More than 2,000 spectators revelled in an exciting encounter. Castletroy prevailed because of a slight supremacy of a pack in which second-row Sean English and back-rows skipper Niall O’Shea and Alan Fitzgerald excelled. Even then, they got little change out of a Glenstal eight in which Mark Fleming and Johnny Williams stood out.
Both teams brought their backs into play and there was much to admire in the performance of Jamie Heuston at out-half for Castletroy until he went off with a dislocated shoulder. Glenstal also moved the ball enterprisingly, particularly captain Jack Stafford in the centre and out-half Ben Healy.
A couple of penalties for each side by Healy and Heuston saw the scores level after 25 minutes when Glenstal broke the deadlock with a smashing try.
Second-row Shane Downes set it up with a 40m burst stopped close to the line, the ball was recycled for Fleming to crash over, Healy adding the extras.
Castletroy hit back in the 32nd minute when Alan Fitzgerald got the touch down after a rolling maul, leaving Glenstal 13-11 at the break. Both sides had their chances early in the second half before Castletroy struck on 46 minutes as Sean English scored between the posts after a number of phases.
Stephen Atkinson converted and strive as they might, Glenstal could manage no more than a Healy penalty.
J Mawhinney; B Moloney, L Fitzgerald, J Stafford capt, G Daly; B Healy, R Johnston; P Moloney, G Downing, E Bergin, T Broderick, S Downes, R Clarke, M Fleming, J Williams. Replacements – S Scanlon-Garry for Bergin.
S Hogan; S Mullins, R McDonnell, P Clancy, M Rowsome; J Heuston, S Atkinson; J Conway, D O’Neill, C Myers, S Fitzpatrick, S English, D Reeves-Wasik, N O’Shea capt, A Fitzgerald. Replacements – C Lyons for Heuston injured; E Hourigan for Fitzgerald, C Bermingham for Fitzpatrick; E Slattery for English.
Referee – S Kierans (MAR).