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U18 - Munster Club U18 Conf 4 V Bandon 30th Nov 2019   05/12/2019

Munster Club U18 Conf 4

Clonakilty 7: Bandon 3

Saturday saw Clon u18’s line out for their final game in their initial Group stages of the Munster Club competition against Local rival Bandon RFC at the Vale. A slow start to the season with a young squad has come to life for this group in recent weeks with Clon looking to make it 3 wins from 3 and make progress up the table. A hard fought one score margin against Muskerry two  weeks ago was followed by a more convincing home win against Crosshaven last week. With confidence growing and the carrot of local bragging rights to play for the Squad faced into the 2nd from top team with focus and determination.

With Clon playing into a hardy breeze in the first half early territorial advantage went to Bandon lokig every bit the well organized and competitive outfit you’d expect. Clon had this edge in the scrum battle with powerful front row of Aaron O’Donovan, Charlie O’Shea and Maciej Bednarz ably supported by the rest of the pack. Clons defense was solid and not giving up anything easy today and gradually some positive tackles and a Cian Downey lineout steal were giving Clonakilty some territory as the Half wore on. An excellent take and counterattack by John Allen Byrne sent Jack Verling off down the wing on his debut appearance in Clon Colours. He was stopped short and a few phases later the finalpass went behind and Bandon were able Clear their lines.

As the half wore on Clon had a few more opportunities to get the score board ticking but were unable to finish them off. A few handling errors and turnovers thwarting some excellent play. Bandon were here to take the points and were defending very well too and so the half time whistle blew with 0-0 on the score board. An entertaining first half that severed to demonstrate how tight this one was going to be.

Despite facing into the wind in the second half Bandon started the brighter, their half time talk seemed to increase their urgency. Clon made a number of good plays with Kyle Buttimer finding space from Clons 22 to free Ben Lovell to make ground up the right wing but the play ebbed and flowed. Bandon were the first to score winning a penalty in front of the posts inside the 22. 3-0 to Bandon with 20 minute to go.

Clon were spurred into action. An up and under from the excellent Eoin Downey was not dealt with by Bandon and pressure from Clon got possession into the Bandon 22. A number of attacks from Clon were repelled but the home team were looking the most likely to score. Strong carries from Ben Lovell and Maciej Bednarz amongst others were having an impact. Clon pressure resulted in a penalty and a kick to within 5 meters of the Bandon line. A quick throw to Aaron O’Donovan at the front got Clon moving forward. The Pack were in no mood to come away empty handed and following some excellent pick and Go’s James O’Donovan drove over in the right hand corner. Eoin Downey nailed the conversion from the touch line.

Clon maintained the pressure to the end and were unlucky not to stretch their 7-3 lead in the final 10 mins. Eoin Downey went close with a penalty from the opposite touchline with only seconds left on the clock. Bandon battled up through multiple phases to from their own 22 but a knock-on was to bring the final whistle and celebrations from the Clon Team and supporters. From 1 to 19 an excellent effort from this improving team to stand them in good stead as attention will now move to the pan Munster phase of the competition.

Squad: Maciej Bednarz; Charlie O’Shea; Aaron O’Donovan; Conor Ryan; Eoin Murphy; Stephen O’Hea; Shane Crowley; James O’Donovan; Christoir Hayes; Eoin Downey; Adam Asare; Ben Lovell; Eoghan Ferguson; Jack Verling; John Allen-Byrne; Cian Downey; Rory White; Kyle Buttimer; David Harte.





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