Way back in August, most observers of Munster Junior rugby probably would not have predicted that at this stage of the season Kilfeacle and District would be travelling to Old Christians in the league with a realistic chance of a top four finish. Kilfeacle and District RFC may not be the biggest club in the league, we may not have the longest history or the resources and membership that other clubs have but what â€œthe little club on the hillâ€ does have is a fantastic sense of family. We are delighted with the endeavours and achievements of our community-based club however, such achievements are only achieved through tireless never ending endeavour by many volunteers behind the scenes none more so than the management and backroom staff of the firsts and seconds teams. Week after week the players receive the plaudits for their efforts and rightly so. However too often we leave it unsaid, soon behalf of the committee and everyone involved in Kilfeacle and District RFC, I would like to congratulate everyone involved and say that we appreciate that it is because of their skills and endeavour that the teams are performing in the manner in which they are.
Travelling to Old Christians is never an easy task and as ever we entered this match knowing that if we didnâ€™t perform well in all facets that we would not come away with the desired result. This game was proving to be an even bigger challenge because of selection concerns, with a large number of our first team regulars ruled out for many different and varying reasons.
The game started in bright, dry cold conditions with a strong breeze favouring the home side in the first half. Kilfeacleâ€™s forwards consisting of Simon Barry, Ricky Barry, Diarmuid Oâ€™Donnell, Keith Kearns, Ger Luby (Pack Leader), John Doyle, Ricky Witney, Brian Leahy, Jack Sullivan, Sean McGrath, and Alan Oâ€™Mahony (returning from a vigorous and demanding training camp in Wales, where he impressed under lights) struggled as a unit in the early stages of the game because of so many positional and personnel changes.
Old Christians opened the scoring with a well worked try after eight minutes which they were unlucky not to convert. Kilfeacle started to come more and more into the game and on the fifteen minute mark levelled the score when Diarmuid Oâ€™Donnell finished a fine team move by touching down in the corner.
Kilfeacle now enjoyed a spell of concerted pressure and the backs, J.J. Cooney, Wallace Burke, Diarmuid Carr, Pat Ryan, Charles Walshe, Shane Morrissey and Bernard Callaghan followed up ten minutes later with a try scored by Shane Morrissey which Wallace Burke was unlucky not to convert. Old Christians came back into contention with a converted try in the dying seconds of the first half, leaving the score 15-6 at the interval.
Old Christians didnâ€™t lose any impetus because of the half time break and looked the better team for the first twenty minutes of the second half. However it took them 18 minutes before they added a penalty which they followed eight minutes later with another converted try which increased their lead to 22-10. To the travelling fansâ€™ relief, Kilfeacle were finishing the better of the two. The lineout which, up to now, had misfired was working well and Kilfeacle were marginally on top in the scrums. This meant that Kilfeacle were retaining the ball better which was reflected when Charles Walshe scored a try which was not converted. Talk amongst the travelling supporters was of a bonus point and a draw if the fourth try came. The fourth try came when Diarmuid Carr finished in the corner and when Shane Morrissey hit the upright with the conversion attempt everyone knew that it wasnâ€™t Kilfeacle and Districtâ€™s day however they had done enough to secure 3rd place in the league despite the 22-20 loss - fantastic result considering how the year had started.