Waterpark crowned underage kings in Thomond

A memorable Bank of Ireland Munster Clubs U18 Cup final in which Waterpark came from behind to beat Bruff (35-28) crowned a magnificent festival of underage rugby at Thomond Park yesterday.
Waterpark crowned underage kings in Thomond

The result completed a famous day for the Waterford club who had earlier retained the U16 title for the third successive year.

The Waterpark U18 side struggled against the powerful Bruff maul in the opening half, after which the Limerick outfit led 13-3 following tries by Thomas Quigley and Liam Barrett and a penalty by John Bateman. Alex Molloy’s penalty was all Waterpark could muster.

However, the Waterford side were a different proposition on the restart as they began to claim quality possession and varied their game cleverly and aggressively, supported by some superb Molloy kicking. He added three conversions, a penalty, and a drop goal in a stunning individual display. Their tries were scored by prop Danny O’Keeffe (2), substitute Dev Murphy, and flanker Padraig Gannon. Bruff’s tries came from Thomas Quigley (2), Liam Barrett, Joe O’Connell, and Cian Clifford.

It came as no great surprise when Waterpark completed a hat-trick of wins in the U16 grade but they were pushed all the way by a fine Bandon side that contributed handsomely to a terrific decider.

Waterpark just about deserved their success as they held a slight edge up front and had an ace in out-half Ben Daly who got them off to a good start with a drop goal.

Although scrum-half Jack Crowley equalised with a penalty, Waterpark went 10-3 ahead after a try by centre Jack Pierce, converted by Daly. Crowley converted a Sean Galvin try for Bandon but Park struck with a penalty from Daly, who then converted a try by Gavin Corbett. Skipper Josh Brady went over for a late Bandon try but it wasn’t enough.

Earlier in the day, Tipperary’s Kilfeacle & District won the U16 Bowl by beating Muskerry 19-0. They had tries by Turlough Breen, Ryan Renehan, and Danny Ryan, two converted by Tony Byron.

Kanturk pulled off a sensational 13-10 victory over Ballincollig in the U18 Bowl decider. They were 10-3 behind at the interval after unconverted Collig tries by Cillian Buckley and Conor Downey against a penalty by Evan Murphy. The North Cork side prevailed when winger Cillian Buttimer ran from well inside his own half for a magnificent try converted by Murphy, who also landed a penalty.

See www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby for reports on all four finals

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