When the going gets tough the tough get going. After the poor performance in Dublin against Old Wesley there was much anticipation on Saturday as the game against City of Derry RFC approached. Cashel fought for every ball as if their lives depended on it. Philly Ryan had to leave the field after 10 when stitches burst after a collision. He was replaced by Michael Cross who went on to have an excellent game.
The pack slowly got on top and some good interplay brought them into the Derry half. On 17 minutes Cashel were awarded a penalty which Pat O’Connor kicked. This was cancelled out a minute later by Derry and as the game went from end to end Pat O’Connor put Cashel 6 3 ahead with a penalty on 20 minutes.
There was a great structure to the Cashel play with the backs running at every opportunity. On 27 minutes Cashel were awarded a penalty just inside the Derry half. Andrew Kelleher took a quick tap passed to Rory O’Connor. Rory took it on and offloaded to John Ed O’Connor who fed Brian Silke. Silke scored in the corner. It was an excellent try with excellent passing right through.
Three minutes later Derry narrowed the gap with a penalty. Three minutes before half time Giles Boland, Brian Silke, Rory O’Connor and John Ed O’Connor ran with great determination. A definite try was on but Derry deliberately knocked on. Their player was sent to the bin and Pat O’Connor kicked the penalty to leave the half time score, Cashel 14 City of Derry 6.
10 minutes into the second half Brian Silke left the field with a rib injury. He was relaced by Alan O’Donnell. Silke had been playing well on his first day back in 6 weeks following injury.
On 52 minutes Derry narrowed the gap to 5 points with a penalty. On 62 minutes Cashel were awarded a penalty. They opted for a scrum as at this stage Derry were down to 14 men.The scrum went down 3 times and eventually the referee lost patience and awarded a penalty try to Cashel which Pat O’Connor converted.
The Backs were well organised on Saturday. Andrew Kelleher had a good game as had his replacement Michael Hickey. Conor Quinlan at out half had a solid game. The combination of Silke and Giles Boland in the centre was excellent. Rory O’Connor and Kevin Quinlan were full of running and Pat O’Connor had a very good day at full back. Overall this was a much better performance from Cashel. With 4 wins out of 7 it leaves Cashel in the top eight of the table going into the Christmas break. Cashel Team.; H Stanley, C O’Donnell, D Lambe, P Ryan, S Walsh, E Leamy, J E O’Connor, B O’Connor, A Kelleher, C Quinlan, R O’Connor, B Silke, G Boland, K Quinlan, P O’Connor, P Maher, M Cross, I Stanley, A O’Donnell, M Hichey
Munster Senior Seconds League. Highfield 20 Cashel 11
On Sunday Cashel travelled to Cork for a league match with Highfield.
Astute kicking by Ollie McGlinchey and Darren McGrath kept Highfield in their own half. In the first 20 minutes Cashel lost Kieran Gleeson with a broken nose and Pat O’Connor with a dislocated shoulder. The penalty count for some reason was 6 0 against Cashel at this stage. However they stuck to their task and were rewarded after 20 minutes when from a scrum on the right Darren McGrath fed Ollie McGlinchey, Darragh O’Brien cut in from full back and the ball went through Alan O’Donnell, Andrew Wallace to Frank Kelleher who scored in the corner. It was an excellent try and a reward for hard work.
The heavy Highfield pack forced their way over for a try on 36 minutes but Ollie McGlinchey had Cashel ahead 8 5 at half time with a penalty.
They started well and within 2 minutes Ollie McGlinchey had them 6 points ahead with a penalty. Highfield turned up the heat and on 48 minutes a cross kick by the Highfield out half was caught by the winger who touched down in the corner and scored again in the corner a few minutes later. They were ahead for the first time but it did not deter Cashel who bombbarded the Highfield line but they could not score
Final Score Highfield 20 Cashel 11. Cashel Team. I Stanley, T Flynn, C O’Donnell, K Gleeson, A Dwyer, P Maher, N Fitzgerald, A Downey, D McGrath, O McGlinchey, A O’Donnell, A Wallace, M O’Connor,P O’Connor, F Kelleher, K Sweeney, M Cross, F McCormack, D O’Brien, J Ryan.