After the heroics of the Irish team on Saturday, when they played with pride and passion and retained top eight status, Cashel’s third team travelled to Waterpark on Sunday to play a very important league match. A win would keep them on track for a playoff position in this league.
This team is managed very well by John Brosnan and player/selector Dermot O’Brien. They are keeping this young team on track and providing rugby for many young players who would be lost to the game if they were not playing in this competition. Unfortunately illness robbed them of thier lineout specialist Sean Ryan before the game and four more players were unavailable for various reasons.
However they still travelled to Waterford with 22 players. The conditions were appalling as the rain poured down and the wind blew. From the beginning Cashel attacked Waterpark and very quickly had the opposition on the back foot. After some excellent forward pressure Cormac O’Donnell continued his great scoring run and barged over for a try. Cashel continued their pressure game and were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes which Johnny Maher converted.
At 8-0 it was looking good for Cashel but Waterpark upped their game and kicked 3 penalties to be ahead 9-8 at half time.
The second half was a closely contested half with both teams playing some excellent rugby in the dire conditions. For Cashel, Cormac and Kieran O’Donnell were playing well in the pack as was Fergal McCormack. In the backs Sean Walsh and Johnny Maher and also showing well. Two further penalties put Waterpark 15-8 ahead. This did not deter the Cashel players as their spirit is growing all the time and they continued to play disciplined and constructive rugby.
Johnny Maher narrowed the gap to 4 points with a penalty and this put Cashel right back in the game. With only minutes remaining Fergal McCormack barged over for a try. For some reason the referee did not see the touchdown and did not allow the score which would have won the game for Cashel. With time running out Fergal McCormack received a pass, the ball went behind him but the referee adjudicated that it was a knock on and awarded Waterpark a scrum. The ball was cleared and and Waterpark won on a scoreline of 15-11.
Cashel got a losing bonus point but with the spirit they displayed they deserved more. They are in second place in the league and will hold that position and a playoff place if Waterpark win their remaining game. All the Cashel players contributed to a great game and it is hoped they will hold their qualification position.
The poor weather continued into the evening when Munster took on The Scarlets from Wales the the Robo Direct League. Cashel’s Paddy Butler had a fine game but it was not enough to stop the Scarlets winning 13-6.
Cashel: P Stanley, T Gleeson, C O’Donnell, T J Freyne, J Kelly, P Thornton, K O’Donnell, F McCormack, D O’Meara, D O’Brien, S Walsh, B Anglim, J Ryan, R Thornton, J Maher, J Brosnan, S Nolan, J McGinley, J Prior, E Carty, C Taylor, B Hunt.
On Saturday next Cashel’s first team travels to Dublin to take on Old Wesley in the league. It will be a tough encounter but if the team brings the form and spirit shown against Banbridge in the last game they should prevail. Kick off 2.30. Venue to be advised.