U18 South Munster League Final – 24 April 2022
U18.5 South Munster League Final – Clonakilty 29 Kanturk 10 (Game played at The Farm, Curraheen, Sunday April 24th) Following last weekends South Munster League semi-final victory over Kinsale, the lads kept this memorable season going with a League Final clash against Kanturk in UCC’s grounds. With the season drawing to an end this was the chance to win the first of two Cups in eight days with the semi-final of the South Munster Cup still to come.Having topped their localized group, finishing ahead of Bandon, Bantry and Skibbereen – Clon along with the other three group Winners reached the semi-finals to determine the League winners from the initial 18 entrants. Clon then accounted for Kinsale in the semi-final on a 24-23 scoreline.
As usual, Clon had a good support on what was a pleasant dry afternoon with the sun shining down albeit Clon playing against a strong breeze in the first half.An early sprinting run from recently crowned, “Players Player” of the Year, Conor Ryan set the early tone with Clon looking to be the stronger side. Eoin Downey kicked Clon ahead on 9 minutes with a close-in penalty. Clon lead 3-nil.Following a great burst from Ciarán McCarthy and another great run from Conor Ryan, Clon had a terrific move on the wing which just broke down when a try looked to be on. Following this Kanturk had a purple patch where they threatened near the Clon line. This pressure was relieved on more than one occasion with great ball-carrying runs out from the danger areas by Jim Twomey, Michael Deegan and Luke McCarthy.On 21 minutes, a superb Eoin Downey kick was returned by the Kanturk full-back only to be gathered by Eoin again. Eoin then started the move which involved Will Blackburn and Adam Crawford before the ball found its way to Tyler Abbey Henning who went over in the corner for the all-important first try. Eoin tapped over the conversion. Clon lead 10-nil.
Instigated by scrum-half, Finian Neville, more great ball-to-hand moves from the Clon lads could have added to their first-half tally especially on 26mins when Pa McCarthy, Adam Crawford and Jim Twomey combined well on the left wing before Jim was tackled into touch. For the closing period of the first-half, Kanturk tried very hard to break the Clon boys down but superb tackling from Paul Murphy and Luke McCarthy along with ”two-in-a-minute” try-saving tackles from Captain Downey kept the North Cork boys at bay. The second-half closed out with another great break from Ciarán McCarthy and a big steal from a Kanturk line-out by Conor Ryan before the Referee blew the short whistle. Half-time: Clonaklty 10 Kanturk nil.
Clon could be happy with their performance in the first half, safe in the knowledge that the wind was in their favour in the second-half and some useful artillery could be called upon from the bench. Clon had the early pressure in the second-half and a terrifically-worked maul proved very unlucky not to produce a try on 3 minutes. Clon were to keep up this early pressure and were rewarded when Conor Ryan sprinted away to register Clons’s second try on 49mins. Again, Eoin did the business to extend the lead. Clon lead 17-nil.From here on, it was reasonable to assume that Kanturk were going to find it tough to get back in this one. Michael Deegan and Conor Ryan were once again superb in the line-out while the Clon scrum and the pack in general seem to be ever-improving with every game. A good few Clon substitutions had also be made by this time. Big tackles from Donnacha Walsh and Rory White soon after their arrivals ensured that the Clon boys weren’t going to be resting on their big lead. All the while some huge booming clearances to touch from Eoin were keeping Kanturk constantly on the back-foot. On 57mins, it certainly looked game set and match when Tyler stormed over for a brilliant try. Great work from Jim Twomey assisted Tyler who finished expertly in the corner. Eoin kicked over a superbly struck conversion to put the game out of reach. Clon lead 24-nil with 13 mins remaining. Three minutes later, Kanturk went over their well-deserved first try. Clon lead 24-5.On 68mins, a well-worked team move rewarded Clon with their fourth try. A crunching Daniel O’Donovan tackle started the move which found the ball with Eoin Downey who expertly kicked to the opposite wing where Ben Reilly gathered superbly before feeding Jim Twomey who burst over to touch down. Clon lead 29-5.Even though the game was now well and truly over as a contest it was testament to the lads perseverance that they were as determined in the tackle as they had been in the first minute. Some big tackles from Thomas O’Donovan and Michael Deegan ensured that the Kanturk boys weren’t going to get any other consolation scores easy. However, despite more thumping tackles from Daniel O’Donovan, Adam Asare, Eoin Murphy and Thomas O’Donovan, Kanturk did finally go over for their second try well into added time.The Referee brought an end to proceedings on 75mins. Final score: Clonakilty 29 Kanturk 10.
