Hail the conquering Kings of Cashel! What a day to be a Cashel rugby fan! On the greatest day in the club’s 92 year history team captain Brendan O’Connor got to finally lift the Munster Junior Cup, defeating sixteen time winners Cork Con 23 – 20 in Musgrave Park on Sunday.
Cheered on by the huge travelling support, and in a break with protocol, Brendan was proudly presented the cup by his grandfather Eddie Ryan, who was a member of the team which lost out so narrowly to Shannon in the 1954 final. This was a thoroughly a historic day for the men in red. Cashel had to fight tooth and nail to overcome the mighty Corkmen. It showed just what it meant to the players and supporters alike as scenes of unbridled joy erupted as the pitch was invaded at the final whistle.
It was special to see grown men cry at the pride of seeing a Cashel man lift the junior cup. This cup was not just won in eighty minutes of rugby in Musgrave Park last Sunday but by years of hard work and honesty by a multitude of both players and supporters. It was great to see Padraig O’Connor, standing with his wife Janet as they watched three of their sons receive Junior Cup medals, Pagraig himself played in the 1977 final losing out to UCC. Padraig has had a number of health problems in the last year and was truly special for him to see so many of his family involved in this historic win.
Brendan received the Cup from his grandfather and he thanked everyone involved for making the great day possible. He finished by inviting everyone back to the club house to celebrate with the team. Another member of the 1977 team, Patsy O‘Connor, was invited to come to the stand and give a bar of a song. It was no surprise as he launched into a spirited rendition our Tipperary anthem Slievenamon, something he has often done in another stadium in the rebel capital. Everyone travelled back up the road to Tipperary and Cashel and a fine night was had in the clubhouse in Spafield.
Club President Paudi Preston thanked everyone who travelled last Sunday and all the other Sundays over the years. The huge Cashel crowd at the match did make a difference. Paudi would also like to thank everyone over the years for all of their hard work in making Cashel RFC the great club that it is. If it wasn’t for these people it would not be possible to have days like last Sunday!