On Saturday at The Sportsground in Galway, refereed by Paul Haycock, Our Lady’s Boys Club from Galway took on Kilfeacle and District in a clash between two sides who are chasing their first ever All Ireland Cup win.
In the Connacht League, OLBC are joint first after having lost just once in five games. They come into this competition in much better form than last year and with the league’s Top try scorer in Conor Mulligan they have the fire power.
By contrast Kilfeacle and District have stuttered as of late, losing our last two league games and badly needing a win to steady the ship. Unfortunately it was hardly champagne football weather but both teams applied themselves creditably in slippery conditions. On the day the castlist for the nautical O.L.B.C. who reside by the coastline included Mike Burke, Paul McCreanor and Ger Fahy, with James Moran, Gareth Clarke, Willie Cullinane, Shaney Connors and Dave Reilly in the pack. Ciaran Coyle and Donncha Carey in the halves with midfield shipmates Dave Prior and Conor Mulligan. Noel Farragher and Darren Griffin were minding the coastlines and Dave Dooley at fullback. Paki Curran and Sherief Marzouk cover the frontrow, Sean Connolly second row/loose, Conor O’Donavan and Harry Dowling the backs. The travelling band of players who arrived to confront them had an ensemble list which included Simon Barry, Tom Doyle, Stephen Flood, in the engine room in behind roaming loose were Alan O’Mahony, Diarmuid O’Donnell, Ger Luby, Jack Sullivan and Cormac O’Donoghue. Gavin Hueston, Diarmuid Carr, Packie Burke, Charles Walsh, Jonathan Corcoran, Pat Ryan, Brian Nugent directing from fullback, were in the chorus line apologies back line behind them dancing and skipping their way through the opposition. The understudies on the day included Josh Featherstone, Brian Leahy, Ricky Witney, Gary Noonan and James Ryan (Salmon).
Truth be told in the last two games played by Kilfeacle and District at times it looked like we didn’t want the win as much as the opposition, doubtless that wasn’t the case but that was the way it looked. On Saturday 26th of October at 2:30p.m. at The Sportsground in Galway it never looked that way as the hunger and desire amongst the ‘Boys in Blue’ was palpable. It was obvious from the kick off in the manner in which Johnathan Corcoran claimed the ball without regard for his own safety. He secured possession but in doing so suffered damage to his back and ribs which meant his performance in this epic production had prematurely ended and understudy Josh Featherstone was called into the lime light. Johnathan had fallen in battle bravely flying the Kilfeacle Battle Standard. The Kilfeacle Battle Standard did not stay lying on the ground and on the day it was picked up immediately by (the ever retiring) Alan O’Mahony, who was to play the staring role in this performance. He rallied the troops around him and each and everyone of them, to a man, answered his call to battle. However Kilfeacle and District weren’t going to have it all their own way this wasn’t a Fairytale nor was it a Thriller more like a Gritty Drama as Dave Prior starting the way he wanted to finish, for O.L.B.C. with a try under the posts for seven-nil with 12 minutes gone. Finally in the 32nd minute Kilfeacle took centre stage and Gavin Hueston kicked a penalty to make it 7-3 to the hosts. This score spurred Kilfeacle into action and we started using space well against the Boys Club backline and Brian Nugent crossed the tryline on our fourth attempt, 11 metres in from left hand touch. The conversion kick was missed with 90 seconds remaining on the clock and 8-7 it stays at halftime the visitors ahead by one.
With three minutes of the second half gone Kilfeacle are up by four with a handily-struck 38m penalty and we remain hot on attack. With sixteen minutes gone in the half and Kilfeacle performing well as a unit, the visitors use width again and yet again Brian Nugent joins the line to create an overlap and goes over for his and our second try 15m in from the right touch. Much to Gavin Hueston’s dismay 16-7 stays unchanged, as the conversion attempt is drawn away left. Halfway through the second half and O.L.B.C. were nine points off the pace. O.L.B.C.’s defence was holding strong but were getting too much practice tackling. Kilfeacle and District were being awfully selfish with the ball, nobody ever told us ‘sharing is caring’. There was twenty seven minutes gone in the half when Diarmaid Carr scythes through four tackles from thirty five metres out to play a captain’s role and score a well deserved try. Gavin Hueston’s kick is good and with thirteen minutes left it’s 23-7 to Kilfeacle and District. On the half hour mark it is 23-15 courtesy of a Donncha Carey clearance, caught on the run by Mulligan 45m out in full stride, Our Lady’s Boys Club are back in the game and can see a glimmer of light. That glimmer of light disappears when Cormac O’Donoghue slams the door shut by waltzing through midfield to score under the posts. Gavin Hueston has his easiest kick of the day to finish the scoring at 30-14 and seal the victory.
Kilfeacle would like to thank everyone who travelled on the day and wish Our Lady’s Boys Club the best for the rest of the season. Our next league game is a tough away game to Cobh Pirates on the 3rd of November. The team as ever are proud and humbled by the amount of support they receive and hope that their supporters will continue to come along and support the “Boys in Blue”.
Seconds win in the Gleeson league beating Garryowen.
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 23
On Friday night Kilfeacle and District R.F.C.’s seconds welcomed Garryowen to Morrissey Park for their first outing in the Gleeson League. Both sides approached the game in a good frame of mind and displayed plenty of endeavour and the game contained a lot of free flowing play and was very entertaining for the small crowd of spectators that were there.
