Clanwilliam had a narrow victory over Nenagh in the final of the under 17 East Munster Rugby League at Clanwilliam Park. Exceptional defending in the second half by Clanwilliam and an outstanding try were amongst the highlights from a very competitive match.
Clanwilliam started the game well and after ten minutes Conor Kissane kicked a penalty from near the posts. Both teams were using their forwards to try and punch holes in the opposing defences.
Clanwilliam made some good ground with this tactic and Brendan Quinlan was particularly dangerous in his ball carrying. As the half progressed, Nenagh began to assert themselves in the Clanwilliam half and created some scoring opportunities but a combination of good defending and some passes not going to hand meant Nenagh didn’t make these chances count.
The momentum then swung towards Clanwilliam and they were nearly in for a try when Darragh Crowe made a break close to the Nenagh line. The score remained 3-0 until half time.
The early part of the second half saw Nenagh getting on top at the line-out and beginning to have the majority of possession. The Clanwilliam forwards worked hard and were very effective in the tight managing to turnover possession on a number of occasions with John Richardson and Pearse Richardson prominent in this regard.
Nenagh kept up the pressure and mid-way through the half scored a try after a period of sustained pressure near the Clanwilliam line.
The Clanwilliam tackle count was exceptionally high as Nenagh came looking for another score. Much of the play was in the Clanwilliam twenty two but the defence stood firm with Sean Maher and Sean Stokes in the centres being kept busy. Clanwilliam did manage to get play into the Nenagh twenty two with ten minutes remaining but Nenagh immediately cleared the ball back into the Clanwilliam half. From the ensuing line-out Clanwilliam moved the ball wide to Philip Roche who took the ball at pace and rounded three separate defenders and raced on to score in the corner. Nenagh fought back after this but again the Clanwillim work-rate at the breakdown denied Nenagh any good possession with Clanwilliam holding on for a deserved win.