Willie Staunton Leads Kilfeacle to Cup Glory

TIPPERARY junior club Kilfeacle and District RFC can justifiably celebrate after their victory on Sunday over Dromore in the final of the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup.

It was also a good day for Bruff and Old Crescent in the Munster Junior Cup as well as Abbeyfeale and Galbally who recorded MJL1 wins.

Kilfeacle’s win will probably be remembered for some time within the district. Inspired by their player coach Willie Staunton, they came into the game with an attitude that if they could control the ball for long periods they were capable of opening gaps that would produce scores.

“We knew it was going to be decided by a single score and if we fronted-up we’d win,” a delighted Staunton said after the final whistle.

It was a thrilling decider played before an attendance of well over 1,000 enthusiastic fans. It was 15-12 at the break, Kilfeacle and District’s centre Darren Lowry getting an opening try after five minutes and Adam McDonald levelling it for Dromore.

Willie Staunton added a penalty and a drop goal while tries from Adam McDonald and Brian McClearan and kicks by Lee Steenson set up a thrilling second half.

Another Steenson penalty on 51 minutes added to Dromore’s score but Kilfeacle hit a purple patch with Kevin Kinane getting a try on 56 minutes, converted by Staunton who also popped over a drop goal as the 80 minute finale drew nearer. On 71 minutes Kilfeacle supporters were on their feet when Darren Lowry got in for his second try, converted by Willie Staunton and while Dromore got a late try and conversion it was too late for them to prevent the winners’ victorious return to Tipperary.

Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup Final, Coolmine Rugby Club, Castleknock, Co. Dublin 25/1/2020 Kilfeacle & District RFC vs Dromore The Kilfeacle & District team celebrate Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Kilfeacle and Disctict: James Hogan; Kevin Doyle, Darren Lowry, Keith Bourke, John Bourke; Willie Staunton, Gavin Heuston; Diarmuid O’Donnell, James Ryan, Simon Barry; Jack Loughlin, Philip O’Connor; Kevin Kinane, Brian Barlow, Brian McLoughlin. Replacements, Ricky Whitney, Adam O’Connell, Luke Ashmore, cormac Ryan, Stephen Quirke, Shane Morrissey, Cathal Donovan, Killian Noonan.

Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup:

Old Crescent 52, Bantry 8: Crescent keep churning out high scoring victories and they chalked up another impressive result when they topped the half century against a poor County Cork side. Ironically, Bantry got first blood, a close in penalty easily converted for a 3-0 lead after just two minutes. Crescent responded with an Eoin Murphy try but Bantry then scored a try to lead 7-8. That was as good as it got for the Seasiders.

The tries flowed at the Rosbrien venue with Crescent’s fluent running game tearing holes in the visitors’ defence. On the scoresheet for the home side were two tries each for Ronan McKenna and Ciaran Heagney with the other try was scored by Gary Fitzgerald. All the other points came from the boot of Ronan McKenna.

UL Bohemian 16, Thurles 17: This was a surprise result but it appears to have been Tipperary’s day with Thurles nipping a one point victory after a great tussle. The final stages were nail-biting with the home side narrowly losing by that single point. Eamonn Lane scored the Bohs try while Mike Mullally added the conversion and three penalties.

Muskerry 23, St Mary’s 13: The ‘Saints’ put up a mighty show on this trip to Cork and while they go out of the competition, their coaches will be very happy with the effort that was put in. They fought right to the end of this keen battle but it was Muskerry who qualified for the next round at the final whistle.

It was 10-8 to the home side at the break, Mark Gaule getting the St Mary’s try and Jude Penejito adding a penalty. When Adam Kiely got in for a second try for the Limerick side, a come-back looked possible but a missed conversion and failure to get scores when in good attacking positions again proved costly.

MJL1, Abbeyfeale 34, Clanwilliam 23: a welcome winning bonus point for Abbeyfeale as they showed further improvement in this competition. They trailed 7-15 at half time but it was their strong pack that eventually turned the tide in the home side’s favour. Scorers for Abbeyfeale were Dan Leahy, Jack Quirke, John Murphy and a bonus point while the ever-reliable boot of Derry O’Connor contributed three conversions and two penalties.

Crosshaven 5, Galbally 25: Another valuable win for Galbally as they rise further up the league table. This was a close game and Galbally can be thankful for the accuracy of John Kearns from the kicking tee with his contribution of six penalties and a conversion proving crucial.

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