Cashel begin defence of Garryowen Cup in style

Last Sunday it was the turn of Cashel’s Senior Seconds to take to the field for the first time this season to defend the Garryowen Cup title won last year. |n good conditions Thurles started better and attacked Cashel. They were rewarded with a penalty within 5 minutes and went 3 points ahead.

Last Sunday it was the turn of Cashel’s Senior Seconds to take to the field for the first time this season to defend the Garryowen Cup title won last year. |n good conditions Thurles started better and attacked Cashel. They were rewarded with a penalty within 5 minutes and went 3 points ahead.

This seemed to wake the Cashel players and they strung together some excellent moves but poor finishing kept the Thurles line intact. The charge was led by the ageless Alan Downey and the slick passing of Ollie McGlinchey playing at No 10.

In the 17th minute after good work by the forwards Ollie fed Rory O’Connor on the wing and he scored in the corner. The Cashel forwards were now on top with the rampaging Downey, Aidan O’Connor and Ailbe Devitt dominating. Alan O’Donnell and Jack Ryan were excellent in both defense and attack and were getting an excellent service from Andy Kellehr at scrum half and McGlinchey. The wingers Rory O’Connor and Kevin Quinlan were causing all sorts of problems.

On 25 minutes Downey broke from a scrum inside the Thurles 22 and scored a fine try which McGlinchey converted. At half-time Cashel were leading by 12 to 3.

Cashel faced the wind in the second half but it did not deter them from playing attacking rugby. McGlincey kicked a penalty on 46 minutes. Them in a blistering 5 minutes between the 50th and 55th minutes Cashel scored two wonderful tries. First Ailbe Devitt blocked a Thurles kick inside his own half. He picked and fed Kevin Quinlan who ran to the Thurles 22, he cross kicked towards the posts and the onrushing Aidan O’Connor caught the resulting bounce and scored under the posts. McGlinchey converted.

Then the score of the match was scored - the ball broke on the half way line. Kevin Quinlan ran on to it at pace and with skill seen more often in Croke park he chipped up the ball and ran to score a great try. Ollie once agin converted.

But Thurles did not give in and on 76 minutes Joey Kelly scored a try. However Cashel had the final say. Alan O’Donnell made a break from inside his own half, he offloaded to Kieran Murphy and Kieran ran on to score the try. This was the final score of the game - Cashel 34 Thurles 8.

In addition to the above players Frank Kelleher had a good game at full back, Paddy Maher also carried some excellent ball.

The props, Emmett Hall and Howard Stanly were strong up front and Kieran Gleeson did well in the second row. Ollie McGlinchey’s kicking was very impressive. Cashel have a strong bench and Tommy Flynn, Cormac O’Donnell, Kieran Sweeney, Michael O’Connor and Darren Cleary all played their part.

Coach John Johnston set out the targets for the rest of the season when he spoke to the team after the game. This team has potential to do well and look forward to many challenges.

They will have another game again next week-details TBA. Cashels first team plays Bruff in the Munster Senior Cup at Bruff next Saturday at 2.30.