Kilfeacle and District 20
After our win in the league last week “The Boys in Blue” were back in action again facing Crosshaven RFC. An injury to Kilfeacle’s hooker Sean Compton in the warm up meant James Ryan (Salmon) was starting and that reinforcements on the bench were light. Other injuries and absenteeisms meant that once again the management team and coaches had to make full use of their versatile squad.
The game started in sunshine but with a cold breeze that blew down the pitch and favoured Crosshaven. In the opening few minutes both sides warily probed and searched for openings. Crosshaven knew that a win against Kilfeacle was vital but they were to meet an ever-improving Kilfeacle side and a pack that consisted of Simon Barry, James Ryan, Diarmuid O’Donnell, John Hannigan, Ger Luby (Pack Leader), Leon Tholand, Alan O’Mahony, Sean McGrath, James Mullane, Jack Sullivan and Ricky Barry that was to be reckoned with on the day.
Crosshaven laid siege to the Kilfeacle line in the first 5 minutes trying to take advantage of being at home and the strong breeze. It was Crosshaven that had the first scoring opportunity after some great phase play when after 7 minutes they were awarded a penalty kick which they were unable to convert. Anxious moments followed for the travelling supporters as Crosshaven worked field position but Kilfeacle started to work well and defended as a unit.
However Crosshaven were awarded another penalty after 11 minutes which t hey converted. Crosshaven were in the ascendency however some last ditch defending from Kilfeacle were keeping them at bay from the backs Shane Luby, Cathal Donovan, Brian Nugent, Diarmuid Carr, Pat Ryan, Josh Featherstone, Keith Bourke and Aidan Noonan.
Kilfeacle would have been happy if it wasn’t for the fact that their scrum half Cathal Donovan suffered an injury and lay immobilized on the pitch waiting for an ambulance. As one might suspect there then followed a lengthy stoppage as Cathal’s welfare became the priority and the manner in which everyone in Crosshaven dealt with this unfortunate accident is to be commended.
After Cathal had been treated and made comfortable and taken away for examination, which happily found no lasting or major damage, there followed a discussion between the officials and both teams. The Kilfeacle squad and backroom staff decided that in their opinion that they were fit to continue on and it would not be in the interest of either club to go to a replay. As both teams were to discover to their dismay the conditions were to make kicking a lottery.
With 22 minutes gone Crosshaven once again broke through the Kilfeacle defence when Kieran Doran scored an unconverted try. Kilfeacle were keeping the ball close and their control was impressive and Crosshaven’s number 5 was to learn a very valuable piece of information, you cannot go through James Mullane. Somersaults in most sports are initiated by the person who performs them - not so on this occasion. The Crosshaven player broke a tackle and was gaining ground at speed when he was faced with the Kilfeacle prop. Players that would have played against James previously would inform you that the best course of action, in such circumstances would be to take a detour, around the said player, rather than trying to go through him, sometimes learning this can be a painful experience. James Mullane set his sights and inflicted a tackle that made all the travelling support cheer and wince at the same time. When his opponent landed, several seconds later, he knew that he had taken the wrong option because when you’re hit by James Mullane you stay hit! In the last play of the half and two minutes into added on time, Kilfeacle thought that their efforts had paid off when Leon Tholand, after a great passing movement involving all the team, seemed to have touched down but the referee after much consultation penalised him for a knock on which even the Crosshaven supporters admitted was harsh. The halftime whistle came with this absorbing game finely poised at 8 –0 in favour of Crosshaven.
The manner in which the visiting side started the second half seemed to have an unnerving effect on the home team. A missed penalty by Shane Luby after 4 minutes was only a warning of what was to come. This bright start with the wind was made even more impressive when Kilfeacle were to score a team try after 9 minutes. It started just outside the Crosshaven 22 when the pack won the contest with their opponents and had the Crosshaven pack retreating at a rate of knots. The backs were there in numbers and Luby gratefully received the ball from Darren Lowry. With Brian Nugent selflessly making a dummy run, to draw the would-be tacklers, Shane’s skip pass was perfectly weighted to reach Pat Ryan in full flight. He straightened to draw the tackle before giving the ball to Jack O’Sullivan. Hugging the touchline with 10 metres to go and the full back to beat, Jack had it all to do but he changed gears and left the fullback trailing behind him and Luby was delighted to see him touch down near the posts to make the conversion easier and Crosshaven now led by only 8-7. Kilfeacle now had their tails up and the wind at their backs, rallied and a try by Brian Nugent and a conversion and a penalty by Shane Luby put the visitors ahead 20-8,
Slowly, definitely and inexorably Crosshaven once again started to dominate the play with the pack starting to gain ground for them. In the 74th minute their persistence paid off and Cian Keegan scored a converted try to reduce the deficit to 5 points. This however was the final score of the game and when the final whistle came the visiting side celebrated their hard fought but deserved victory.
The next game is home to Newcastle West in the Munster Junior league Division 1 on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Kilfeacle seconds win in League
Kilfeacle and District 20
Newcastle West 6
On Saturday Kilfeacle and District R.F.C.’s seconds defeated Newcastle West RFC in the Gleeson League. The game proved that Kilfeacle are showing steady signs of improvement. Kilfeacle just about shaded all departments and deserved their win. Kilfeacle were happy with the performance in a lively game. Excellent performances by Davy Farrell, Ricky Whitney, Michael Fitzgerald and Michael O’Connell helped seal the victory and saw the final score read 20-6.
Next match is away to Galbally R.F.C. on Sunday
Juvenile Training continues
Both mini and youth Rugby training continues at Morrissey Park, (the Hill), in Kilfeacle every Friday at 19.00hrs. With a primary focus on fun, safety, learning the skills and improving the all important agility, balance and co-ordination of each child we welcome back our regular players and we extend a warm welcome to any new players who would like to come and play for the Blues. The underages of Kilfeacle have experienced quite a degree of success over the past number of years and it is envisaged this year will be no different. Children from the ages of 6 and upwards are most welcome and importantly parents of the children are encouraged to come to the sessions, meet the coaches of each of the grades, meet the other parents and generally integrate within the groups. So see you all in Kilfeacle every Friday at 7.