U16 Munster Club Competition
Bruff 15-13 Nenagh Ormond
Nenagh Ormond Under 16s travelled to Bruff on Sunday morning for their third match in Conference 1 of the U16 Munster Club Competition. Having played a friendly early in the season, both teams knew this would be a competitive, tough match and that proved to be the case. Bruff started well and indeed had the better share of both possession and territory in the first quarter. Nenagh found themselves under pressure in their own 22 and when they did gain possession found it hard to either run the ball out or to clear their lines. After 15 minutes the pressure told and Bruff got through for a try to go 5-0 ahead.
Possession did begin to be more evenly shared after this but Bruff still looked dangerous. However, during what looked a promising attack from the home side just outside Nenagh’s 22, a well-read intercept from James Finn saw him break as far as Bruff’s 22 where Nenagh won a penalty. Finn slotted the kick to bring the score back to 5-3. A few minutes later, after an exchange of kicks between the teams, scrum half Andrew Ferris chased up well to block down the Bruff fullback’s attempt to clear to touch. Ferris followed up, kicking the ball on and over the try line where he touched it down to leave Nenagh ahead by 8 points to 5 at the break.
Bruff came out with renewed focus and energy in the second half and they scored early when, after some excellent carries in tight from their forwards, their quick thinking scrum half picked and raced down the blindside to score. Both teams had some opportunities in the next ten minutes but Nenagh really put themselves under pressure when the ball was fumbled inside their own ten metre line, allowing Bruff to come through for a third try. However, at 15-8 Nenagh were still within touching distance and all credit must go to them for the effort they put in during the final ten minutes.
They got their reward when an overlap and some good handling put Liam Cooney away down the right touchline. He still had some work to do with the covering defence coming across quickly but he showed good footwork and determination to get over for the try. James Finn again stepped up for the crucial conversion. He struck the kick extremely well and many of the sideline were already celebrating but, agonisingly, it hit the right post and went wide. With only a couple of minutes to go, it was heartening to see the attitude of the Nenagh players who were ready to do whatever it took to score again. However, it was not to be and when Bruff won a lineout, they wisely kept the ball tight and let the clock tick down until they could safely kick to touch.
This was an excellent contest with some great play from both teams. The Nenagh pack did very well securing the rucks and defending well against some excellent, extended periods of attack by the Bruff forwards. Particularly notable performances came from John Brislane whose work-rate and decision making was outstanding and Paddy Ryan who gave everything right up to the moment he stepped off the pitch.
Training continues every Tuesday and Friday night at 7pm in Tyone.
Nenagh Team: James Finn, Luke Graham, Tomas Byrne, Aaron Delahunty, Kieran Tinkler, Adam Steed, Andrew Ferris, Christian Storey, Jack Gleeson, Paddy Ryan, Darragh Tucker, Josh Moloney, Tom Kennedy, John Brislane, Eoghan Tighe (c). Reps: Arainn O’Sullivan, Tom Lillis, Aidan Fogarty, Adam Cleere, Liam Cooney, Dan Needham, Sam Lloyd.