept Kilfeacle at bay and probed and probed for weaknesses and errors, waiting their opportunity and when it came they pounced! In the 35th minute when Kilfeacle failed to clear their lines, Richmond seized the opportunity and James Hayes added another try for the Limerick side and Brian Mullins converted.

From the restart Kilfeacle pressurised Richmond and with just 4 minutes remaining were awarded a penalty in a kickable position and opted to kick for touch. Darren Lowry kicked for position and after many phases of play and a huge squad effort the home fans cheered as they watched Charles Walshe go over in the corner. The difficult conversion was taken hastily and was missed. This meant that Richmond were now 7 points ahead and time was on their side.

Kilfeacle now needed a converted try to force extra time. From the restart Kilfeacle secured the ball but Richmond were determined to stop them. When Kilfeacle were awarded a penalty from a long way out they were told they had to keep the ball alive or the game would be over. Kilfeacle tried as hard as they could to keep the ball alive and work their way into a scoreable position and 3 minutes and multiple phases later they were under their opponents’ posts and only yards short but their opponents kept them at bay to seal victory.

Seconds lose to Fethard.

Fethard R.F.C. 21

Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 15

On Saturday Kilfeacle and District R.F.C.’s seconds travelled to Fethard in the Gleeson League. The game was a close affair which on another day Kilfeacle, who are showing steady signs of improvement, might have won, however on this day Fethard just about shaded it and deserved their win. Kilfeacle were happy with the performance but not the result in a lively game.

After the game Aidan Gennery said - “We are happy with the effort and application shown by the squad. I thought that the team played well as a unit but there is still room for improvement, so a full attendance at training is vital if we are to win our next match which is at home to Ennis on Saturday at 7.30pm.”

Mini rugby training continues in Kilfeacle on Friday nights at 7.00pm. This is an ideal environment to introduce both boys and girls to the game in a safe and controlled manner. Kilfeacle welcomes boys and girls from 6 years and up to join us for the remainder of the season. We have great fun up on The Hill and have lots of matches planned against some great clubs over the next few months. Mini rugby is a perfect game for beginners as boys and girls play against children of their own ability and age. See you there!