Clanwilliam 23 Richmond 24
Clanwilliam’s final league game ended in disappointment when a drop goal in the sixth minute of injury time gave the visiting side the points. Clanwilliam had fought back to take the lead five minutes from normal time before Richmond struck with their score.
Clanwilliam started strongly and created a few try scoring opportunities in the first ten minutes before Brian Kissane kicked the opening penalty after 14 minutes. Richmond recovered from this and levelled the score five minutes later.
Immediately from the restart, Richmond moved the ball through their backline and took full advantage of slack Clanwilliam tackling to go all the way up the field to score a try. Richmond were on the front foot at this stage and continued to put pressure on Clanwilliam. After 25 minutes Richmond scored a converted try from a rolling maul to leave them 12 points to the good.
Clanwilliam shook themselves up after this and began to play to their potential. A break along the wing by Gavin Ryan brought play to the Richmond line and after a few phases of play, Ian Quinlan managed to force his way over the line for a try.
Clanwilliam were now in control of matters and with five minutes remaining to half time they levelled the scores at 15-all when Kieran Merrigan broke through a number of tackles to score under the posts. Just on the half time whistle Richmond restored their lead with a long range penalty.
The game continued to be exciting, with both teams looking to score tries when in possession. The scores were level again eight minutes into the half when Brian Kissane was successful with a penalty kick. The Richmond scrum was strong throughout and was beginning to cause some problems for Clanwilliam. A successions of scrums near the line tested the Clanwilliam pack but they defended magnificently for ten minutes before Richmond kicked a penalty.
Clanwilliam were determined to win the game and were back in the driving seat for the last 15 minutes. Some good kicking in behind the Richmond defence by Derek Shiels created attacking opportunities. Richmond defended well until Ian Quinlan made a break that brought him from the halfway line to within fifteen metres of the Richmond line. The ball was moved quickly to Kieran Merrigan, who scored in the corner with five minutes of normal time left.
Most of the remaining play was taking place around the halfway line until Richmond got themselves near the Clanwilliam twenty two and struck the decisive drop goal from 35 metres in the last play of the game.
Clanwilliam gave their best in a well contested match. As was shown in many of the matches during the season they were very competitive against all the top teams on their return to First Division rugby. Only for a couple of slip-ups against teams at the bottom of the Division, Clanwilliam would have finished even better than the sixth place achieved. With the season drawing to a close there is still an opportunity for silverware, starting with a Mansergh Cup semi-final against Clonmel, probably on Sunday week.
Clanwilliam Under 17s qualified for the semi-final of their cup with a 20-15 win over Cashel. Clanwilliam played well and a good start resulted in early tries for Neil Costigan and Brendan Quinlan. Cashel recovered to score a converted try to be in arrears by three points at half time.
John Richardson, who had a fine game scored a try after the break, which James Hogan converted. A late try for Cashel made for an anxious last few minutes but Clanwilliam held on for the win. Besides the scorers others very involved in the match were Keith Ryan, Seamus Kinane and Pearse Richardson.
Sunday April 3rd
Under 19s: Cup at home to Waterpark, 11
Under 17s: Cup away to Clonmel, 12.30
Under 15s: Cup away to Cashel, 11
Under 13s: League at home to Dungarvan, 11.