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Challenge Shield Final Clonakilty v Ballincollig 18th April 2018   25/04/2018

Challenge Shield Final

Clonakilty 21: Ballincollig 10


Last Wednesday night Clonakilty RFC won their first piece of silverware for the season against Ballincollig in the Challenge Shield Final in Irish Independent Park. Clonakilty faced a team they have met twice already this season and were hoping to build upon wins they had had against the side previously. Clonakilty did just that with style.

Ballincollig kicked off into dry but breezy conditions but it was Clonakilty who dominated the game in the first 5 minutes. Clonakilty started the game with an aggressive attacking play with a kick up the line for Rob Howick putting them in a great scoring position. Clonakilty built from this and it eventually led to Howick bounding over the line for Clon’s first try of the evening. Ballincollig reacted well building good momentum from inside their own 22’ that saw Clonakilty defences being put to the test. Clonakilty nerves allowed Ballincollig to gain momentum and put themselves right up in the Clonakilty 22’. Soon after Ballincollig were able to utilise and stretch the Clonakilty defence to allow them break over the line for their own try levelling up the game 5 points apiece. Ballincollig continued to control the game for the rest of the half meaning the Clon boys had to hold out a strong defence. The Clonakilty defence shone with big hits from Andy McCarthy and Joe Lee keeping the Ballincollig men at bay. Clonakilty were skilful in their use of opportunities when it appeared that Ballincollig had all the attacking play Clonakilty were still able to hold out and control the game. After 25 minutes Clonakilty were awarded a penalty which out-half Eoghan Deasy took to the posts and slotted over with ease. Only 5 minutes later Deasy converted another penalty giving Clonakilty an 11-5 lead coming into the last 10 minutes of the game. Ballincollig pressed the Clon defences hard for the last quarter of the half but the resilience and stamina shown by the Clonakilty defence was immense. At a time when Ballincollig could have changed the tides of this game Clonakilty were able to command their defence and come out on top at the break.  

 

 

Half Time Score: Clonakilty 11 – Ballincollig 5

 

 

The second half saw Clonakilty come into their own and put on a stellar display to secure the win against a tough Ballincollig side. Ballincollig came out fighting with some great attacking play trying everything to breach the Clon line. There was some immense defensive play from Harry Dillon and Ewan Courney just to name a few that kept Ballincollig at bay. Then after 20 minutes with no score in the second half, Olan Deane managed to steal a line out from Ballincollig to start a super passage of attacking play for Clon. Clonakilty worked the ball up the line which finally led to Eoghan Deasy breaking through and over the Ballincollig line for a second Clonakilty try. Clonakilty continued to gain momentum and wanted to make sure that they held a strong lead until the end. Less than 5 minutes after Deasy’s try, Josh Wilcox took the ball and make a massive run through the Ballincollig defence to obliterate them and score Clonakilty’s 3rd try putting the score at 21-5. With only 10 minutes of normal time left all Clonakilty needed to do was to keep Ballincollig out and continue to control the game which they did, dictating the game at every opportunity. Ballincollig continued to fight till the bitter end and with 5 minutes to go they snuck over their 2nd try closing the gap to 21-10 but it wasn’t enough to catch the high flying Clonakilty men. When the final whistle sounded after a gruelling last five minutes every Clonakilty fan in the stadium were on their feet and enjoying the moment as much as the players. It was a sweet and well deserved victory for Clonakilty who have battled through some gruelling years of late but have gained back that belief in themselves of late. To hear to sound of “Clon Boys are we” ring out once more in Musgrave Park was a nostalgic and hopeful moment for all!

 

The mighty Clonakilty men’s season is still not over as they now face Kanturk in the County Cup final tomorrow Thursday night in Irish Independent Park, kick off at 7.30pm. To win another piece of silverware would mean the world to this great group of players so please come out and show your support!

 

Team: 1 Josh Wilcox, 2 Stephen Cotter, 3 Cosmin Rosu, 4 Donal McSweeney, 5 Olan Deane, 6 Batt Duggan, 7 Moss Downey, 8 Gerard McCarthy, 9 Rob Howick, 10 Eoghan Deasy, 11 Daniel Murphy, 12 Joe Lee, 13 Andrew McCarthy, 14 Ewan Courtney, 15 Harry Dillon, 16 Jack Ryan, 17 Mike O’Hea, 18 Michael Peter O’Regan, 19 Garry Purtill, 20 Sean Beamish

 





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