St Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and the End of Life centre at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel will benefit from a charity rugby fundraiser in Cashel on Saturday.
Two rugby legends managed the teams involved in the game - player Denis Leamy was in charge of the Tipperary Tigers and the International All Stars were under the control of John ‘The Bull’ Hayes.
And Leamy got the better of his former Munster and Ireland team mate with the Tigers edging a tight game 29-27.
The game was played in a great spirit with running rugby the order of the day. The weather was fine and a large crowd turned up to support the charities involved.
There was a carnival athmosphere with Cashel Brass Band adding greatly to the festivities. MC for the day was Chairman of South Tipperary County Council Michael Fitzgerald and he was very much at home in the role.
The international team drew first blood when Brendan O’Connor intercepted on the 22 and scored under the posts. He also converted. Diramuid O’Connor prevented the Tigers scoring on 12 minutes when he put in a great tackle but Ailbe Devitt had the Tigers’ first try shortly after that when he broke through the defence from half way.
The game was played at a great pace and on 25 minutes Kilfeacle’s Jack O’Sullivan scored one of his specials when he ran from inside his own half to score. Howver Howard Stanley had the last word of the first half with a try to make the half time score 12-12.
Michael Hickey put the Internationals ahead after 42 minutes but three tries for the Tigers by Ed Leamy, Alan O’Donnell and John Ed O’Connor put them 29-17 ahead. Referee Fergal Buttimer had enough of the whistle with 10 minutes left and swapped jerseys with Brendan O’Connor. He scored a fine try on 71 minutes and showed some of the excellent talents he had as a player. Eoin O’Connor had the last word with a try in the 78th minute but his effort at the conversion, which would have drawn the match, explained why he is playing in the second row and not at full back. And so ended a very enjoyable game. Many players stood out but particularly former Ireland prop Peter Bracken, who drove 200 miles to play, and former Munster player Mike Prendergast. Bracken is also a Heineken Cup Medal winner which brought the number of winners of this great trophy in attendence to four. Darragh Lyons of Clonmel, Cork Con and Munster fame also showed some neat touches. John Bernard O’Connor did very well to put together two excellent teams.
At half time the kicking competition was held and Dougie Howlett, the famous All Black and Munster player, presented the prizes to the winners. After the game the John & Mary O’Connor trophy was presented the Tigers Captain, Kilfeacle man, John O’Mahony. Cashel RFC would like to thank everybody who made this such an enjoyable day, the supporters, the players and officials, the sponsors and everybody who contributed in any way by giving their time and effort. The funds raised will be put to good use.