Cashel played their final AIL game of the season on Saturday last at Spafield against Bruff.
Bruff had already been relegated but this club is well organised with a good youth policy and they recently won the Munster Under 19 and Under 16 leagues and were beaten 5-nil in the Under 19 All Ireland final.
They have a base to build on and it will not be long until they are back up again.
Early on Cashel had two lineout steals but with defences on top it was difficult to make attacking headway. Bruff had the better of the scrums forcing a number of penalties. There were a few good line breaks by Cashel in the first half with Pat O’Connor the most threatening and on 23 minutes he broke through and got to the Bruff 5 meter line and was stopped. Bruff responded with a super line break by their outhalf but he was stopped on the Cashel 5 meter line. Defences dominated.
On 28 minutes Cormac O’Donnell came on for Danny Lambe and Andrew Wallace came on for Ailbe Devitt who was injured. Kevin Leamy went to second row. On 37 minutes Bruff missed a penalty and the half ended nil all.
A rejuvinated Cashel kicked off with the breeze in the second half. Within 2 minutes of the restart Andrew Wallace scored a try after good passing play by Ed Leamy, Pat O’Connor and Kevin Leamy. Pat O’Connor converted. From the kickoff Cashel attacked again and after 46 minutes Pat O’Connor scored a try which he converted to make it 14-0.
After 65 mins Bruff got a yellow card and this spurred them on. During their purple patch they scored a superb converted try having taken a quick penalty. After 69 minutes Bruff fouled at ruck time in their own half, Cashel took a quick penalty, Pat O’Connor made a good break and hooker Niall Fitzgerald touched down in the corner to make it 19-7.
On 73 minutes Michael Crosse retired injured, Andrew Kelleher came on and the team was reshuffled with Brian Silke playing at wing forward. On 38 minutes Michael Crosse came back on for Cedric Unholtz who was injured. At that time Cashel robbed a Bruff scrum with Ed Leamy taking the ball at the base of the scrum and racing 30 meters to touch down for a try that earned Cashel a bonus point win, 24-7.
Cashel played well with both backs and forwards involved in all phases and were well tested by a well drilled Bruff side. Best for Cashel were Pat O’ Connor, Ed Leamy, Niall Fitzgerald, A Barron and Sean Walsh.
This was a good win for Cashel who ended the season in 7th position in Division 2A, the highest position in the club’s history. Eight games were won and seven lost. After a rocky beginning Cashel put together a number of good wins, particularly against Ballymena who will be promoted and was followed by good wins over Queens and NUIM/Barnhall. Coach Brian Hickey can be pleased with his season’s work as can the players. Three players, captain Sean Walsh, Pat O’Connor and Brian Silke played in all 15 league games and all 4 cup games during the season.
Cashel: J Maxwell, N Fitzgerald, D Lambe, S Walsh, A Devitt, F McSwiney, M Crosse, E Leamy, A Barron, C Quinlan, B Silke, C Unholtz, B Swindlehurst, K Leamy, P O’Connor, R Coates, C O’Donnel, D McGrath, A Wallace, A Kelleher.