Junior rugby: Clonmel get off to winning start in defence of title

Defending champions Clonmel got their Munster Junior League campaign off to a winning start with a victory over one of their main challengers, Bandon.

Clonmel seeking their third successive league title made an impressive opening with a 21-14 home win.

A try from Jacko Oostuysen and a Conor Cooney penalty gave Clonmel an 8-7 half time lead. Kerry Desmond was Bandon’s try scorer and Alex Morrissy converted. A penalty try and a conversion by Cooney extended Clonmel’s lead to eleven, before a try by Enda Phelan converted by Morrissy closed the gap. Cooney added a penalty in the closing stages.

Richmond came from behind to defeat Clanwilliam 14-9. Darren Gallagher and Brion Bennett scored tries for Richmond and Bennett converted both. Niall Leahy kicked three penalties for the Tipperary side.

Galbally opened their campaign with a 16-10 home win over newly promoted Cobh Pirates. Mark Sweeny scored a try for Galbally, Jack O’Mullane kicked a conversion and two penalties and Liam Casey also added a penalty. Ian O’Donovan replied with a try for the Pirates and Alan Langford converted and also kicked a penalty.

The other promoted side Abbeyfeale lost away to Kilfeacle 16-7. A try by Brian McLoughlin and a conversion and two penalties by Shane Looby had the home side 13-0 ahead at half time. Looby added another penalty before Abbeyfeale were awarded a penalty try which Tom Hassett converted.

St. Senan’s had an impressive 23-18 away win over Clonakilty. Eoin Deasy kicked two penalties to give Clon’ an early 6-0 lead but tries from Ian Fitzgerald and Brian Collins both converted by Declan Rowe had the visitors 14-6 ahead at the interval. Batt Duggan scored a Clonakilty try but a Dale O’Loughlin penalty and a drop goal and penalty by Rowe made it 23-11, before a Steve Cotter try converted by Deasy earned the home side a losing bonus point.

An injury time try by Dave Hennessy earned Muskerry a 15-14 home win over Newcastle West. Tries by Daniel Horgan and Stephen Murray had Muskerry 10-6 ahead at the interval. Michael O’Leary kicked two penalties for the visitors. A Sean Neville penalty and a try by Sean Murphy looked like giving Newcastle West the points until Hennessey’s late try.

Skibbereen defeated Old Christians 26-18 with tries from Richie Byrne, Denis McCarthy and Dave Jennings. McCarthy added a conversion and three penalties. Dave Heaphy and Darragh Daly replied with tries for Christians and John Marnell added two conversions and two penalties.

In Division Two Waterford City defeated Tralee 36-22 in a game that produced ten tries. Simon O’Hara (2), Cian Foskin, Jack O’Neill, Aidan Power and a penalty try were Waterford’s try scorers. Michael Hayes kicked three conversions. Darragh O’Neill (2), Simon Behan and Kevin O’Shea replied with tries for Tralee and O’Neill added a conversion. Waterpark defeated Castleisland 28-10. Paddy Pierce (2), David O’Donoghue and Emmett O’Shea scored tries for the winners and James Pierce kicked a conversion and two penalties. Sean Nolan was Castleisland’s try scorer and Willie Casey kicked a conversion and a penalty.

Ballincollig defeated Charleville 19-12 with a Dave Power try and a conversion and four penalties from Charlie Boland. Michael O’Flynn replied with four penalties for Charleville.

St. Mary’s defeated Mallow 11-3 and Youghal had a 30-9 bonus point win against Ennis.


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