Kilfeacle won the toss and elected to play against the wind for the first half. Garryowen started with the win at their backs. The vast majority of the first half was played in the home side’s twenty two and after three minutes Garryowen were seven points up after being gifted a try by some poor tackling and disorganisation. This pattern was to continue for the first twenty minutes and after fifteen minutes Kilfeacle were a further five points behind.
In the twenty first minute Kilfeacle and District managed to break out of their own half and earn a penalty which Mark Bourke kicked to give Kilfeacle their first points of the game. The home team’s pack consisting of Ian Kelly, Ricky Whitney, Tadgh O’Donnell, Patrick Finnan, Bill Donovan, Gary Noonan, Stephen Quirke, Pierce Breen, Richard Hayes, Alan Kiely and Patrick Noonan were finding it hard to gel as a unit and were misfiring in the lineout but were slowly coming to terms with Garryowen in the scrums. Because of this the backs consisting of Michael Fitzgerald, Mark Bourke, Brian Leahy, Brian Roche, Bryan Nugent, Mike O’Connell, Keith Bourke, John Peters and Kieran Ryan were getting very little ball so only once in the whole of the first half did Kilfeacle break into the Garryowen 22.
But when they did they made it count and an extreme team effort saw Pierce Breen, who gave a man of the match performance, touch down the ball for an unconverted try, it must be said against the run of play. The score line read 12 points to 8 in favour of the visitors. Four minutes later Garryowen scored another penalty to widen the gap but for all their possession and territorial advantage the visitors found it very difficult to build up good phases of play and their endeavours were plagued with handling errors. Then in the last play of the half Garryowen scored and converted another try to bring the halftime score to 22 points to 8. Little did anyone think that the second half would be scoreless for Garryowen or that the second half would be dominated by Kilfeacle and District.
During the half time break both coaches communicated their message to their charges. Tony Cooney and Aidan Gennery did a lot of talking to their charges who in turn did a lot of listening and what was said and what was heard made a difference.
The home side started the second half well and used the wind to their advantage however they were now playing better as a unit and after ten minutes started to come to grips with the conditions, their opponents and most of all each other. They started to build good phase play but every time the made it out of their own half any error or misplaced kick saw the ball return over their heads to relinquish any ground gained. In the twenty second minute the Kilfeacle side had eleven phases of play ending with an expertly performed offload in the tackle by Bill Donovan to release the backs. The combination of Michael Fitzgerald and Brian Leahy released Brian Roche who finished a lovely run under the posts to provide the easiest of conversions for Mark Burke. The score now read 22 – 15 Kilfeacle were within a converted try of Garryowen after being pummelled in the first half.
Now Garryowen were on the receiving end but it seemed that no matter what Kilfeacle threw at Garryowen that they were the match for it. Garryowen were happy to defend their lead and it was obvious to all present that they were happy if they could keep what they had and soak up the pressure. Everyone was now aware that one score could win or lose it. In the thirty fifth moment of the second half came the moment that changed everything, an excellent kick by Keith Burke, off his left leg out of his own twenty two, under pressure ended in a lineout for Kilfeacle and District in the opposition’s twenty two. Seven phases of play later Pierce Breen touched down for try in the corner. Mark Burke’s conversion attempt was to tie the game. It came back off the posts and Garryowen remained two points ahead with three minutes to play.
Now Kilfeacle’s pressure was starting to tell. With only one minute left on the clock the Garryowen defence, which had been so miserly up to this gave Mark Bourke his last kickable attempt at goal. Which he converted with aplomb to the delight of the hardy home support. Garryowen to their credit put in an almighty effort in the remaining minutes but their opponents and the time were against them and the target was just a bridge too far. Finally the referee sounded the full time whistle to the dismay of Garryowen and the joy of the home side.
After the game Tony Cooney, second team coach said, “It took us too long to come to grips with the conditions but in the second half we showed that we could play and were very unlucky not to score more. We had the capability and the desire to win and a very resolute Garryowen defence held us out when many more couldn’t and they deserve praise for that. To Garryowen’s credit they were unlucky not to be further ahead at half time and if they had converted some of those first half chances it would have been a different game. I am delighted for the squad as it was a squad effort and special mention must go to Aidan Gennery for the coaching he has done with this group of players, it has brought the standard of play up several notches. I believe that full commitment from everyone on Friday nights is essential, especially now when we have this first win under our belts!”
Kilfeacle were happy with the team performance and would like to thank Garryowen for the game, which was played in the correct spirit.
Under 14s win in the East Munster league.
Kilfeacle and District R.F.C. 19
On Sunday 27h of October, Kilfeacle and District R.F.C.’s Under 14s welcomed Clanwilliam to Morrissey Park in the East Munster league. The inclement conditions made it a dour affair but to their credit both sides approached the game in a good frame of mind and displayed plenty of endeavour. We thank Clanwilliam for a game played in good spirits and wish them the best for their season.
Training still going strong.
We are delighted to announce that the training for the underage/younger teams continues every Friday. If you missed last week’s training do not fear, as the place to be is Morrissey Park, Kilfeacle, every Friday night. If you enjoy team sports in healthy surroundings with experienced coaches, great facilities and loads of fun then Morrissey Park is the place to be Friday nights