U18.5 Munster Club Cup
Nenagh Ormond 26. Old Crescent 15.
Nenagh Ormond again hosted Old Crescent last Friday night under lights in a very muddy Lisatunny. After a tough contest in the North Munster League Semi Final just before Christmas and with all points so important at this stage of the competition both teams were up for the match on the night.
Nenagh came out all guns blazing and looked on top of things in the opening exchanges. They worked through the phases, eventually winning a scrum inside the Crescent 22. John Brislane picked and carried strongly before the ball went out to Joe Shanahan who crashed over for the opening score. Joseph Gleeson converted to get Nenagh off to a great start. However, after a fumble from the kick off saw the ball go into touch Old Crescent launched an attack off the resulting lineout. After some good play, they broke through in the middle of the pitch for a try under the posts which they converted to even up the score.
After that a number of penalties on both sides meant that the game was a little stop/start and this, coupled with the very well organised Crescent defence, meant that Nenagh struggled to settle into their game for a while. When the visitors won a kickable penalty they took their chance and went three points ahead. With both teams already warned by the referee, a further infringement by Nenagh at the breakdown resulted in a yellow card in the dying minutes of the half and at the break the Nenagh lads felt that too many opportunities were left behind them.
Despite starting the second half with 14 men, Nenagh began again with renewed energy and several players in the pack in particular upped their game. But Crescent stayed with them and it took a well-read intercept by Joseph Gleeson to break through. Gleeson showed great pace to make it to the line and he converted his own try to put Nenagh ahead by 14 points to 10. Again, Crescent came back fighting and when an unconverted try put them a point ahead the game could have gone either way.
In fairness, nobody could say this Nenagh team lack grit and they have won several games the hard way already this season. They threw everything they had at Old Crescent and finally, after some great work from both forwards and backs, Joe Shanahan powered over for his second try of the day. Gleeson converted again but with plenty of time left Nenagh knew there was no comfort in a 6 point lead. With about 7 minutes to go a good clearing kick from Gleeson gave Old Crescent a lineout between their own 22 and 10m line. When they opted to go wide and subsequently knocked on in the centre, Aaron Delahunty was quick to pounce and he dragged 3 defenders with him deep inside the opposition 22. Strong carries from Cillian Ryan and Joe Shanahan brought play to the right touch line and, after another good carry from John Brislane sucked in more forwards, Nenagh got the ball out through the hands to Josh Powell who finished well on the far wing.
This was a tough match against a very good, well coached team. Add in the difficult conditions underfoot and this was a good win that will stand to the lads as the competition progresses. Next up for our U18s is an away trip to Clonakilty next weekend.
Nenagh Team: Mason Cawley, Jack O’Flaherty, Aaron Delahunty, Alex Moloney, Tristan Madden, Joseph Gleeson, Luke Graham, Jack Butler, Sam O’Brien, Jess Robbins, James Simons, Cillian Ryan, Ivan Struzia, Joe Shanahan, John Brislane.
Replacements: Josh Powell, Dylan Schweitnitz, Sean Ryan, Jack McNamara, Paddy Griffin, Darragh Spillane, Dylan Dorris, Aaron Bane. 🔴⚪️