With all four local sides winning this Sunday, it was a great start to 2020 for Limerick junior rugby.
In the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, Bruff made the journey to Dunmanway a successful one, advancing to the next round, while in the Munster Junior League, division one Thomond, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale also recorded victories.
Newcastle West’s bonus point victory at home to Clanwilliam was a significant one and puts them top of the table by a single point. With a game in hand over the four others at the top of the table, second-placed Kilfeacle and District also won but failed to register a winning bonus point. They were run very close by a good and committed Mallow side who remain in third, two points clear of Thomond in fourth.
Munster Junior Cup: Dunmanway 8, Bruff 14
Cup football can always bring out the best in clubs and these two sides served up an exciting encounter at the County Cork venue. The home side were well in the game for much of the 80 minutes but Bruff showed courage and great club spirit to edge into the next round. Scorers for Bruff were Liam Tracey and Eric Flynn with a try each while Flynn was also in kicking form, landing the two conversions.
Munster Junior League 1: Newcastle West 33, Clanwilliam 26
Just a converted try separated these two teams. It was a high scoring encounter with the home home bagging an important bonus point thanks to a five try haul. The first half was close but tries from Ted Walters, Michael Bourke and a penalty try kept the ‘West’s’ big support in positive mood. Clanwilliam kicked three penalties in that opening half but they showed flair in the third quarter to score a brace of tries and a penalty.
Newcastle West are going to fight right to the end of this league race and a brace of tries by Brian O’Sullivan, one converted by Sean Herlihy, gave them the bonus point and a place at the top of the table.
Munster Junior League 1: Skibbereen 7, Thomond 14
This was another great performance by the city blues. ‘Skib’ is a difficult ground to win in but after trailing 7-0 early in the game Thomond showed all their experience to ensure that the home side did not register another score for the rest of the tie.
With their pack setting up good field position they levelled the game with a try from Evan O’Connor, converted by Eoghan Sherlock and they earned the points with a second try, this time Jordan O’Donnell getting over the line, and again Sherlock added the extras for the Thomondgate side. This result keeps the royal blues in fourth position in the table, three points clear of Clonakilty.
Munster Junior League 1: St Senan’s 13, Abbeyfeale 16
The ‘Saints’ might be anchored in a low league position but if they can turn in performances like this one, they will surely ease away from the drop zone. Derry O’Connor proved to be the man of the match for Abbeyfeale. The out-half scored all of his side’s points, a try and a conversion and three penalties from the kicking tee.
St Senan’s were short a few regulars for this game in Jim Slattery Park and with two reliable kickers on the sideline through injuries, the Shannon Town side will regret three missed attempts at the sticks which at the end proved costly.
Feature Picture: The Abbeyfeale team that beat St Senan’s in Jim Slattery Park on Sunday last. Photo credit: Joe Buckley