Highfield prove far too strong for ’Well

THE gulf between second and third division teams in the AIB League was highlighted at Temple Hill, Cork, last night, as Highfield deservedly advanced to the final of the ODM Munster Senior Cup.

Sunday’s Well battled hard but were no match for a Highfield team that has come on in leaps and bounds in the last 12 months.

However Highfield coach Geoff Moylan wasn’t entirely happy. He said: “After a great first half, the guys are unhappy with the way they played, despite the fact that they have brought the club into a first Munster senior cup final in 20 years. I suppose it’s a tribute to them that they are disappointed, because these guys have a lot of ambition and they didn’t quite reach the heights they hoped for tonight.”

Quality back play was certainly the order of the day in the opening 40 minutes. Highfield, with a spring in their steps, dominated the opening half, especially the first quarter, and they fully deserved a nine point lead established inside that spell.

Highfield looked more menacing from the start; they slowly established that decent lead with successive penalties from former Irish international scrum half Brian O’Meara. The scores came in the fourth, 15th and 20th minutes, before they deservedly got the opening try of the game. Conor Quaid played a huge part in the creation of it before linking with Paul Matson who sped away for a quality score to increase the lead to 14 points.

The out-half was also instrumental in the creation of a second try after 36 minutes. He broke through the defence for the umteenth time and found second row John Stevenson on his shoulder. The number four had a bit of work to do, but he had the legs and the swagger to let the defence in his wake for a try at the posts, one that O’Meara converted for a half time lead of 21-0.

It didn’t get much better for Sunday’s Well after the break. Again, they had to do most of the defending as Highfield played most of the clever rugby although, to be fair, the losers did play their part in sustaining the interest.

Sunday’s Well had the better of the second period; they didn’t get the rewards they deserved but did have the consolation of finishing the game on a high and really deserved more for their efforts.

SUNDAYS WELL: C. Corkery, A. Long, J. Lynch, K. Lucey, D. Twohig, T. Taoiloa, R. Carroll, P. Sisk, D. Blower, R. McKinnie, I. Carroll (captain), E. Murphy, D. Coppinger, T. Tasola, J. Rose.

Replacements. O. Crean for Murphy (51), John Moynihan for Blower, N. Horgan for Corkery (both 66), Corkery for Carroll (inj, 65), Joe Moynihan for Sisk (68).

HIGHFIELD: D. O’Brien, P. Matson, C. Mahony, J. Gleeson, P. Martin, C. Quaid, B. O’Meara, M. Gateley, M. Essex, D. Ryan (captain), J. Stevenson, J. Murphy, J. Bradling-Harris, C. Hartigan, M. Power.

Replacements: D. O’Hea for Ryan (56), D. O’Kane for Stevenson (71), B. Quinlan for Mahony, L. Hill for Essex. (both 75)

Referee: S. Flannery (MAR).

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