Munster Junior League
Newcastle West RFC 20
Kilfeacle & District 21
After last week’s heart break at our loss in Portlaoise it was vitally important to continue with a win in the league, however when the opponents were Newcastle West and we were away from home it was going to be a tough assignment.
The home side had the advantage of a light breeze for the first half. Kilfeacle started the game well and immediately pushed Newcastle back into their own 22. Some excellent pressure by Charles Walshe forced a careless pass which allowed Darren Lowry open the scoring with an intercept try which Jamie Heuston converted after just four minutes. Kilfeacle, after 23 minutes, added a further three points from the boot of Jamie Heuston.
In the 26th Newcastle West’s Sean Ivess replied with a try. In the next ten minutes of the first half Sean Herlihy and Jamie Heuston exchanged penalties. After six phases of play which involved both backs and forwards Kilfeacle had Newcastle West pinned back only metres from their own try line. The backs spun to ball wide and created the space for James Hogan to score in the corner. Jamie Heuston was unlucky not to convert. The half time whistle sounded with the scoreboard showing 18-8 in favour of Kilfeacle and District.
From the restart Kilfeacle immediately provided Newcastle West with a penalty opportunity which Sean Herlihy made them pay for. Kilfeacle and District were unphased by this score and seven minutes later were given the chance to cancel out Newcastle West’s penalty however uncharacteristically Jamie Heuston watched his attempt drift just wide of its mark. Newcastle West gained territorial advantage and within ten minutes had further reduced Kilfeacle’s lead with another Sean Herlihy penalty.
With 11 minutes left on the clock Sean Herlihy scored his third penalty of the second half and it was now a one point game.
The next eight minutes in the game was a war of attrition. With two minutes left and firmly on top Kilfeacle gambled when they should have learnt from the previous week and slowed the game down to see it out. Newcastle West isolated the Kilfeacle player and turned the ball over. The resulting kick and chase was impressive from a Newcastle West point of view. A ruck was formed inside the Kilfeacle half during which Kilfeacle were deemed to have infringed by holding on to the ball on the ground and Newcastle West were awarded a penalty and elected to kick for goal. Sean Herlihy scored his fourth penalty of the second half and in doing so he put his team two points ahead.
From the resulting restart and following an impressive kick chase a ruck was formed inside the Newcastle West half during which Newcastle West were deemed to have infringed by holding on to the ball on the ground and Kilfeacle were awarded a penalty and elected to kick for goal. This attempt was further out and at a worse angle than the previous attempt which Jamie Heuston had missed. Jamie showed maturity beyond his years and held his nerve and slotted this added time penalty for a Kilfeacle victory.
This means that with just four games remaining in division one of the Munster Junior League only three points separates the top four sides. Kilfeacle and District are in third place, two points behind league leaders Richmond.
Our first team is back in competitive action next week in the Munster Junior League for our next league game at home to Cobh Pirates RFC with kick off at 2.30pm on Sunday the 11th of February. The team are delighted by the amount of support they have received.