Newcastle West missed a great chance to edge ahead of league leaders Kilfeacle and District on Sunday. They lost by just a single point but the significance of the defeat sees the Tipperary side go three points clear of the ‘West’ with six series of games played. On a day when the weather played a major role, Richmond had a good win in Jim Slattery Park against St Senan’s; Abbeyfeale got the better of Thomond and St Mary’s had a morale-boosting away victory in Cobh. Galbally continues to struggle at the wrong end of the Munster Junior League 1 table after suffering an away defeat against Waterpark.
Newcastle West 20-21 Kilfeacle and District
This eagerly awaited top of the table battle provided exciting viewing for the big attendance in Cullinagh. It was a fiercely fought battle with Newcastle leading by a single point at the break 13-12, but it was Kilfeacle who led by the minimum score at the final whistle to boost their title bid.
A try by Eoin O’Halloran in the first half for Newcastle West, which was converted by Sean Herlihy, had the home supporters in good voice and Herlihy added a penalty but the 12 points from the visitors set up a thrilling second 40 minutes. Brian O’Sullvan, who also scored last week-end, added a try for the home side in the second half, Sean Herlihy kicked a penalty but the missed conversion was to prove costly.
The final stages were nail-biting but the Kilfeacle defence held out for this significant victory. They now lead the table with 27 points while Newcastle West are on 23, Mallow next with 21 points and Thomond with 20 points.
Abbeyfeale 17-10 Thomond
This game started in torrential rain and the difficult conditions made it tricky for both sides. ‘Feale got the opening score, a penalty from Derry O’Connor after ten minutes.
It took Thomond some time to get into scoring range but they levelled the tie when Adam Guerin kicked a penalty. With the Abbeyfeale pack enjoying the better of the battle, they forced two further penalties and Derry O’Connor obliged with both, the second a sublime effort from a difficult angle that gave his side a 9-3 lead. The same player sent his side in at the break with a 12-3 lead after landing a kick from halfway and Abbeyfeale went further ahead soon after the break with an unconverted try by Micheal Roche.
Trailing 17-3 Thomond went in search of a score that would save a point from this visit to The Vale. They lost out-half Peter Connolly with an injury and when Abbeyfeale lost a player with a yellow than another with a red, Richmond snatched a losing bonus point with a try by Richie Ryan and conversion from Adam Guerin. The result sees ‘Feale move to seventh in the table while Thomond are in fourth.
St Senan’s 7- 24 Richmond
The city side made it three wins on the trot with this bonus-point victory over the home side in Shannon Town. ‘Senan’s’ are propping up division one, five points behind Skibbereen and will need to show improvement if they are to avoid the drop.
They missed two early penalties in this game and once Richmond took a 12-0 lead with a brace of tries from the impressive Shane Halpin (his second brace in successive games), one converted by Brian Mullins, the writing was on the wall for the home side.
Soon after the break Richmond struck for another try, Darragh Joyce powering over and Mullins adding the extras for a 19-0 lead, and the result was inevitable. St Senan’s replied with a converted try to make it 7-19 but Barry Laffan earned his side the five points with a late unconverted try.
Waterpark 12-9 Galbally
The county side got a losing bonus point out of this game but they missed the opportunity of moving into a higher league position despite a really good effort. There was very little between the sides and in the bad playing conditions most of the game was fought out up front. Waterpark move one point ahead of Galbally after this win. John Kearns is proving to be a key player for the Limerick club this season and his three penalties secured that losing bonus point that keep them two points ahead of Clanwilliam.
Cobh Pirates 10-15 St Mary’s
A fine display from the Grove Island boys who now move only two points behind third placed Muskerry. In dreadful conditions the sides scored a try each in the first half, St Mary’s score coming from Darragh Kerley, converted by Jade Marlo Pendejito who also kicked a penalty for a 7-10.
As the second half got underway the conditions worsened but the ‘Saints’ sealed the win with a second Darragh Kerley. According to a St Mary’s spokesman they were disappointed that they did not get a winning bonus point but with back to back home games against Ballincollig and Muskery coming up over the coming weeks, they could move closer to the promotion spots.
Other results: MJL1, Clanwilliam 19, Bandon 10; Skibbereen 7, Mallow 26; Crosshaven 16, Clonakilty 8. MJL2, Ballincollig 0, Muskerry 21; Dungarvan 43, Castleisland 3; Kinsale 22, Fermoy 7; Old Christians 14, Kanturk 9.