Ards 8 Cashel 42
Cashel’s remarkable unbeaten run in Division 2B continues as they comfortably overcame the northern men to move five points clear at the top of the league. Cashel have moved up a gear in recent matches as they have settled into the league and have shown a real cutting edge as they have secured the bonus point in their last three matches scoring a total of 19 tries.
In very windy conditions Cashel played with the wind in the first half. Coach Ian Dunne again had to rearrange his team as both Llyod Foote and Conor Quinlan were injured. Like last week the squad has strength in depth with Sean Walsh and Brian Silke taking over at second row and outhalf respectively.
After three minutes they got their first points through the boot of Daragh O’Brien to go 3-nil ahead. They quickly settled into the game and pressed the Ards defence. On the 10th minute they went 6-nil ahead as Brendan O’Connor carried deep into Ards territory before his brother John Ed carried up to the 22. Ards conceded the penalty which O’Brien again put between the posts.
In the 15th Cashel moved the ball with speed and accuracy from left to right with the ball going through at least 15 pairs of hands before ending with Ed Leamy under the posts. O’Brien converted to leave Cashel ahead at 13-nil. Ards rallied from this set back and within 5 minutes had their first score via the boot to go 13 – 3. O’Brien quickly cancelled out this with another penalty to leave the score on the 25th minute 16-3.
In the 31st minute Cashel got their second try as prop Howard Stanley picked up a loose ball and showing remarkable skill side-stepped two players before sprinting from the Ards 22 to score under the posts. With the conversion from O’Brien the score stood 23-3.
In the 35th minute Ards caught Cashel napping as they took a quick penalty, before Cashel knew what happened Ards had scored in the corner to put the score 23-8 and that remained the score to half time.
In the 55th minute the visitorss got their third try as Ed Leamy took off from the half way line, passed to Brendan O’Connor who scored under the posts. O’Brien again converted to put the score 30-8. Cashel at this stage were in complete control and the result was in little doubt as they searched for the bonus point.
In the 68th minute they got the try as a kick through by winger Rory O’Connor put Ards in all sort of trouble, the Cashel forwards were first to the ball where they secured possession, the ball was flashed wide to Pat O’Connor to score under the post. O’Brien converted to make it 37-8. Cashel had one last try as with virtually the last play of the game winger Kevin Leamy got his rewards with a try in the corner.
Cashel have shown remarkable maturity since moving up to the senior ranks. They prepare for each game like a cup final and never look beyond next Saturday. They have always been willing to learn and improve and when they were knocked out of the Charity and Munster senior cups they learned from the experience. Cashel would not be where they are now if it wasn’t for the strength in depth throughout the first and second team squads and the club as a whole. Cashel are in the enviable position that no one player is indispensable and this allows coach Ian Dunne to make changes and still keep the performance levels up. In order for the first team to have the best possible squad all other teams from 8s to senior have to be consistently coaching and producing quality players.
COUNTY TIPPERARY DERBY
Cashel next face the only other senior side in Tipperary, Nenagh, next Saturday. The last time these two sides met as equals was in the challenge cup over 7 years ago. Cashel beat a much fancied Nenagh team that year and it was that win that was the springboard for all of the club’s success in recent years. Nenagh are the dark horses in the league and currently lie in 5th place, 7 points behind Cashel with only one loss. They will very much see a victory over Cashel to launch themselves right up towards the top of the league.
Kick-off is at 2.30p.m at Spafield Park, Cashel.
Cashel squad: E. Hall, D McCormack, H Stanley, E O’Connor, S Walsh , J.E O’Connor, B O’Connor, E Leamy, O McGlinchey, B Silke, K Leamy, P O’Connor, C Morrissey, C Merrigan, K Quinlan, B Maloney, C Byrne , A Devitte, R O’Connor, M Hickey.