Munster under 18 Club Cup (Group 2)
Saturday 26th January, Ballinakill (Waterford)
Waterpark 6 Nenagh 19
With only a draw each to show from their first two games in this group, this was a crunch game for both teams. Although it was raining heavily in Ballinakill right up to kick-off time, the game was played in reasonably good weather conditions, if a little windy and soft underfoot.
Nenagh played with whatever advantage the prevailing breeze offered in the first half and started much the better. From the off, they were camped inside the Waterpark 22 and testing the home defence to the limit. After being held up short of the line several times, Nenagh were offered an excellent opportunity on six minutes to get off the mark with a penalty just outside the 22 but the resulting kick was pulled right and wide.
Although clearly under pressure, the Waterpark defence continued to battle well and held the edge in the contact areas, turning over Nenagh ball several times and forcing their opposition into conceding penalties. Nevertheless, Nenagh looked far more dangerous with ball in hand and when Kian O’Kelly burst through the centre midway through the half, only a last ditch tackle prevented what looked like the game’s opening try.
With a greasy ball and a tricky breeze, it was always on the cards that mistakes would influence the outcome and when Waterpark full back David Daniels failed to deal with a high launched kick, Nenagh seized their chance. The spilled ball was kicked through by Kian O’Kelly and out-half Danny Molamphy won the chase to touch down for the game’s opening try on the half-hour mark, giving the Ormond lads a 7-0 lead which they held going into the second half.
This lead was quickly cut to 4 however with a Waterpark penalty after only 3 minutes of the second half and this seemed to give the home side confidence as they enjoyed their best spell of the match, coming close to crossing the whitewash on a couple of occasions. With a tight finish very much on the cards and Waterpark on the attack, winger Eamon Hough delivered a killer blow to the home side when he intercepted a loose pass to sprint 40 yards and score under the posts with 20 minutes remaining.
With the Nenagh lineout operating well, they began to dominate possession and came close twice to scoring a third try through Eamon Hough (once again) and substitute right winger Eoin Farrell. Nenagh finished out the game much the stronger and it came as no surprise when hooker Dylan Murphy touched down in the corner late on to put the gloss on a well deserved victory with a 19-6 score-line.
Nenagh travel to Glanmire in Cork to meet Old Christians next weekend with their chances of progressing to a Munster quarter final now very much restored.
Nenagh Ormond: Cathal Delaney, Dylan Murphy, Conor Sullivan, , Eoghan Slevin, Tadhg Maguire, Jack O’Keefe, Cathal Ryan, Peter Rainsford, Daniel Molamphy, Patrick Finn, Conor McMahon, Eamon Hough, Kian O’Kelly, Joe Cooney, Dylan Knight. Reps: Ruan O’Hanluain, James Meagher, Jack Keays, Sean McAdams, James Ferris, , Shane Whelan, Eoin O’Meara, Jason Quigley, Aaron Sharkey, Eoin Farrell