Cashel 17 St Mary’s 10
Cashel marched into the next round of the Junior Cup with a very hard fought victory over the Limerick City men on Sunday last.
It was a shocking day for rugby with every full backs worst nightmare, as it rained for the entire match with a howling cross wind. This was always going to be a tough encounter with St. Mary’s massive pack always going to do damage. With the weather the way it was it was always going to suit a bigger pack of forwards.
Cashel kicked off the game in blistering fashion and seemed to buck all of the trends of the day as they ran in two tries from good moves in 6 minutes. These were scored by Brian Silke and John Ed O‘Connor. Daragh O’Brien converted one to put Cashel 12 nil ahead. To say St. Mary’s were a bit shell shocked would be an understatement as they had barely touched the ball, did little wrong and still found themselves 12 nil down. To be fair to them they really dug in and for the remainder of the match it was a real battle. Over the next 20 minutes of the match St. Mary’s used their pack to great effect as they picked and drove their way up to the Cashel line. For their rewards they got themselves a 5m scrum. From the resulting scrum St. Mary’s drove Cashel over the line, Cashel conceded the penalty which the referee decided was a penalty try.
This score put St Mary’s right back in the game at 12 – 7. For the next ten minutes of the game both sides hammered at each other to no avail. Nether side could gain the upper hand. This changed on the 35th minute as a fantastic backs move saw Cashel slice the St Mary’s defence apart to put Rory O’Connor in for a try in the corner. This put Cashel into a 17 – 10 lead. St Mary’s responded quickly and right on the stroke of half time they converted a penalty to leave the half time score 17 – 10.
Cashel at this stage knew they were in a real battle. The conditions were suiting St Mary’s as the game slowed significantly and Cashel struggled to get fast ball. The second half in the end came down to the two packs.
After the early set back at the scrum for Cashel they were now more than holding their own. Nether pack was giving an inch as they both drove at each other. In the end both packs cancelled each other out as neither side could score in the second half. The final score was 17 – 10 to Cashel.
This was a real tough encounter. If Cashel gave an inch up front at any stage in this game they could have very easily lost. St Mary’s pack was as good as any pack Cashel have played this season. This is exactly the type of game Cashel need before their next game against Richmond. Although Cashel did stutter at times they kept their composure and shape. St Mary’s never seriously threatened the Cashel line during the match as the Cashel defensive was superb. Cashel were guilty of some poor decisions and handling in the final third of the pitch when they had St. Mary’s on the ropes. To be fair to Cashel it would be harsh to be over critical as when it comes to this time of the season it is all about winning. Cashel have proved in the last couple of weeks in the wind and driving rain that they can grind out a result like the best of teams. It is this determination and commitment that will hopefully see Cashel win the league and with a bit of luck go all the way in the Junior Cup.
Cashel next game will probably be the biggest game in the club history as the face Richmond away in the league. For the first time in many years the junior 1 league is coming down to two teams with winner takes all scenario. Who ever wins this match will gain automatic promotion to the IRFU Senior 3 league. Because of the changes proposed by the IRFU for the senior league, for this year only, the winner of the junior 1 league in Munster is promoted. For both Richmond and Cashel this is a huge incentive. Cashel have never been a senior club with only Nenagh in the whole of Tipperary ever achieving it. From a spectator point of view it couldn’t be better as both teams are undefeated this year and which ever one wins they more than deserve to get promoted as they will played the entire league undefeated. It would be greatly appreciated by all in Cashel RFC both players and committee members if as many people as possible could come support Cashel RFC on this massive occasion, and with a bit of luck celebrate their promotion to senior rugby!!
Richmond V Cashel: March 6th 2.30p.m