Injury hit Cashel headed for Galway on Saturday to play Galwegians in Division 2A of the AIL - the Galway side were a point ahead in the league table. The game was played in dry but windy conditions with the wind blowing across the field.
It was clear from the start the the Galway team had a good weight advantage in the pack and they attacked with gusto.
Cashel held their nerve and after 12 minutes Pat O’Connor put them ahead with a penalty. Cashel were making elementary handling errors and were regularly knocking on the ball. However the scrums were solid and the lineouts were good. Galwegians leveled on 22 minutes and the game was tight overall. Pat O’Connor put Cashel ahead again after 28 minutes with a penalty but as the game swept from end to end Galwegians leveled again after five minutes. The teams remained deadlocked 6 6 until half time.
On the resumption the game turned in favour of Galwegians from the kickoff. Their outhalf kicked deep into the Cashel 22. The ball was not caught and as it went unsecured their winger nipped in and scored a very soft try which they converted. This was followed six minutes later with a penalty and the hill to be climbed by Cashel got higher.
For the next twenty minutes Cashel threw everything into attack and they were rewarded with a fine try by Pat O’Connor after a great backs movement. At 16-11 and fifteen minutes there was hope for Cashel. However on sixty eight and seventy five minutes Galwegians punished poor defending with two tries and a conversion.
Cashel kept up the effort and on the stroke of full time the forwards drove deep into opposition territory and Ed Leamy was pushed over for a fine try. Cashel brought on a number of young players from the bench and it was good to give them experience at this level. Galwegians had the superior physical advantage but it was the Leader brothers, Tadhg at out half and Darragh at full back who really swung it in their favour. They kicked cleverly and utilised the wind. They also ran directly at Cashel and were responsible for putting huge pressure on the Cashel defence.
For Cashel it was a brave performance. Pat O’Connor had a fine game at full back. The pack performed well under the circumstances. Michael Crosse had a fine game as had John Ed O’Connor. Sean Walsh once again turned in a fine shift in the second row but pride of place must go to the very young front row of props Howard and Ian Stanley and hooker Cian O’Donnell. Cashel: I Stanley, C O’Donnell, H Stanley, E O’Connor, S Walsh, M Crosse, J E O’Connor, E Leamy, M Hickey, C Quinlan, K Quinlan, J Ryan, B Silke, R O’Connor, P O’Connor, C O’Donnell, R Mullane, K Gleeson, K Murphy.