It seems only like yesterday the final game of the last rugby season was played.
However the summer goes by very quickly and Cashel started the new season with a first round Cork Charity Cup match against Division 1 team Dolphin and won 32-7.
It was the first competitive game also for the new coaching team of Brian Hickey and Greg Oliver and they must be pleased with the result. Cashel fielded a relatively young side and had to absorb some early pressure from the much heavier Dolphin pack.
After 7 minutes following good defensive work,Ed Leamy made a break and set up a ruck in midfield. The ball came to full back Jonathan Ruru who broke the Dolphin defence, fed Andrew Wallace who made a fine run to score in the corner.
There was little between the sides in this first half but Cashel did look the livelier. Pressure at ruck time on 25 minutes resulted in a penalty
which Pat O’Connor converted. Dolphin had great chance to to score 10 minutes later but great defence kept them out and Ed Leamy cleared by kicking deep into Dolphin territory.
Cashel won the lineout and Ruru scored a fine try. Pat O’Connor was unlucky to hit the post with the conversion. Two minutes before half time Dolphin used the maul to great effect and scored under the posts. Half time score Cashel 13 Dolphin 7.
After 55 minutes Cashel were awarded a penalty inside their own half. They kicked for touch and from scrappy ball Ed Leamy gained possession, fed Niall Fitzgerald who raced to the corner to score a fine try. Pat O’Connor converted with the most difficult kick of the day. He hit the post with a kick 5 minutes later. On 68 minutes Cashel won a lineout on half way. Following some good inter passing between brothers John Ed and Aidan O’Connor, John Ed rounded off a fine game with a try. A feature was the side step that sent the defender the wrong way. Three minutes before half time Kevin Leamy made a break from half way, passed the Darren McGrath who made a fine break and passed inside to Leamy again and he scored a good try which Pat O’Connor converted.
Overall it was a good day for Cashel and while it is still early days there are signs that there is the makings of a good team there with a good blend of youth and experience. The front row of Howard Stanley, Niall Fitzgerald and Danny Lambe were solid in the scrum. Eoin O’Connor showed some flashes of his old form and young Brendan Cross was a tower of strength. Aidan O’Connor had a good game on his senior debut. The two outstanding players on the field were John Ed O’Connor and Ed Leamy. Their fitness is an example to all the players. The half backline of Darren McGrath and Andy Kelleher worked well and centres Pat O’Connor and Brian Silke were very solid in a good defensive setup. Winger Kevin Leamy had a fine game and is back to full health after a nasty injury last season. Andrew Wallace took his try well. Full back Jonathan Ruru was assured at full back and looks like a real find. Alan O’Donnell did very well when introduced.
Cashel - H Stanley, N Fitzgerald, D lambe, E O’Connor, B Cross, A O’Connor, J E O’Connor, E Leamy, D McGrath, A Kelleher K Leamy, B Silke, P O’Connor, A Wallace, J Ruru, A O’Donnell, C O’Donnell, M Hickey, A Barron, K Sweeney.