It was a good weekend for Limerick’s junior clubs in the Munster Junior Leagues. Abbeyfeale were the only side to lose, going down at home to Kilfeacle and District by 17 points to 35.
Richmond had a thrilling late away victory over Clanwilliam, 23-25; Newcastle West held on for an 11-7 win at home to Mallow while the Saturday evening game saw Thomond carve out a win in injury time in Bandon.
The Crosshaven v Galbally was called off due to an unplayable pitch. In MJL2 on Sunday, St Mary’s were deprived five points when home side Kinsale got a converted try in the last phase of a 27-27 draw. Victory would have seen them jump to third place in the table.
Munster Junior League 1: Bandon 12, Thomond 13
Forced to recruit off-season, Thomond continue to impress on their return to junior ranks after 20 seasons in the AIL.
Their win in Bandon on Saturday afternoon indicates that they are determined to make a bold bid for a return to senior ranks and with Clanwilliam visiting Liam Fitzgerald Park next Sunday they will be hoping to add more league points to their tally.
The royal blues got off to a good start against Bandon and led 10-0 after 20 minutes. They may have lost Evan Cusack to Young Munster, but Adam Guerin has slotted in nicely at nine and his contribution of a penalty and a conversion of Richie Ryan’s try put those early points on the board.
Bandon were stung into action and two penalties saw them claw back the lead to 6-10. Just before half time it was 9-10 to the Cork side when they availed of a scrum penalty and with 50 minutes played, this game was on a knife-edge. Ten minutes later the 2018 league champions went into the lead for the first time with a fourth penalty to make it 12-10 but right at the finish up stepped Adam Guerin to find the target from the kicking tee to give Thomond a very important victory.
Thomond lined out: W Kelly; E O’Connor, G Finucane, R Ryan, D Hartery; K O’Mahony, A Guerin; D Quinn, D Radcliffe, J O’Donnell; E Sheehan, C Radcliffe, K McMahon, R Aherne, L Slattery.
Munster Junior League 1: Abbeyfeale 17, Kilfeacle and District 35
The home side failed to match the power of Kilfeacle and were well beaten at the finish. ‘Feale had lost one of their three opening games up to this one and the margin of defeat by Mallow was just a single point. Derry O’Connor was their main scorer on Sunday scoring a try, two conversions and a penalty while Daniel Leahy also got in for a try for the county boys.
Munster Junior League 1: Clanwilliam 23, Richmond 25
This was a sweet victory for Richmond. They went into this game keen to get some points but they were staring defeat in the dying minutes when they snatched victory with an injury-time last play try from Gareth O’Hanlon.
It was a highly entertaining game played at the Tipperary venue and Clan had a comfortable 17-6 lead at half time. Sean Considine and Shane Halpin sharing the Richmond penalties.
The second period saw Clanwilliam increase their lead to 20-6 with a penalty but then the Limerick club turned up the heat and Darragh Joyce got in for a try which was converted by Sean Considine to reduced the deficit to 20-13.
The travelling support was in good voice ten minutes later, Jeffrey McNamara scampering over under the posts, Considine’s conversion levelling it at 20-20 going into the last quarter. With three minutes remaining it looked as if Clanwilliam had snatched victory when they went 23-20 in front but from the restart, Richmond laid siege on their try line and Jonathan Tully placed O’Hanlon for that winning score. Next Sunday Richmond are at home to Abbeyfeale.
Munster Junior League 1: Newcastle West 11, Mallow 7
This was billed as ‘match of the day’ and the game lived up to expectations. The meeting of the top two teams in division one in Cullinagh saw Mallow score a breakaway converted try on 15 minutes to silence the large home support but it was to be the Cork side’s only score of the afternoon. Newcastle West replied with Darragh Fox kicking deep and when the Mallow defence failed to deal with the danger, Sean Ivess availed of the lapse to score a try that they failed to convert.
Two penalties from Sean Herlihy gave Newcastle West an 11-7 half time lead and that was to be the score at the final whistle after a nail-biting second half. Newcastle West travel to Clonakilty next Sunday.
Munster Junior League 2: Kinsale 27, St Mary’s 27
Despite earning three points from this thriller, St Mary’s told us that they were disappointed that they did not hold on for a victory. They led 27-20 into injury time but conceded a late try to the home side. The conversion appeared to be off-target, hit the upright and scraped over to deny the Saints victory.
Alec Kiely scored two tries for St Mary’s, Darragh Kerley added a third try while Paul O’Loughlin’s try gave his side the bonus point. Next Sunday’s game in Grove Island will see St Mary’s take on league leaders Old Christians. Jude Marlo Pendejito kicked two conversions and a penalty.