Garryowen came to Cashel on Saturday in determined mood with the sole aim of progressing in the Munster Senior Cup and won 20-5.
It was always going to be a tough day for Cashel but when the dust settled the general feeling was that with a little more composure and a fifty-fifty break in the decisions the result may have been closer.
Garryowen were on top from the start and relied largely on their maul. However the Cashel defence was strong and Garryowen did not take the lead until the the 20th minute when they kicked a penalty. One of the turning points took place 5 minutes later as the Garryowen out half lofted a “Garryowen” into the Cashel 22. Pat O’Connor jumped high for the ball but it appeared to be knocked on by a Garryowen hand. The referee indicated a scrum to Garryowen, they played advantage and scored a converted try under the posts. It was a difficult day for kickers due to a strong wind and both sides missed a penalty before half time. The Garryowen out half kicked cleverly to the corners. Half Time score Cashel 0 Garryowen 10.
There was no doubt about the next Garryowen try just after half time. They won clean ball from a scrum outside the Cashel 22, a 5 on 4 overlap developed and they ran in a fine try. Back came Cashel and as they began to put pressure on the Garryowen pack chances were created but not taken. On 58 minutes the Cashel pack were camped on the Garryowen line. When they opted to go wide the ball came to Brian Silke and he scored a fine try. With 10 minutes left another turning point. Garryowen were awarded a penalty which they kicked to the corner. They scored from the resulting maul. The penalty count went very much against Cashel on the day.
Cashel: I Stanley, R Foote, I Maxwell, S Walsh, B Cross, E O’Connor, J E O’Connor, E Leamy, A Kelleher, J Ruru, K Leamy, J Ryan, B Silke, A Wallace, P O’Connor, N Fitzgerald, I Stanley, K Gleeson, J Moynan, D McGrath, A O’Donnell, C O’Donnell.
Munster Senior Seconds League: Cashel 31 UCC 10
Cashel had shipped three heavy defeats away from home in this competition to date and it was a relief to at last have a home game. A number of key players were returning from injury and some who had not travelled to Cork were also available. The first half was a fairly balanced affair and was quite competitive with Cashel ahead 6-5 at the break with two Darragh O’Brien penalties.
Another O’Brien penalty stretched the lead. The complexion of the game changed 10 minutes into the second half as the Cashel forwards put the pedal down. They were scintillating, overpowering the UCC pack and creating much possession for the backs. The half backs of Michael Hickey and Darren McGrath were breaking from the rucks and when the UCC cover was sucked in following incessant Cashel forward pressure a large gap appeared in the centre, Darren Mcgrath threw a long pass to Darragh O’Brien and he finished the move with a try which he also converted. O’Brien made it 19-5 with another penalty.
Most of the play at this stage was in the UCC half and Cormac O’Donnell and Robert Thornton scored two well executed tries which O’Brien converted. UCC had the last word when some sloppy Cashel defending allowed them in for a try.