(Action from Saturday's Charity Cup Semi Final vs Young Munster RFC)
Senior: There was a rematch of last year’s Munster Senior Cup Final opponents in Lisatunny last Saturday when the home side locked horns with Young Munster RFC in the semi final of the Sporting Limerick North Munster Charity Cup. Both teams found themselves in this game as a result of finishing as runners up in their Senior Cup Round Robin groups this season. Nenagh, as the holders of this trophy would have been motivated for this one for that reason as well as seeking revenge for the last kick loss to Young Munster after leading almost all the way through the Senior Cup final last year.
As it transpired this one proved to be another close affair with Nenagh putting it up to their 1A opponents in every aspect of play. Ultimately a little indiscipline and 10 mins with a man short was probably all that swung it the way of the visitors.
Nenagh started very brightly and certainly had the better of the early exchanges. The scrum, which was a bit of an achilles heel for Nenagh in the endgame against Munsters last year, was in fact a weapon on this occasion and penalties won here allowed Nenagh to build pressure in the Young Munster half. The breeze was also in Nenagh’s favor in this period, although such was its strength it was as much a hindrance in terms of passing accuracy as it was a benefit for tactical kicking.
From a lineout in the Young Munster half about midway through the opening period Patrick Scully and Ben Pope combined to send Pope through a gap in the Munster’s midfield. He showed a tremendous turn of pace and neat footwork to make it close to the try line before offloading to debutant Alex Moloney who almost had the dream start to his senior career as he reached for the score. Unfortunately the scrambling defence just about got to him and the ball was lost forward allowing Munsters to lift the siege.
That proved to be the best try scoring opportunity for either team in the half and two converted penalties apiece left the sides deadlocked at 6-6 as Nenagh turned to face the elements.
A worrying trend had unfortunately taken hold in the last few minutes of the half however as Nenagh carriers were isolated on a number of occasions leading to soft penalty concessions and the patience of the referee was being tested. The trend continued on the resumption and when Young Munster were given the chance to get within range of the Nenagh line they made no mistake, mauling over for a try to go in front. Ity got worse soon after when a borderline tackle by Nenagh from the restart saw the referee’s patience run out and Jake O Kelly was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. Another penalty was added by Munster’s for their final tally of 19 points and down to scores against the wind the task looked daunting for Nenagh.
The team deserves a lot of credit though for staying in the fight and it was a likely leader who stepped up to the plate when the need was greatest. A clever tap penalty move near the Munster’s line sent John Hayes careering forward and as all loyal fans of Nenagh know that usually has one inevitable outcome. So it proved with the Ballinasloe man getting the 5 pointer but unfortunately taking a knock in doing so. The wind unfortunately played its part too in taking the conversion off course and crucially Nenagh would still need two more scores with time running out fast. They did get back in range and earned a kickable penalty which they took to take the game down to the wire but unfortunately there just wasn’t quite enough time to find a winning try.
All things considered though the Nenagh camp will be happy with the four games played in the preseason period. Two wins and two narrow losses, all against Division 1 opponents is no mean feat. Being shorn of the likes of Josh Rowland, John Healy and captain Willie Coffey from Saturday’s squad too means the team will be considerably stronger in two weeks for the opening round of the Energia AIL. That involves a home tie versus local rivals UL Bohemians. With Ireland’s pool defining clash against Ben Healy’s Scotland to follow that evening there will no doubt be plenty of appetite for rugby on that day. We look forward to welcoming a vociferous Nenagh support on October 7th for a 2.30pm kickoff.
Team (1-21): Mike Doran, Dylan Murphy, Jack O’ Keefe, Joe Coffey, Kevin O Flaherty ©, Rob Buckley, John O Flaherty, John Hayes, Nicky Irwin, Ben Pope, Conor McMahon,James Finn, Patrick Scully, Alex Moloney, Charlie O Doherty, Paudie Burke, Seán Frawley, Niall O Gorman, Jake O Kelly, Evan Murphy, Evan Fitzpatrick
Seconds: The 2nd XV also had semi final rugby on Sunday, traveling to Clonmel for the Garryowen Cup semi final tie with Clonmel RFC. Conditions were truly awful in the aptly named Ard Gaoithe grounds and ultimately it was the home side who made the better of it, running out 13- 7 winners. This was another useful outing for a side predominantly drawn from the Under 20s squad with a good sprinkling of experience from the senior side mixed in. Try scorer for Nenagh on the day was Tristan Madden. There is plenty of capability in this side to compete strongly in the upcoming Senior Seconds League as well as the Junior Cup later in the season. Many of the players will be in Donal Walsh Trophy action next week too with the Under 20.5 side so there is plenty of action ahead for all players involved.