So the lads have got their deserved reward and have brought deserved silverware to the Club with the chance of more to come. Captain Eoin Downey accepted the South Munster League Cup on behalf of his team-mates before making a very polished acceptance speech before joining his team-mates for a rendition of “Clon boys”. It was great to see more of the lads at the game who couldn’t tog off today due to injuries. As always, this season has been a huge squad effort for sure with over 30 players being used. A huge thanks to our fabulous Coaching team – Conor, Frankie, Joe, Maurice, Paudie, Rob and Sally. Many thanks to everybody who made the trip to The Farm, as Eoin said in his acceptance speech, the support all season has no doubt been a very vocally encouraging 16th man. Well done to Players and Trainers. Clon Abú….So, as a famous political party once said “A lot done, More to do”. The wagon heads for the home of the Munster Champions this Wednesday when the lads head to take on Cobh Pirates this coming Wednesday with an 8pm kick-off. Please make the trip to shout on the lads as their reward for victory here will be a South Munster Cup final vs Kinsale.
Team: 15 Jim Twomey, 14 Adam Crawford, 13 Pa McCarthy, 12 Luke McCarthy, 11 Tyler Abbey-Henning, 10 Eoin Downey, 9 Finian Neville, 1 Ciarán McCarthy, 2 Will Blackburn, 3 Gearóid O’Donovan, 4 Alan O’Driscoll, 5 Michael Deegan, 6 Thomas O’Donovan, 7 Paul Murphy, 8 Conor Ryan. Subs used: Daniel O’Donovan, Donnacha Walsh, Rory White, Eoin Murphy, Ben Reilly, Ryan O’Leary, Ross O’Donovan, Fergal Murphy, Adam Asare.
Report by Noel O’Donovan
Junior Challenge Cup vs Mallow – 25 September 2021
This Munster Junior Challenge Cup match ended in a shattering defeat for Clon when Mallow kicked a penalty with the last kick of the game. Mallow had beaten Clon two weeks earlier in the County Cup and Clon, with a very young side, looked to bounce back.
Before the game, there was a minute’s silence for the late Kieran White who had passed away suddenly that day. Kieran had been a great supporter of the Club for years.
Clon started well and broke through after ten minutes only for the scoring pass to be knocked on. However, they maintained the pressure and promising centre, Craig Bateman, broke the tackle after fifteen minutes to score next to the posts. Mark Purcell converted. Mallow responded well and scored their first try on 23 minutes after sustained pressure.
Shortly after, Clon were held up on the Mallow line, after a great drive from Dorin Botan, who had a fine game. Clon were not to be denied and Olan Deane scored from the resulting scrum. The conversion was good. Clon were very comfortable for the rest of the half until Mallow scored an intercept try when the reverse seemed about to happen. Half Time 14-10 to Clon.
Mallow started very strongly in the second half and scored a try from a short penalty to put them a point in front. But Clon responded, playing great rugby and Mark Purcell kicked a penalty on 60 minutes to restore the lead. From there to the finish, Clon had all the momentum but could not break through a stubborn defence and, on 84 minutes, Mallow kicked into the Clon half and were awarded a penalty on the 10 metre line which they kicked to break Clon hearts.
This was a fine display from such a young team and bodes well for the season. They were some standout performances but it would be wrong to single out any one player.
Squad: Victor Lovell, Oisin Walsh, Sean Madden, Craig Bateman, Olan Fehily, Mark Purcell, Alex O’Mahony, Matt McCarthy, Chris Walton, Aaron O’Donovan, Dorin Botan, William Tyner, Cathal O’Regan, Colin Deane, Olan Deane, Conor Murphy, Jorn Ten Caat, Jim O’Hea, John-Allyn Byrnes, Jamie Santry