Cashel were at a disadvantage when hosting UCC on Saturday as they had no game since December 8 while UCC were at the top of the league and coming off a big win the previous week and both the Leamy brothers were injured.
The students set the tone early on and were using their big pack to create running opportunities for their backs. Defensively Cashel were good. On 10 minutes they were penalised on the 22 and the UCC out half made no mistake with the kick. Cashel gradually came into the game and the pack gained parity. A worrying trend was the penalty count which went 8 to 2 against Cashel in the first half.
On 27 minutes the touch judge intervened and on his advice the referee gave a yellow card to a Cashel player. Seven minutes later Cashel missed touch and UCC ran from the half way line to score in the corner. The referee was unsighted but the touch judge gave the try.
At 8-0 it looked bad for Cashel but they rallied and on 40 minutes they were awarded a penalty which Pat O’Connor converted. Five minutes of injury time was played and just before the whistle the touch judge once again intervened and awarded UCC a penalty which was missed.
After the break Cashel started in a determined mood and the pack won a ruck inside the UCC half. Andrew Kelleher picked and fed Giles Boland who passed to Brian Silke. Silke saw the covering tackle coming and put in a very clever kick from 30 yards. Boland followed up at great pace and dived on the ball for a wonderful try.
The game was now level at 8-all and Cashel began to believe they could win. The front row of Danny Lambe, Cian O’Donnell and Howard Stanley were immense. Sean Walsh and Philly Ryan began to win in the lineout, an area that caused problems early on in the game. John Ed O’Connor, Alan Downey and particularly Brendan O’Connor in the back row were carrying the ball with great authority. Brendan O’Connor had a great game and ran himself to a standstill.
Shortly after the try the ball was once again kicked deep into UCC territory, John Ed O’Connor chased and it looked as if he made the race for the touch down. The referee consulted his touch judge but the decision went against Cashel. The half backs of Andrew Kelleher and Conor Quinlan were solid and their kicking was top drawer. The centers Brian Silke and Giles Boland tackled everything that moved and they worked the try exceptionally well. The back three, Rory O’Connor, Kevin Quinlan and Pat O’Connor also tackled with ferocity and counter attacked at every opportunity.
With 15 minutes left Cashel brought on Michael Cross whose ability at the breakdown is well proven, Emmett Hall at prop forward where he continued the good work of Danny Lambe and Ollie McGlinchey at out half. With 5 minutes left Cashel were awarded a penalty but the wind caught the ball at the last second, it hit the post and went wide. From the kick off the forwards took it on again and were given advantage by the referee. Knowing there was a penalty coming up Ollie McGlinchey attempted a drop goal. The ball sailed cleanly between the posts for a beautiful score which put Cashel ahead for the first time in the game. There was one anxious moment in the last few minutes when UCC were awarded a kickable penalty. To the relief of everybody in Cashel the ball went narrowly wide. The final whistle was greeted with great celebrations. This win, the 5th from 8 games, keeps Cashel in mid table. UCC are still on track for promotion. Both teams are to be complimented for the quality of the game played on a heavy pitch.
Cashel: D Lambe, C O’Donnell, H Stanley, S Walsh, P Ryan, A Downey, J E O’Connor, B O’Connor, A Kelleher, C Quinlan, K Quinaln, B Silke, G Boland, R O’Connor, P O’Connor, M Kelly, E hall, M Cross, O McGlinchey, R Mullane.
Munster Junior Cup
Richmond 10 Cashel 0
On Sunday Cashel traveled to Limerick to take on Division 1 Junior League leaders Richmond at Canal Bank in the Munster Junior Cup. Richmond used their physical strength to great effect and when in possession kept the ball tight. It was a real Munster junior Cup tie played with passion and guts. The lighter Cashel pack tackled and harried their larger opponents. They can hold their heads up high after this performance. Once again the penalty count in the first half went 10 5 against Cashel. A lack of patience saw two first half opportunities for tries lost.
There was no score in the first half but Cashel had to face a very stiff wind in the second half. The first score came on 57 minutes when Richmond had an overlap on the left. Their winger found space and raced to the corner for a vital try. Their out half converted from the touchline. Cashel roared back and the pack began to get the upper hand. They scored an excellent try but the referee deemed that the scoring pass was forward. Cashel continued to press forward but Richmond had the last word with a penalty on 82 minutes. This is a very young Cashel panel and many of these players are putting their hands up for consideration for the first team.
Cashel: E Hall, M Kelly, I Stanley, K Gleeson, A O’Dwyer, N Fitzgerald, M Cross, A Downey, D McGrath, O McGlinchey, F Kelleher, A O’Donnell, A Wallace, R Mullane, G O’Sullivan, T Flynn, C O’Donnell, A O’Connor, K Murphy, M O’Connor.
We wish Rockwell College every success in the Munster Schools Senior Cup as they start their campaign on Wednesday at Clanwilliam. There are three Cashel players on the team, Sean O’Connor, James Maxwell and Aidan Butler.