Saturday, April 6, saw Fethard U11s travel north to Naas RFC to the annual Joe Moran Festival of Rugby where forty clubs from the four provinces descended on this small corner of Co. Kildare. Fethard, in their first game, were narrowly beaten by a strong Cavan side 2-1 with Ryan Walsh the scorer. In our second game, against one of the oldest clubs in the country, Corinthians, Fethard went one down before a stirring revival saw Eoin Walsh charge over the line and leave honours even.
Fethard now settled down to lunch and rising refreshed faced the home side in a fantastic match. Taking Munster rugby to the heart of Leinster with a fired up pack that saw constant pressure exerted on the Naas defence but somehow the Leinster side hung on to finish 0-0.
For their fourth match Fethard faced a very quick Belvedere team. With minutes to go and still 0-0, a strong forward drive saw Ryan Walsh finding a gap to leave three defenders trailing as he reached the line and went down under a pile of defenders where everyone saw the ball over the line – everyone except the referee who cried out ‘no score!’ With all frozen in the agony of the moment it took the cool and collected Dáire O’Connell to pick the ball and ground it over the line. Try! 1-0 to Fethard and that’s how it stayed, a most welcome and invigorating victory.
The fifth and final match was against Enniscorthy. The first score was a brilliant run from Richard Robinson after the ball passed through three pairs of Fethard hands. Enniscorthy pulled one back and for a while there was deadlock until Jack Hassett battled his way through the defence and over the line. 2-1 to Fethard. Shortly after Ryan Walsh busted through the defence for another score. Enniscorthy made one reply before the whistle leaving it 3-2. Two wins, two draws and a defeat – a respectable scoreline. This Fethard team won many plaudits, not just for their ability but also the excellent manner in which they conducted themselves.
Our U17 team travelled to Waterford City on Friday night for the East Munster Plate semi-final. Fethard got off to a great start with Darren Prout nearly scoring and Cian O’Connell scoring a try which Adam Fitzgerald converted. Waterford City came back to leave the teams level at half time. Second half saw Waterford City score early followed by Fethard’s Cathal Meagher, Joedy Sheehan and Paul Maloney each scoring tries and Adam Fitzgerald converting one to leave the final score at 24-12. A great result for Fethard. Well done lads and we will need all players for training and for the final next week.