U15: A 15 strong Nenagh Ormond team traveled to Coonagh to take on Shannon’s under 15 team in the third of their friendly games. The weather was poor with heavy rain, which made conditions greasy. Shannon opened the scoring after approximately 10 minutes which was converted by their out half. Nenagh, through their forwards, ran the ball and managed to win a penalty within Shannon’s 22 and Darragh Boland made a good break to score a try in the right corner. The try was not converted and Nenagh went in trailing 7-5 at half time. Shannon came out of the blocks strongly and scored a try 5 minutes into the second half. This was converted through the boot of their outhalf. Later Shannon made a good break and made ground in the Nenagh half resulting in their third try which was also converted. However Nenagh kept working and managed to win a penalty close to the Shannon line which resulted in a great try worked through the hands and scored by Hugo Healy. This was converted by Charlie Talbot. At the final whistle Nenagh lost 21-12 however there are plenty of positives to take from the game. Nenagh’s under 15’s are due to take on Ennis next weekend in Nenagh in the first of their competitive games
U14: Nenagh Ormond entertained Young Munster in the next round of the league. Weather conditions were quite good when players arrived to the field but just at kick off the conditions deteriorated rapidly. Nenagh started very well but coughed up the ball too easily when in good positions. Young Munster scored on their first visit to the 22 with a converted try. That seemed to spur Nenagh on and they replied with a converted try. Nenagh won a scrum against the head, Anluan White picked and bulldozed over the line. Kaden added the extras. Back came Young Munster with the next score. Their forwards carried very well and then the full back spotted a hole in the defence, which he ghosted through to score. The conversion was missed. Nenagh replied with another try before half time, the ball was in midfield when Shaun Murphy moved the ball to Anluan who made good ground. He then offloaded to Donagh on his shoulder who showed good strength to score in the corner. The conversion was missed to leave it 12 all at half time. The second half was a real ding dong battle with conditions worsening which resulted in plenty of mistakes. Nenagh did so well to keep Young Munster out on numerous occasions and Nenagh were struggling to get a foothold into the game. Anytime we tried to get continuity there was an error. And from one of those errors Munsters scored an unconverted try which left the score at 17-12. That score seemed to rally Nenagh and the forwards started to carry the ball with intent, Sean Ryan, Aidan Steed, Anluan, Monko all did their bit along with some excellent rucking by Shane and Luke. The subs also made a big impact in the last 10 mins. Nenagh finally got the try they needed and from inside the 22 the ball was moved to the wing where Shaun Murphy passed to Donagh Carmody who had the space to beat the defence out wide and score. Kaden added a very difficult conversion into the wind and rain. That left the score 19-17. In fairness to Nenagh they did not sit back and took the game to Munsters. However the ball was turned over inside the opposition 22. Young Munster worked their way into the Nenagh 22 but from a resulting lineout Anluan won it and kicked the ball off the field. A real tight tussle with the weather playing a big part. Nenagh did well as the odds were against us through the second half. Training continues Wednesday evening
Split the Bucket: Our Split the Bucket fundraiser continues to hand out a minimum of €500 in prize money each and every week. Enter for as little as €2 per week at nenaghormondrfc.com/products or access the link on any of our social media pages.
U18.5: Nenagh vs Bruff RFC. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Kilballyowen)- Pan Munster League
U16: Nenagh vs CashelRFC. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Lisatunny)- Pan Munster League
U14: Nenagh v Ballina/ Killaloe RFC. Sunday@ 11.00am (Clarisford)
U13: Pat Lawlor Tournament. Saturday @ UL Bohemian RFC, Annacotty