Fox pounces to snatch victory for Castletroy

Rockwell 13 Castletroy 20

Fox pounces to snatch victory for Castletroy

There could not have been a finer start to the competition and the only regret was that Rockwell wing-forward Tommy Anglim was red-carded by referee Barrie O’Connell on the advice of his touch judge Paul O’Connor in the 58th minute after an off-the-ball incident.

The sides were level at 13 points apiece at that stage and Castletroy took advantage in the most spectacular manner.

Centre David Rowsome swooped on a loose ball when a Rockwell attack broke down and linked with centre Johnny Fox just inside his own half. Although faced by a line of Rockwell defenders, Fox somehow managed to evade tackle after tackle before sprinting clear to touch down between the posts. Conor Linehan’s conversion stretched Castletroy’s lead to seven points and they were never in danger subsequently.

“Nobody gave us a chance coming out here but we were quietly confident and ready to give it a go,” said coach John Staunton.

“We have a very committed bunch of lads who got the basics right 80% of the time. We fielded the full front row as well as a centre and wing from the team that won the Junior Cup last season, and while we knew we were facing a daunting task coming out to Clanwilliam to take on a good Rockwell side, the attitude was that we don’t mind where we have to go.”

Aidan Moynihan kicked two early penalties for Rockwell against one for Castletroy by Linehan before the Limerick side grabbed their first try, touched down by Conor Humphreys and converted by Linehan.

Castletroy winger David Garry was sent to the bin for a technical infringement but they remained undeterred. Instead, flanker Ronan Murphy made a dynamic burst through a series of tackles before setting his backs in motion and Rowsome went over for a cracking try which sent them into a 13-6 lead at the break.

Rockwell were back on terms within five minutes of the restart with a try by hooker Luke Hickey converted by Moynihan. However, Castletroy went on snatch the honours with that dramatic try from Fox.

ROCKWELL: L Casey; A McMahon, R Horgan, A Moynihan capt, S Lanigan-Ryan; B Johnston, D O’Mahony; B Quinlan, L Hickey, D O’Dwyer, S O’Connor, J Binchy, S O’Connell, T Anglim B McLaughlin.

Replacements: J Bolger for Hickey 56; B Reilly for O’Mahony, J Murray for Horgan, both 68.

CASTLETROY: C Linehan; D Garry, J Fox, D Rowsome, S McBrearty; M McCarthy, R Cunningham; J Conway, M O’Mara, C Myers, N Clohessy, S Hoare, C Humphreys, R Murphy, J O’Neill capt.

Replacements: N O’Shea for Clohessy 53; E Hourigan for Murphy 69.

Referee: B O’Connell (IRFU).

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